The symptoms of menopause can often make this natural stage of life seem anything but natural. When they get in the way of everyday living, many women turn to the medical profession for help. Medications, lifestyle changes, hormone therapy and even herbal remedies can all assist in helping women deal with particularly troublesome symptoms. Prozac and menopause, for example, are starting to go together more and more.
Although Prozac and menopause isn't as common a combination as some other forms of treatment, the mix is showing signs of promise. There are some serious benefits in using Prozac over other forms of treatment, as well. As with many medications, there are some potential drawbacks, too.
Prozac itself is a well known antidepressant. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI. This medication affects brain chemicals that can become unbalanced and cause such things as depression, anxiety and other similar symptoms. It has also proven rather effective at treating hot flashes. Although Prozac can help with some of the psychological complaints involved, Prozac and menopause are normally put together because of the medication's ability to ward off hot flashes.
Those who have not undergone menopause very often do not understand the debilitating effects severe hot flashes can have on a woman. Hot flashes strike an estimated 90 percent of all women in the phase of life leading up to full menopause or shortly thereafter. They can range in their presentation from fairly mild to very severe. The symptoms include flushing, rapid heart beat, mild to intense heat, mild to severe perspiration and even cold chills once they subside. Hot flashes can last for anywhere between 30 seconds and about 30 minutes. Their frequency varies, with some women reporting frequent incidents. It is possible for hot flashes to be experienced for a year or more.
When hot flashes get in the way of everyday life, help is often sought. Doctors have at their disposal a number of different options for the treatment of hot flashes. They range from lifestyle changes and herbal remedies to medications such as hormone replacement therapy. Prozac and menopause are starting to go together more and more simply because the drug has an impact and it doesn't present quite as serious side effects as other treatment options. Prozac and menopause is often preferred over the use of hormone replacement therapy because of that treatment's link to the development of several forms of cancer.
While it does not deliver the potential risks of hormone replacement therapy, Prozac isn't without its problems either. This medication has side effects and should not be taken by people using certain medications or with some illnesses. This medication can take a while to start working, but those who use it often report it is quite effective.
The medication is not considered safe for pregnant women and is quite questionable for nursing mothers. It is also not generally recommended for those with liver or kidney disease, diabetes, drug abuse problems and epilepsy.
The potential side effects of the Prozac and menopause combination include seizure, muscle stiffness, rashes, thoughts of suicide, balance issues and even confusion and heart palpitations on the serious side. Other side effects can include such issues as nervousness, drowsiness, insomnia, flu-like symptoms, weight changes, libido decrease and dry mouth. If serious side effects are present or any of the other possibilities arise and are particularly problematic, it is suggested that medical attention be sought.
Enduring the potential symptoms of menopause isn't always easy. Some of the more troublesome symptoms can be relieved through medications such as Prozac. While there are potential side effects of this course of action, many feel it is safer for treating hot flashes than other alternatives. When hormone replacement therapy simply isn't an option, Prozac and menopause can go hand-in-hand.
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