Does fluoxetine cause hot flashes? (+3 findings)

In this article, we are going to discuss whether or not fluoxetine causes hot flashes, studies elucidating the effect of fluoxetine on hot flashes, causes and factors contributing to hot flashes while taking fluoxetine, what to do if fluoxetine causes persistent hot flashes and possible strategies to manage fluoxetine-related hot flashes.

Does fluoxetine cause hot flashes?

Yes, fluoxetine can cause hot flashes. Hot flashes are one of the common side effects of fluoxetine. (1)

Fluoxetine is an antidepressant medication sold under the brand name Prozac, it belongs to the class of antidepressants known as the SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) that function by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. (2)

The precise mechanism by which fluoxetine induces hot flashes is not fully understood. However, it is believed to be connected to the way it modifies the brain’s serotonin levels. 

Although hot flashes are mild to moderate and usually fade away as your body adjusts to the medication, they can be irritating to some individuals. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience hot flashes while taking fluoxetine. They might reduce your medication dose or switch you to an alternative with fewer adverse events.

What does research suggest?

Few research studies have been conducted on the correlation between fluoxetine and hot flashes. However, some studies reported that hot flashes in women with a history of breast cancer can be alleviated with fluoxetine at a dose of 20 mg per day. (3)

A further study found that while taking SSRIs such as fluoxetine, a little reduction in the intensity and frequency of hot flashes was noted. (4)

The studies concluded that while fluoxetine may prevent hot flashes in certain individuals, it may potentially trigger them in others. It’s crucial to remember that this research is constrained and that other investigations are required to completely comprehend how fluoxetine affects hot flashes.

What factors can contribute to hot flashes while taking fluoxetine?

There are several factors that can contribute to hot flashes while taking fluoxetine such as: (5)

Hormonal changes: Hot flashes, especially in women going through menopause have been linked to changes in hormones like estrogen. Hot flashes may be exacerbated by fluoxetine’s potential to alter hormone levels.

Brain chemistry: By raising serotonin levels, fluoxetine modifies brain chemistry. Hot flashes may be caused by variations in serotonin levels because this hormone is involved in controlling the body temperature.

Age: The elderly especially women over 45 years are more likely to experience hot flashes.

Stress: Hot flashes can be brought on by stress (sudden sensation of heat).

Other lifestyle factors: Hot flashes can be induced by certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, and black women’s race.

What should you do if fluoxetine causes persistent hot flashes?

If fluoxetine causes persistent hot flashes, consult your healthcare practitioner about reducing your medication dose or switching to an alternative with fewer adverse effects such as: (6)

  • Paroxetine. Low-dose Paroxetine (Brisdelle) is FDA-approved for treating hot flashes.
  • Citalopram (Celexa).
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro).
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR).
  • Sertraline (Zoloft). It is an SSRI antidepressant that was shown effective in treating depression. Sertraline can occasionally cause flushing and can be well-tolerated in certain individuals than fluoxetine.

These antidepressants can be used instead of fluoxetine for treating your depressive symptoms. Moreover, these medications can sometimes be useful in treating hot flashes. However, it is important to note that every person differs in their response to different medications.

Your healthcare provider might prescribe other treatments for treating your hot flashes symptoms such as gabapentin, pregabalin, oxybutynin, or clonidine, they can be useful in treating hot flashes in certain individuals.

If your hot flashes symptoms are severe. They might prescribe hormone medications such as estrogen hormonal therapy. However, taking hormone medications is accompanied by many risks. Your healthcare provider will properly assess your condition and determine whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks, and take the best course of action accordingly.

Useful tips and strategies for managing fluoxetine-related hot flashes

There are several useful tips and strategies that can be used for managing fluoxetine-related hot flashes such as: (6)

Wear light clothes: When a heat flash occurs, wearing light, breathable clothing will help you cool down fast. 

Keep your environment cool: Staying in a cool air-conditioned environment can help reduce your hot flashes symptoms and can help you cool down.

Steer clear of hot flash triggers: Alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food can induce hot flashes while taking fluoxetine.

Employ relaxation techniques: You can maintain your composure and calmness during a hot flash by using progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing techniques.

Based on my knowledge and research, fluoxetine can cause hot flashes. In my opinion, every person differs in their response to medications, and not everyone experiences this side effect.

However, if you experience hot flashes while taking fluoxetine, consult your healthcare provider about reducing your medication dose or switching to an alternative with fewer adverse events.


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Loprinzi CL, Sloan JA, Perez EA, Quella SK, Stella PJ, Mailliard JA, et al. Phase III Evaluation of Fluoxetine for Treatment of Hot Flashes. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2002 Mar 15;20(6):1578–83. Available from:,reported%20for%20hot%20flash%20frequencies.


Shams T, Firwana B, Habib F, Alshahrani A, AlNouh B, Murad MH, et al. SSRIs for Hot Flashes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials. Journal of General Internal Medicine [Internet]. 2013 Jul 26;29(1):204–13. Available from:


Hot flashes – Symptoms and causes [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. 2018. Available from:


Hot flashes – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Available from:

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