Off label drug use means prescribing a drug for a condition for which it has not officially received FDA approval. Listed below are several off-label drugs that are currently being studied and used to treat menopause symptoms.
- Antidepressants—prescription antidepressant medication may be able to help with the menopausal symptoms of mood swings, hot flashes, depression and irritability. Some of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) recommended include venlafaxine, paroxetine, escitalopram and fluoxetine. NOTE: On June 28, 2013, the FDA announced approval of Brisdelle, a low dose paroxetine pill to reduce hot flashes.
- Gabapentin—An anticonvulsant drug used to control seizures. Gabapentin may also lower the number of hot flashes each day and the intensity of the hot flashes, although how it works is not fully understood.
- Clonidine—a blood pressure medication available in pill or patch form that reduces the pressure of blood flow through the artery. Clonidine may relieve or reduce hot flashes for some women.
Researchers are also exploring the use of nerve-blocking injections into the neck as an alternative treatment for severe hot flashes that shows promise.