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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 …

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  • Competing interests CNS has received research support from Allergen National Centre of Excellence, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the NARSAD Brain and Behaviour Foundation, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Wyeth and Hamilton Community Foundation. He has received honoraria as a consultant and/or speaker for Wyeth, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Lundbeck and Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals.