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What it is: Brisdelle (also called paroxetine) is an FDA approved non-hormonal medication used for the treatment of hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances in menopause. Paroxetine is FDA approved for other conditions, like seizures, headaches, and depression but at much higher doses than what we prescribe. Evernow does not prescribe a dose that is used for depression, but rather for menopausal symptom relief.
How it works: Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and works by preventing the body from reabsorbing serotonin (also known as the ‘happy chemical’) from the brain. This allows for better body temperature regulation. Studies show a 67% reduction in hot flashes and night sweats in women who use paroxetine compared to a placebo. The reduction in systemic symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats also relieve sleep disturbances and fight off fatigue from poor sleeping.
Brisdelle, a brand name of paroxetine, is FDA-approved at 7.5 mg to treat hot flashes and night sweats. Paroxetine, at 10 mg, is also prescribed off-label to treat these symptoms. Evernow prescribes paroxetine 10mg to patients who are best suited for non-hormonal therapy.
What the research says: A 2015 study found that paroxetine effectively reduced the frequency of hot flashes and night sweats in women by up to 67%. Another 2015 study found that paroxetine reduced nighttime awakenings due to hot flashes and night sweats and increased sleep duration when taken at 7.5 mg.
Brand name: Brisdelle; Evernow uses the generic paroxetine
Range of dosage: 10 mg orally/day
Safety information: If you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), are being treated for depression or bipolar disorder or are taking tamoxifen, paroxetine may not be for you. You should speak to your in-person care provider to determine your best treatment options. To learn more about the risks and benefits of paroxetine and to read the boxed warning, see this Brisdelle safety information.