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Paxil As Hot Flash Therapy: What You Need To Know

Updated: Friday, July 26 2013, 12:42 PM EDT
A new treatment for hot flashes was just approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use.

Local 12's Liz Bonis asks the experts at TriHealth and has what you need to know about it in today's Medical Edge.

"It just comes on and you are just burning up for a little bit. Do you start to sweat, start to sweat, turn a little red," says office manager Lisa Runyan.

Lisa Runyan is a busy office manager at this women's health practice. She says when hot flashes hit, there are challenges to keeping temperatures down.

"Some of us have fans at our desk, and they are running just about all the time."

This is also just one of many  reasons Doctor Vaishali Bhalani wants women to know that the medication Paroxetine, marketed under the brand name Paxil, might help.

"I think that it gives women another option. Up until now the only treatment that was available was menopausal hormone therapy," says Dr. Bhalani.

The medication has been in use for quite awhile as an antidepressant. It appears to alter a hormone known as serotonin in the body, but in this case in lower doses. The Food and Drug Administration has just approved it's use for hot flashes and that raises the question of what do you need to know about it, who should be on it and what are the side effects?

"The main side effects I think at lower doses are fatigue, being tired, as well as nausea vomiting and headache," says Dr. Bhalani.

Doctor Bhalani says those side effects generally diminish in about four few weeks and it's suggested for use in those who say menopausal symptoms really interfere with daily life.

"We do see about a good 30-60  percent reduction, depending on the dose, in menopausal hot flashes and symptoms."

Lifestyle changes such as yoga, meditation and exercise along with it, are also recommended because she also points out,

"Exercise can decrease weight,,and we know weight can lead to an increase in hot flashes."
Paxil As Hot Flash Therapy: What You Need To Know

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