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Randomised controlled trial
Escitalopram reduced hot flashes in non-depressed perimenopausal and postmenopausal women
  1. Claudio N Soares1,2
  1. 1Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Claudio N Soares
    Women's Health Concerns Clinic (WHCC), St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, 301 James Street South FB 638, Hamilton, ON L8P 3B6, Canada; csoares{at}

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Vasomotor symptoms (VMS – hot flashes, night sweats) are considered the hallmark of the menopausal transition and early postmenopausal years; these symptoms affect 60–90% of women during this time period and quite often result in significant discomfort and impaired quality of life (QOL). Mechanistically, the occurrence of VMS is attributed to a malfunction or disruption within complex temperature circuits in charge of thermoregulation. Existing evidence suggests that these circuits are at least in part modulated by oestrogen and monoamine systems – that is, serotonin, norepinephrine. In the aftermath of the Women's Health Initiative Study, physicians and patients became more reluctant to pursue or remain adherent to hormone-based therapies, and a growing interest has been observed in the development of safe, efficacious non-hormonal strategies to alleviate VMS and improve QOL.


This double-blind, randomised controlled, multicentre trial recruited 205 US women (including 95 African Americans) between July 2009 and …

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