MAY 2008

We encourage your comments and ideas. We cannot, however, answer any personal health-related inquiries.


Five Ways to Fix a Hot Flash

The following hot flash fixes are a good addition to our Change One Thing Challenge. Through this program, NAMS encourages women to make a positive change in their lives. We provide changes to acquire healthy habits and you just make them. It’s that simple!

Start with any one of the following five ways to fix a flash:

1. Cool herbs
Cool down mild hot flashes with black cohosh. At least one supplement brand of this herb (Remifemin) has been found effective for reducing hot flashes in some studies. Some women taking two tablets (40 mg) per day for 8 to 12 weeks have reported noticeable improvements. However, not all studies on Remifemin are positive, and other types of black cohosh have not been found to be effective.

2. Cool home remedies
Want to do something about hot flashes? Take actions like:

  • Dress in layers, use a fan, and sleep in a cool room.
  • Exercise regularly. This reduces stress and promotes better, more restorative sleep.
  • Breathe slowly, deeply, and from the abdomen. Try this “paced” respiration when a hot flash is starting to “scare it away.” 
  • Wash your hands in cold water during or after a hot flash -- this will cool you down a bit.
  • Put an ice pack under your pillow and when you wake with a hot flash, turn the pillow over to lie on the cool side.

3. Cool sleep 
Dress for the occasion with hot flash sleepwear. With special nightgowns and pillowcases that pull moisture and perspiration away from the skin, women won’t be waking up freezing cold after a bout of night sweats.

4. Cool therapies
For moderate to severe hot flashes, ask your clinician about low-dose, prescription hormone therapy. Literally hundreds of studies have proven that these government-approved pills and patches remain the most effective treatment for hot flashes. A short-term course of therapy could be just enough to control hot flashes while keeping any risks low.

5. Antidepressants
Prescription antidepressants in the following dosages have also been shown to provide some relief for hot flashes: venlafaxine (Effexor; 25 to 150 mg/d), fluoxetine (Prozac; 20 mg/d for four weeks), and paroxetine (Paxil; 10 to 20 mg/d).

Last reviewed: May 2008


“For expert, unbiased, and timely information about women’s health in menopause and beyond, Menopause Flashes is exactly where you want to be.”
-- NAMS Board of Trustees


"Consider participating in our Change One Thing Challenge. The way we look at it, our bodies are already changing, so why not join in and change our outlooks and our habits. Change one thing this month -- and every month -- and see how that one small effort can be the beginning of something quite substantial. "

—Libby Contestabile,
Marcie K. Richardson,
Menopause Flashes



This e-newsletter, developed under the direction of the Consumer Education Committee
of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), provides current information,
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The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)
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Mayfield Heights, OH 44124, USA