A health study finds Iowa women who suffer from hot flashes might get some relief from a drug traditionally used as an anti-depressant. Dr. Janice Twiss, a women’s health nurse practitioner in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says women who are entering menopause might benefit from the drug Lexapro, but need to consult with their doctor first.
“This would be a good therapy for women who aren’t able or willing to take hormones,” Dr. Twiss says. “Not only could it reduce their hot flashes, it might help them sleep a little bit better and since it’s an anti-depressant, it can also reduce the mood swings that they may be experiencing.” Some women can’t take hormone replacement therapy or aren’t willing due to the risks involved, so she says Lexapro might be a good alternative.
“This first study with the antidepressant medication is encouraging,” Twiss says. “We need more studies. It was only an eight-week study, yet it is encouraging.” Twiss works for the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The study is being published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.