Have you been prescribed antidepressants to treat hot flushes or hot flashes even though you may not feel depressed? Antidepressants are another option to treat hot flushes.

Antidepressants for Hot Flushes

Can antidepressants be prescribed to treat hot flushes or hot flashes?

On page two in Menopause: What Can You Do To Help With the Menopause? the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

  • “If you cannot take MHT, other medications such as antidepressants – selective serotonin (SSRIs) or norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – and a chronic pain medicine can reduce hot flushes”.

In Non-Hormonal Treatment Options for Menopausal Symptoms the Australasian Menopause Society elaborate on:

Antidepressants for Hot Flushes“Antidepressants (usually low dose) have been used for many years and some types help about 70% of women with more severe flushes and sweats. Options in this class of drugs include:

  • Venlaxafine (a Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor or SRNI)
  • Escitalopram and Paroxetine (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs)”.


What are Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)?

In Menopause FAQS: Hot Flashes – Q. Are there treatments for hot flashes? the North American Menopause Society elaborate on:

“A. For women who prefer not to take hormones or cannot take hormones safely, nonhormone drugs approved to treat depression, called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been found to be effective in treating hot flashes in women who don’t have depression. The only SSRI FDA has approved thus far for treating hot flashes is paroxetine 7.5 mg”.

In Menopause Management: Non-Hormonal Prescription Medications – Antidepressants the JH explain:

“A group of antidepressants called SSRIs/SNRIs (selective serotonin or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors – for example, venlafaxine, paroxetine, escitalopram and fluoxetine) have been studied and found to relieve hot flushes. If these medications are going to be effective in reducing hot flushes, they will do so quite quickly. Like all medications, these can have side effects, some examples being nausea, dry mouth and/or insomnia. Paradoxically, sometimes these medications can cause sweats. In breast cancer survivors on tamoxifen, paroxetine and fluoxetine should not be taken as they can reduce the effectiveness of the tamoxifen”.

In Hot Flashes: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment: Antidepressants the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“A low-dose form of paroxetine (Brisdelle) is the only nonhormone treatment for hot flashes approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Other antidepressants that have been used to treat hot flashes include:

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)

These medications aren’t as effective as hormone therapy for severe hot flashes, but they can be helpful to women who can’t use hormones. Possible side effects include nausea, difficulty sleeping or drowsiness, weight gain, dry mouth or sexual dysfunction”.

Hot Flushes + Depression

Do antidepressants used to help manage hot flushes also treat depression?

In Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? Non-Hormonal Medications To Treat Hot Flashes the (United States) National Institute on Aging note:

“Women who use an antidepressant to help manage hot flashes generally take a lower dose than people who use the medication to treat depression”.

Health Care Provider

What if I would like to try an antidepressant to treat my hot flushes or hot flashes?

In Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? Non-Hormonal Medications To Treat Hot Flashes the NIA explain:

“As with any medication, talk with your doctor about whether this is the right medication for you and how you might manage any possible side effects”.

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Last Updated: 27 August 2022 – Last Revised: 27 August 2022