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Q:  I have severe hot flashes and burning feet. They started after I went off HRT several years ago. My doctor has tried several things and I am now having success with 10 Miligrams of Lexapro a day. I just can't figure how the burning feet has to do with hormones. I am not depressed and would like to go off the Lexapro, but can't because of the burning feet problem at night. I think the hot flashes are a little better, but the feet aren't . Have you ever heard of this problem?

A:   Burning feel is not a common complaint in menopause but feelings of warmth are, and so are all sorts of strange sensations. This is because lack of estrogen makes the spinal cord and brain less able to filter out uncomfortable sensations. Estrogen usually takes away these discomforts and some antidepressants help also. This is a separate effect of the latter medications and not related to their effect on depression. In general the commonly used antidepressants such as Lexapro are quite safe.

This matter is further discussed in my recent book, The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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