As mentioned, Brisdelle belongs to a class of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs work to increase serotonin activity by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the small space between the cells in the body.
Serotonin has many functions in the body, including effects on mood and behavior. It is unknown how Brisdelle works to reduce hot flashes, but it is likely related to the drug's effects on serotonin. It is thought that changes in serotonin levels somehow contribute to the development of hot flashes during menopause.
Brisdelle's ability to reduce hot flashes is independent of its effects on mood. This is the reason the doses used to treat hot flashes are lower than those that would be needed to treat depression or anxiety.
This drug is not approved for use in children. It is only approved for use in women who are having hot flashes due to menopause.
Older adults can use this medication. However, there were not enough individuals over the age of 65 years old to determine if they respond to or tolerated the medication any differently than individuals younger than age 65. However, older adults may have a higher risk for developing low blood sodium levels (hyponatremia) during Brisdelle treatment and, therefore, may need to be monitored more closely.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for something other than the condition discussed in this article. This would be known as an "off-label" use. At this time there are no well-accepted off-label uses for Brisdelle.