Though there are no drugs that can stop or prevent menopause, there are medications that can help alleviate symptoms associated with this time in your life.
Estrogen and Progestin
The hormones estrogen and progestin are used to treatment menopausal symptoms. The treatment is typically administered for a short-term period as risks have been uncovered with long-term use. Some combinations available on the market include:
To relieve symptoms such as vaginal dryness, physical discomfort during intercourse, and problems with the urinary tract, your doctor may prescribe a vaginal suppository, ring, or cream. These are used to deliver small doses of estrogen locally to the vagina. They include:
- Ortho Dienestrol
Low-Dose Birth Control Pills
Low-dose oral contraceptives may be prescribed during perimenopause to help control heavy, frequent, or irregular menstrual periods. They can also help relieve hot flashes. Examples of low-dose birth control pills include:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants, can aid in reducing mood swings in some menopausal women. Low-dose antidepressants have also been known to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes. Examples of SSRIs include:
- citalopram (Celexa)
- fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
This drug has been approved to treat seizures but has also been effective in reducing hot flashes.
- gabapentin (Neurontin)
High Blood Pressure Medication
High blood pressure medication may reduce the number of hot flashes you have, but unpleasant side effects are common.
- clonidine (Catapres)
Osteoporosis, or bone weakness, is a common menopause complication. Shown to help reduce bone loss and the risk of fractures, these are nonhormonal medication used to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
- alendronate (Fosamax)
- risedronate (Actonel)
- ibandronate (Boniva)
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs)
These drugs produce a similar effect to estrogen on bone density without some of the risks of estrogen.
- raloxifene (Evista)
This treatment can help relieve vaginal dryness, discomfort during intercourse, and some urinary problems. The estrogen may be administered using a vaginal tablet, ring, or cream.
- estradiol (Alora, Elestrin)
- estrogen (Femtrace)