Non-Hormonal Oral Therapy

Non-hormonal oral medicines are medicines that don’t contain hormones. They can improve symptoms of the menopause in some women, but generally are not as effective as HRT. They can be particularly useful for women when HRT is contraindicated, or for women who would prefer not to take HRT. These include medications which affect chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and gabapentinoids which are thought to act on calcium ion channels thereby affecting nerve impulses. These medications are licenced for other conditions but were noticed to improve hot flushes and night sweats in some women by an effect on the area of the brain which controls heat production and loss called the thermoregulatory centre.

Other medications which can improve symptoms in some women include clonidine and propranolol. All these medications have their own individual potential complications and side-effects.