It looks like menopausal women may have something to look forward to when it comes to the treatment of their hot flashes. A new study has shown that a common antidepressant may help significantly reduce uncomfortable menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. For more information on this development and what it may mean for your health, keep on reading after the jump.

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In a recent study, it was found that Lexapro, a common antidepressant, can also be helpful in reducing the severity and frequency of menopausal symptoms.

Participants in the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, who took the antidepressants reported a 47% decrease in hot flashes, as well as a decrease in the severity and frequency of other symptoms like night sweats and overheating, and effects of the drug were reported almost

Though this has been known for a while in the medical community, this study just further substantiates the fact that some antidepressants may be a viable alternative to hormone therapy. Many doctors have been prescribing antidepressants “off label” for years for the treatment of these symptoms in order to avoid hormone therapy.

While hormone therapy is the only approved form of menopause treatment, it is not recommended for long-term use because it increases a woman’s risk of developing serious conditions such as heart disease, breast cancer, and other health problems.

The makers of Lexapro, a type of anti depressant know as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), has said they will not seek approval of the drug for the treatment of menopause symptoms. More research is being done on how this class of drugs can benefit menopausal women, and we may see an alternative treatment sometime in the near future.

What do you think of antidepressants being use to treat menopause symptoms like hot flashes? Would you take an “off label” medication that has been shown to help, but is not approved for, the relief of a condition? Let us know what you think, and be sure to check out the video below for more information on menopause symptoms.