Hot flashes aetiology and management

D. Barton, C. Loprinzi, D. Wahner-Roedler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Menopause, an event often accompanied by symptoms such as hot flashes, can have a significant impact on a woman's quality of life. A majority of women will experience hot flashes at some point in their life, given a normal life span. Despite multiple theories, the exact pathophysiology of hot flashes is not yet known. Many types of treatment options exist for women with hot flashes, from hormonal and nonhormonal pharmacological therapies to nonpharmacological interventions. Choosing the best treatment option for specific women involves knowledge of the risks and benefits of each treatment. Hormones (estrogen and/or progesterone, or tibolone alone) are still the most effective option available, resulting in an 80 to 90% reduction in hot flashes. The best nonhormonal treatment to date is in the class of newer antidepressants that comprises various selective reuptake inhibitors; for example, venlafaxine provides about a 60% reduction in hot flashes. This article provides evidence-based information about available treatment options for hot flash management, with special consideration of populations such as breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-606
Number of pages10
JournalDrugs and Aging
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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