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Comment & Response |

Concern About the Use of Venlafaxine to Treat Vasomotor Symptoms

Shi-Sheng Zhou, MD1; Yong-Zhi Lun, PhD1; Da Li, PhD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Medical College, Dalian University, Dalian, China
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):657-658. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7988.
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To the Editor In a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Joffe et al1 report the results of a 3-arm, double-blind trial randomizing healthy perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with bothersome vasomotor symptoms (VMS) to low-dose estradiol and venlafaxine. Their findings contribute to a better understanding of the differences between estrogen therapy and venlafaxine therapy. However, there is a concern about the use of venlafaxine to treat VMS. It is well known that menopause is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in women in the United States.2 Thus, the blood pressure–increasing effect of venlafaxine, observed by Joffe et al1 and others,3 may potentiate the menopausal risk for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, the authors did not address this potential concern.


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April 1, 2015
Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc; Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD; Lee Cohen, MD
1Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts2Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts3Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
4MsFLASH Data Coordinating Center, Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington5Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, University of California, San Diego
3Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):658-659. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7997.
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