The Case Against Menopausal Flashing

Lexapro reduces menopausal symptoms

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Many women approaching the change of life are familiar with racing hearts, rivers of perspiration and heat flushed faces-just some of the more unpleasant symptoms of menopause.  While hormone replacement therapy may carry too many risks for most women, there is help on the horizon from anti-depressants.

A recent study of women who took Lexapro over an eight-week period showed that the antidepressant was effective in treating the symptoms of hot flashes.

"Lexapro can decrease and minimize hot flash severity."

Ellen Freeman, PhD, at the University of Pennsylvania Dept. of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Psychiatry, and her colleagues tested the effectiveness of Lexapro in relieving and reducing hot flashes. They determined that healthy women taking the anti-depressant experienced fewer and less severe menopausal hot flashes.

The Study


  • tracked 205 women (95 African American, 102 white, and 8 other)
  • gave the women a placebo or 10 to 20/mg a day of Lexapro over eight weeks.
  • documented the women’s hot flash experiences
  • noted that women taking Lexapro had a 55 percent reduction in hot flash frequency
  • conducted the study between July 2009 and June 2010
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 11, 2011
Last Updated:
May 23, 2011