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Menopause (cont.)

Other Medications for Symptom Relief

The class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) typically used in the treatment of depression and anxiety, has been shown to be effective in reducing menopausal hot flashes. Paroxetine (Brisdelle) is an SSRI that has been approved for the treatment of moderate to severe hot flashed associated with menopause. Another SSRI that has been tested and shown to be effective is venlafaxine (Effexor), although other SSRI drugs may be effective as well.

Clonidine (Catapres) is a drug that decreases blood pressure. Clonidine can effectively relieve hot flashes in some women. Side effects include dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, and difficulty sleeping.

Gabapentin (Neurontin), a drug primarily used for the treatment of seizures, has also been used successfully to treat hot flashes.

Progestin drugs have also been successfully used to treat hot flashes. Megestrol acetate (Megace) is sometimes prescribed over the short-term to help relieve hot flashes. Serious effects can occur if the medication is abruptly discontinued, and megestrol is not usually recommended as a first-line drug to treat hot flashes. An unpleasant side effect of Megestrol is that it may lead to weight gain.

Several medications may be used for preventing and treating osteoporosis.

  • The bisphosphonates, which include alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), have been shown in clinical trials to reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women and to reduce fracture risk in women who have osteoporosis.
  • Raloxifene (Evista), a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), is another therapy for osteoporosis. It reduces bone loss and appears to reduce the risk of back fractures in women with osteoporosis.
  • Calcitonin (Miacalcin or Calcimar) is a nasal spray that has been found to reduce the risk of back fractures in women who have osteoporosis.
  • A prevention drug that may also be effective is PTH (parathyroid hormone), but this is not a usual first-line treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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