Treatment strategies for hot flushes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Vasomotor symptoms are the most common complaints for which menopausal women seek medical care. Eighty per cent of all menopausal women will have hot flushes and night sweats, and of these 9% will have severe symptoms impacting their quality of life. Ideally, treatment should target the group most severely afflicted, and options for treatment should be tailored to each woman, since, for most women, vasomotor symptoms spontaneously resolve in 3 - 5 years. Recommendation at this time is for the shortest duration of therapy, which means that episodic review of therapy is indicated. Objective: To review the latest literature investigating therapies for vasomotor symptoms and to discuss their effectiveness with emphasis on placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials. Methods: A literature search in PubMed for 'vasomotor symptoms', 'menopause symptoms', 'hot flushes', 'hot flashes' and 'night sweats' from 2003 to the present was performed. Conclusions: Estrogen remains the gold standard for treating vasomotor symptoms. As investigations into the physiology of hot flushes continue, centrally active drugs (selective serotonin or norepinephrine-serotonin reuptake inhibitors and gabapentin) have increased in use. The benefit from dietary herbal supplements is still inconclusive; however, recent studies have shown some mild response to soy and black cohosh.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1144
Number of pages12
JournalExpert opinion on pharmacotherapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Gabapentin
  • Herbal supplements
  • Hormone therapy
  • Hot flushes
  • Menopause
  • Night sweats
  • SNRI
  • SSRI
  • Vasomotor symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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