Desvenlafaxine for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of efficacy and safety

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Mar;200(3):238.e1-238.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.10.057. Epub 2009 Jan 24.


Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the efficacy and safety of desvenlafaxine (administered as desvenlafaxine succinate) for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms.

Study design: This was a 26 week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 567 postmenopausal women (mean age, 53.7 years; time since natural menopause, 4.8 years) experiencing 50 or more hot flushes (HFs) per week, randomly assigned to desvenlafaxine (100 or 150 mg) or placebo. Change from baseline in average daily number of moderate to severe HFs and average daily HF severity were compared with placebo at weeks 4, 12, and 26.

Results: A significantly greater decrease from baseline in number of HFs occurred at weeks 4 and 12 with 100 and 150 mg desvenlafaxine compared with placebo (week 12 reductions: 60%, 66%, and 47%, respectively; all P < or = .002). Only the 150 mg dose showed significant improvement from baseline at 26 weeks compared with placebo (week 26 reductions: 61%, 69%, and 51%, respectively), although the study was not powered to demonstrate efficacy beyond the initial 12 weeks of therapy. The average daily severity decreased significantly more at weeks 4 and 12 with desvenlafaxine compared with placebo (all P < or = .002). Significantly more desvenlafaxine-treated subjects than placebo-treated subjects discontinued because of adverse events during week 1 only.

Conclusion: Desvenlafaxine is an effective treatment for menopausal HFs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cyclohexanols / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclohexanols / adverse effects
  • Desvenlafaxine Succinate
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Menopause / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Placebos
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasomotor System / drug effects


  • Cyclohexanols
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
  • Placebos
  • Desvenlafaxine Succinate