Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of citalopram for climacteric symptoms and to assess the combined effect of citalopram and hormone therapy (HT) on climacteric symptoms in women inadequately responsive to HT alone.
Design: The study included 100 postmenopausal women who were allocated into one of four groups: (1) citalopram, (2) placebo, (3) citalopram + HT, or (4) placebo + HT. The women who were unable or unwilling to take HT were randomly placed in groups 1 and 2. The women who were inadequately responsive to HT were randomly placed in groups 3 and 4. The initial dose of citalopram was 10 mg/day in groups 1 and 3. After 1 week, the dose was increased to 20 mg/day. After starting the medication, follow-up visits took place during the fourth and eighth weeks of treatment. During the first and eighth weeks, women completed two questionnaires: a modified Kupperman index and the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire.
Results: Mean hot flash scores significantly improved in all groups (P < 0.05). The reduction rates were 37% in group 1, 13% in group 2, 50% in group 3, and 14% in group 4. Psychosocial complaints and mean values on the Kupperman index significantly decreased in all groups (P < 0.05). Physical well-being significantly improved in groups 1, 3, and 4 (P < 0.05). The decrease in all scores was significantly greater in groups 1 and 3 compared to groups 2 and 4 (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Citalopram is an effective alternative treatment option for patients who do not want to take HT for the alleviation of climacteric symptoms. Adjuvant treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor increases the effectiveness of HT for the treatment of climacteric symptoms in women who had responded inadequately to HT.