Effect of escitalopram on insomnia symptoms and subjective sleep quality in healthy perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with hot flashes: A randomized controlled trial
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of escitalopram on insomnia symptoms and subjective sleep quality in healthy perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with hot flashes. A randomized, blinded, multicenter, placebo-controlled parallel-group 8-week trial with 205 women (95 African American, 102 white, 8 other) was conducted between July 2009 and June 2010. The participants received escitalopram (10-20 mg/d) or placebo. Insomnia symptoms (Insomnia Severity Index [ISI]) and subjective sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]) at weeks 4 and 8 were the prespecified secondary outcomes. A total of 199 women (97%) provided ISI data, and 194 (95%) women provided PSQI data at follow-up. At baseline, mean hot flash frequency was 9.78 per day (SD, 5.60), mean ISI was 11.4 (SD, 6.3), and mean PSQI was 8.0 (SD, 3.7). Treatment with escitalopram reduced ISI at week 8 (mean difference, -2.00; 95% CI, -3.43 to -0.57; P < 0.001 overall treatment effect), with mean differences of -4.73 (95% CI, -5.72 to -3.75) in the escitalopram group and -2.73 (95% CI, -3.78 to -1.69) in the placebo group. The reduction in PSQI was greater in the escitalopram than in the placebo group at week 8 (mean difference, -1.31; 95% CI, -2.14 to -0.49; P < 0.001 overall treatment effect). Clinical improvement in insomnia symptoms and subjective sleep quality (≥50% decreases in ISI and PSQI from baseline) was observed more frequently in the escitalopram group than in the placebo group (ISI, 50.0% vs 35.4%, P = 0.04; PSQI, 29.6% vs 19.2%, P = 0.09). Among healthy perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with hot flashes, escitalopram at 10 to 20 mg/day compared with placebo reduced insomnia symptoms and improved subjective sleep quality at 8 weeks of follow-up.