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There are many ways to manage hot flashes. First, there are lifestyle changes that may help, including

  • taking steps to cool yourself down, including dressing in removable layers, carrying a portable fan, and drinking cold drinks

  • avoiding food and drinks that can trigger hot flashes, such as alcohol and caffeine

  • quitting smoking if you smoke

  • losing weight if you are overweight

Some women also find that meditation can help with hot flashes.

Medication is an option too. Taking estrogen (a type of hormone therapy) has been shown to be the most effective treatment for the relief of hot flashes and night sweats. Other medications may help with hot flashes as well. These include some antidepressants, an antiseizure and nerve pain medication called gabapentin, a blood pressure medication called clonidine, and medications that are sometimes used in breast cancer treatment, such as tamoxifen. Talk with your ob-gyn about options that are right for you.

Plants and herbs that have been used for relief of menopause symptoms include soy, black cohosh, and Chinese herbal remedies. Only a few of these substances have been studied for safety and effectiveness. Also, the way that these products are made is not regulated. There is no guarantee that the product contains safe ingredients or effective doses of the substance. If you take one of these products, be sure to tell your ob-gyn.

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Published: October 2020

Last reviewed: October 2020

Copyright 2020 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid to patients and sets forth current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care, nor does it comprise all proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for a treating clinician’s independent professional judgment. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.