Pathophysiology and treatment of menopausal hot flashes.
ABSTRACT Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause. Although the appearance of hot flashes coincides with estrogen withdrawal, this does not entirely explain the phenomenon because estrogen levels do not differ between symptomatic and asymptomatic women. Luteinizing throughout? hormone pulses do not produce hot flashes nor do changes in endogenous opiates. Recent studies suggest that hot flashes are triggered by small elevations in core body temperature (T(c)) acting within a reduced thermoneutral zone in symptomatic postmenopausal women. This narrowing may be due to elevated central noradrenergic activation, a contention supported by observations that clonidine and some relaxation procedures ameliorate hot flashes. Because hot flashes are triggered by T(c) elevations, procedures to reduce T(c), such as lowering ambient temperature, are beneficial. Estrogen ameliorates hot flashes by increasing the T(c) sweating threshold, although the underlying mechanism is not known. Recent studies of hot flashes during sleep call into question their role in producing sleep disturbance.
- SourceAvailable from: Rebecca C ThurstonMenopause (New York, N.Y.) 09/2008; 15(5):1027-1028. · 3.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Vasomotor flushes are common complaints of women during and after menopause, affecting about 75 percent of this population. Estrogen therapy is the most effective treatment for hot flashes. However, there are a significant number of women who have contraindications or choose not to use estrogen due to potential risks such as breast cancer and thromboembolic disorders. These women need alternative options. The selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine, have shown efficacy in alleviating hot flashes. Objective: The purpose of this review is to assess the efficacy and tolerability of these two agents for treatment of hot flashes in healthy postmenopausal women. Methods: A literature search of the MEDLINE and Ovid databases from inception to June 2011 was conducted. Randomized controlled trials, published in English, with human participants were included. Studies included postmenopausal women, and trials with breast cancer only populations were excluded. Results: Venlafaxine reduced hot flashes by 37 to 61 percent and desvenlafaxine by 55 to 69 percent. Both agents were well tolerated. The most common adverse effects were headache, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, somnolence, and dizziness. Conclusion: Based on the evidence, venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine are both viable options for reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes.Pharmacy Practice 09/2011; 9(3):117-121.
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ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the cause, pathophysiology, differential diagnosis of, and treatment options for vasomotor symptoms. In addition, it summarizes important points for health care providers caring for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with regard to health maintenance, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and vaginal atrophy. Treatment options for hot flashes with variable effectiveness include systemic hormone therapy (estrogen/progestogen), nonhormonal pharmacologic therapies (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, clonidine, gabapentin), and nonpharmacologic therapy options (behavioral changes, acupuncture). Risks and benefits as well as contraindications for hormone therapy are further discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America 03/2015; 42(1):163-179. · 1.40 Impact Factor