What it is: Venlafaxine is a non-hormonal prescription serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that, at low doses, is prescribed to treat hot flashes and night sweats. Venlafaxine works by modulating your brain’s serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which are believed to play a role in temperature regulation. Through this mechanism, venlafaxine is a potential non-hormonal alternative treatment for your hot flashes and night sweats.
At higher doses, venlafaxine is prescribed to treat anxiety and depression. Venlafaxine is an off-label, available treatment for your hot flashes and night sweats. It is often used if you are taking tamoxifen, a treatment for hormone-positive, early stage breast cancer.
How it works: Taken orally, venlafaxine inhibits serotonin and norepinephrine, thereby making them more available to bind to receptors in your brain. Like paroxetine, this process is how venlafaxine is believed to improve your body’s ability to regulate its temperature and potentially reduce hot flashes and night sweats.
What the research says: A 2011 study found that venlafaxine reduced hot flashes up to 61% in women.
Brand name: Effexor; Evernow uses the generic venlafaxine.
Range of dosage: 37.5 mg orally/day
Safety information: If you have moderate-to-severe kidney or liver disease, take MAOIs, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, venlafaxine may not be right for you. You should speak to your in-person care provider to determine your best treatment options. To learn more about the risks and benefits of Venlafaxine and to read the boxed warning, see this Effexor safety information.