Q:

What treatments are available for severe night sweats and hot flashes?

A:

Quick Answer

A hormone replacement therapy regimen that includes estrogen and progesterone, certain antidepressant medications in low doses, the anti-seizure drug gabapentin, and clonidine, a high blood pressure medication, are effective treatments for hot flashes, according to Mayo Clinic. Women can increase their dietary intake of soy products to benefit from the estrogen-mimicking phytoestrogen chemicals they contain to reduce hot flashes, advises Healthline. Black cohosh root may stimulate serotonin receptors or bind to estrogen receptors to alleviate hot flashes.

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Full Answer

Antidepressant medications Prozac, Paxil and Effexor are used to treat hot flashes and night sweats, reports WebMD. Duavee and Brisdelle are specific drug formulations designed to treat hot flashes, while nonprescription options include ibuprofen, vitamin E and B complex. Women can avoid common triggers, including cigarette smoke, stress, alcohol, spicy foods and heat. Many women find relief through daily exercise, deep abdominal breathing, using chill pillows at night and sleeping in a cool bedroom.

While the exact causes of hot flashes, facial flushing and night sweats are unknown as of 2015, researchers believe changes in circulation cause the symptoms, explains WebMD. The blood vessels near the skin’s surface dilate as a woman overheats, and she may begin to sweat in order to cool down. Some women experience hot flashes only briefly as their menstrual cycle ends, but others deal with them for life, although they typically lessen in severity over time.

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