Michael White, professor and department head from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, talks about a new, non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes that was approved by the FDA last week.
Brisdelle contains a low dose of an selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor drug called paroxetine. The drug has been used to treat depression for years at a much higher dose. In clinical trials of more than 1,700 women with seven or more hot flashes a day, the drug reduced the number of hot flashes by about two per day. So it is not a cure, but it can provide some relief in women who do not want or cannot receive hormone replacement.
There were hormone replacement treatments for hot flashes available before Brisdelle was approved, but they had side effects including increasing the rate of breast cancer cell growth, raising the concentration of fats called triglycerides in the blood and increasing the risk of gallstones.