Could SSRIs be used to manage hot flashes in men on ADT?
Posted Jan 19 2011 12:00am
There are new data showing that the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro/Forest) a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor or SSRI can significantly reduce hot flashes among women undergoing menopause. If that is the case, one wonders whether drugs of this class might have a similar impact on hot flashes in men on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
According to the news story on Reuters yesterday evening, 205 healthy women (each of whom was having an average of 10 hot flashes a day) were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to test treatment with escitalopram compared to a placebo. Among the women who were treated with escitalopram, 55 percent had a reduction of 50 percent or more in the number/frequency of their hot flashes. This compared to 36 percent having a reduction of 50 percent or more among the women taking a placebo. The hot flashes returned within 2-3 weeks of stopping the antidepressant.
The data from this trial are published by Freeman et al. in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Obviously, it is completely unknown at this time whether a similar response might be observed in men receiving ADT.