Q. I read that there is a new non-hormonal medicine coming out in November 2013 for hot flashes. It is called Brisdelle.
What do you know about it? What side effects should I be aware of?
A. The FDA approved paroxetine (Brisdelle) as a non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes. This medication may be more familiar under the brand name Paxil. It was originally marketed as an antidepressant starting in 1992.
The most common side effects of Brisdelle are headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Serious complications can include thoughts of suicide, an increased risk of bone fractures and interactions that could result in bleeding or agitation.
Another problem is that discontinuing paroxetine abruptly can result in nightmares, muscle cramps, anxiety, headache, insomnia, nerve tingling, shakiness, visual disturbances, dizziness and sensations like an electric shock (referred to as “brain zaps”).
You will find more details at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com about other non-hormonal options for controlling hot flashes, including Estrovera (rhapontic rhubarb) and Pycnogenol (maritime French pine bark). Learn about other approaches in our Guide to Menopause.