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      Efficacy of Low-Dose Paroxetine for the Treatment of Hot Flushes in Surgical and Physiological Postmenopausal Women: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials

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          Background and Objectives: Hot flushes and sleep disturbances are the most common vasomotor symptoms (VMS) reported by postmenopausal women. Hormonal treatment is to date referred to as the gold standard approach but not suitable for all the patients. Alternative treatments are needed in case of a contraindication to menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), adverse side effects, and poor compliance. Paroxetine salt is the only nonhormonal medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the management of VMS. Nonetheless, few trials with low consensus are available about this topic. In this review, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of low-dose paroxetine therapy in the treatment of vasomotor hot flushes and night sleep disturbances in postmenopausal women. Materials and Methods: We performed an electronic search from the beginning of all databases to July 2019. All results were then limited to a randomized trial. Restrictions for language or geographic location were not utilized. Inclusion criteria were randomized clinical trials of physiological or surgical postmenopausal women experiencing hot flushes and sleep disturbances who were randomized to either low-dose paroxetine or placebo (i.e., formulations without active ingredients). The primary outcome evaluated was the mean weekly reduction of hot flushes. Results: Five randomized clinical trials, including 1482 postmenopausal women, were analyzed. Significant heterogeneity (I 2 = 90%) between studies was noted. Hot flushes episodes were significantly reduced in the treatment arm compared to placebo (mean difference (MD) −7.97 [−10.51, −5.92] episodes/week). Results on the improvement on sleep were limited by being reported in only two studies; however, no significant reduction of night-time awakenings was observed (MD, −0.40 awakenings/night [−1.38, 0.58 CI]). Conclusions: Low-dose paroxetine is an effective treatment for vasomotor menopause symptoms, including hot flushes.

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          Anxiety and depression in patients with endometriosis: impact and management challenges

          Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological diseases and affects ~10% of women in reproductive age. The most common clinical signs of endometriosis are menstrual irregularities, chronic pelvic pain (CPP), dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia and infertility. Symptoms of endometriosis often affect psychological and social functioning of patients. For this reason, endometriosis is considered as a disabling condition that may significantly compromise social relationships, sexuality and mental health. Considering this point, the aim of this narrative review is to elucidate the impact of anxiety and depression in the management of women with endometriosis. Psychological factors have an important role in determining the severity of symptoms, and women who suffer from endometriosis report high levels of anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders. In addition, endometriosis is one of the most important causes of CPP; women with endometriosis suffer from a wide range of pelvic pain such as dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, nonmenstrual (chronic) pelvic pain, pain at ovulation, dyschezia and dysuria. Several studies have underlined the influence of CPP on quality of life and psychological well-being of women with endometriosis. Data suggest that the experience of pelvic pain is an important component of endometriosis and may significantly affect emotive functioning of affected women. It has been demonstrated that high levels of anxiety and depression can amplify the severity of pain. Further studies are needed to better understand the relationship between psychological factors and perception of pain. Treatment of endometriosis may be hormonal or surgical. Surgery is the primary treatment for more severe forms of endometriosis. There are few data in the literature about the influence of psychological factors and psychiatric comorbidities on the effectiveness of treatments. It is important to evaluate the presence of previous psychiatric diseases in order to select the most appropriate treatment for the patient.
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            Paroxetine controlled release in the treatment of menopausal hot flashes: a randomized controlled trial.

            Standard therapy for hot flashes has been hormone replacement with estradiol or progestational agents, but recent data suggest that antidepressants inhibiting serotonin reuptake may also be effective. To evaluate a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (paroxetine controlled release [CR]) in treating the vasomotor symptoms displayed by a general cross-section of menopausal women. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study conducted across 17 US sites, including urban, suburban, and rural clinics. A total of 165 menopausal women aged 18 years or older experiencing at least 2 to 3 daily hot flashes and must have discontinued any hormone replacement therapy for at least 6 weeks. Women were excluded if they had any signs of active cancer or were undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. After a 1-week placebo run-in phase, study participants were randomized to receive placebo or receive 12.5 mg/d or 25.0 mg/d of paroxetine CR (in a 1:1:1 ratio) for 6 weeks. Mean change from baseline to week 6 in the daily hot flash composite score (frequency x severity). Fifty-six participants were randomly assigned to receive placebo and 51 to receive 12.5 mg/d and 58 to receive 25.0 mg/d of paroxetine CR. The mean reductions in the hot flash frequency composite score from baseline to week 6 were statistically significantly greater for those receiving paroxetine CR than for those receiving placebo. By week 6, the mean daily hot flash frequency went from 7.1 to 3.8 (mean reduction, 3.3) for those in the 12.5-mg/d and from 6.4 to 3.2 (mean reduction, 3.2) for those in the 25-mg/d paroxetine CR groups and from 6.6 to 4.8 (mean reduction, 1.8) for those in the placebo group. Mean placebo-adjusted reduction in hot flash composite scores were -4.7 (95% confidence interval, - 8.1 to -1.3; P =.007) comparing 12.5-mg/d paroxetine CR with placebo; and -3.6 (95% confidence interval, -6.8 to -0.4; P =.03) comparing 25.0-mg/d paroxetine CR with placebo. This corresponded to median reductions of 62.2% for those in the 12.5-mg/d and 64.6% for those in the 25.0-mg/d paroxetine CR groups compared with 37.8% for those in the placebo group. Paroxetine CR may be an effective and acceptable alternative to hormone replacement and other therapies in treating menopausal hot flash symptoms.
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              Low-dose paroxetine 7.5 mg for menopausal vasomotor symptoms: two randomized controlled trials.

              The efficacy and safety of low-dose paroxetine 7.5 mg for the treatment of menopausal vasomotor symptoms were evaluated in two multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 studies of 12 and 24 weeks' duration. Postmenopausal women were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive paroxetine 7.5 mg or placebo once daily. The four primary efficacy endpoints included mean changes in the frequency and severity of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms on weeks 4 and 12; an additional endpoint was persistence of treatment benefit on week 24. Five hundred ninety-one participants were randomly assigned to treatment with paroxetine 7.5 mg, and 593 participants were randomly assigned to treatment with placebo. All primary endpoints were met in the 24-week study; three of four primary endpoints were met in the 12-week study. In both studies, paroxetine 7.5 mg significantly reduced the mean weekly vasomotor symptom frequency compared with placebo on week 4 (P < 0.0001 for both studies) and week 12 (P = 0.0090, 12-wk study; P = 0.0001, 24-wk study). Mean weekly reduction in vasomotor symptom severity was significantly greater for paroxetine 7.5 mg than for placebo on week 4 (P = 0.0048) in the 12-week study and on week 4 (P = 0.0452) and week 12 (P = 0.0114) in the 24-week study. Persistence of treatment benefit was demonstrated in the 24-week study. Most treatment-emergent adverse events were mild or moderate in severity. No clinically significant changes in laboratory values or vital signs were noted, and no short-term discontinuation of symptoms followed treatment cessation. Paroxetine 7.5 mg is well-tolerated, is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of menopausal vasomotor symptoms, and demonstrates persistence of treatment benefit through 24 weeks of treatment.

                Author and article information

                Medicina (Kaunas)
                31 August 2019
                September 2019
                : 55
                : 9
                [1 ]Department of Women, Child, and General and Specialized Surgery, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 80138 Naples, Italy
                [2 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “Filippo Del Ponte” Hospital, University of Insubria, 21100 Varese, Italy
                [3 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy
                [4 ]Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, “Villa Sofia Cervello Hospital”, University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: gaetano.riemma7@ 123456gmail.com ; Tel.: +39-33848-47685
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).



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