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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Menopause -

Paxil seen to curb hot flashes

MenopauseOct 25, 05

For women suffering through menopause, treatment with the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil) reduces both the number and severity of hot flashes, researchers report.

Moreover, according to Dr. Vered Stearns who led the trial, this is the first study to demonstrate that paroxetine also improves sleep in women with hot flashes.

Stearns’ team studied 151 women with or without a prior history of breast cancer who had at least two hot flashes a day for 1 month or longer. They were randomly assigned to 4 weeks of paroxetine at one of two doses followed by 4 weeks of placebo, or the reverse.

The investigators report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that the lower dose of paroxetine reduced hot flash frequency by 40.6 percent and severity by 45.6 percent, compared with a reduction of 13.7 percent for both measures while on placebo.

The higher dose of paroxetine reduced hot flash frequency and severity by 51.7 percent and 56.1 percent, respectively.

While both doses were more effective than placebo, the lower dose was better tolerated “and women were less likely to discontinue the treatment,” Stearns, from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, told Reuters Health.

“Importantly,” he added, the lower dose of paroxetine “was associated with a significant improvement in sleep compared with placebo.”

In this study, women with hot flashes “of all ages, menopausal status, those with or without a history of breast cancer, and those who were or were not taking tamoxifen benefited equally from paroxetine,” Stearns reported.

The results of the trial, which was supported in part by the maker of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, are consistent with three other clinical trials that demonstrated the effectiveness of this class of antidepressants for the treatment of hot flashes, the authors note in their report.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology, October 1, 2005.

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