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What Are Paroxetine Mesylate Capsules Used For?

If you have hot flashes due to menopause, your healthcare provider may prescribe paroxetine mesylate capsules. This medicine is the first non-hormonal drug used for this purpose. It is thought to work by affecting a certain chemical in the body known as serotonin. While the active ingredient is also found in many antidepressants, paroxetine mesylate capsules are not used to treat mood disorders.

An Overview of Uses for Paroxetine Mesylate Capsules

Paroxetine mesylate capsules (Brisdelle™) are a prescription medication approved to treat moderate-to-severe hot flashes associated with menopause. The medicine belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
 
Hot flashes (also sometimes called hot flushes) are a sudden feeling of warmth or heat, usually in the upper part of the body, such as the face, neck, and chest area. The skin may also become reddened during a hot flash. The intense feeling of heat usually lasts between two and four minutes, is usually accompanied by sweating, and is often followed by cold shivers.
 
Most hot flashes are caused by the change in estrogen levels that occurs during menopause. In fact, hot flashes are one of the most commonly reported symptoms of menopause, occurring in about 75 percent of women.
 
It's not uncommon for women going through menopause to experience hot flashes several times a day. However, the actual frequency and severity of hot flashes can vary greatly from woman to woman. While some women might have mild hot flashes that only occur once or twice a week, others may experience frequent hot flashes that are severe enough to wake them up in the middle of the night.
 
Hot flashes are a normal part of menopause, and are not dangerous. For this reason, many healthcare providers will recommend against treatment, especially if the hot flashes are mild in nature. If left untreated, hot flashes usually go away on their own within a few years, although they can persist for up to five years. Some women find hot flashes so bothersome that they desire treatment to reduce the symptoms. When hot flashes are moderate to severe, or interfere with daily activities such as sleep, treatment may be recommended.
 
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most effective treatments for hot flashes. However, studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk for a variety of health problems, including heart disease, strokes, blood clots, and breast cancer (see Hormone Replacement Therapy for more information).
 
Paroxetine mesylate capsules are the first non-hormonal treatment approved to treat hot flashes due to menopause. It should be noted that menopause can cause other symptoms, including thinning bones that can lead to osteoporosis and vaginal dryness. Paroxetine mesylate capsules will not help to treat these other symptoms of menopause.
 
(Click Menopause Relief to learn about ways to treat other menopausal symptoms.)
 
Paroxetine mesylate capsules contain the active ingredient paroxetine. Paroxetine is also the active ingredient in several other medicines, including Paxil® (paroxetine), Paxil CR® (paroxetine controlled release), and Pexeva® (paroxetine mesylate). These medications are used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders. Paroxetine mesylate capsules contain a lower dosage of paroxetine and, therefore, should not be prescribed to treat mental health conditions.
 
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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