MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a possible alternative therapy for women who get “hot flashes” — and it was discovered by a University of Minnesota researcher.

Because the most common treatment for menopausal women — hormone therapy — carries certain risks, Dr. Kristin Ensrud wanted to see if commonly-prescribed antidepressants could help.

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They did — not only in lessening the severity of “hot flashes” but also in alleviating another common problem associated with menopause.

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“It was effective in reducing insomnia symptoms and improving sleep quality,” said Dr. Ensrud.

A common commercial version of the antidepressants is the prescription drug Lexapro.

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More than 200 women participated in the study.