TODAY | June 30, 2013
>>> ever the food and drug administration has approved a medication for hot flashes that does not involve hormone therapy . janet shamlian reports.
>> reporter: they are the most common symptom of menopause, one that makes women feel like a raging furnace. intense heat that can cause an erratic heartbeat. the result of changing hormones. some women have more than a dozen a day for years.
>> when women have hot flashes they feel irritable. they feel sleep deprived, annoyed.
>> reporter: new help for women who suffer from them. the fda has just approved the first nonwho ahormonal drug treatment called brizdel. primarily an antidepressant similar to paxil. but the treatment may not be a cure-all. in fact the decision came after an advisory committee voted against approval. brisdellest was slightly more effe effective than a placebo. women having ten a day had six fewer after 12 weeks on the drug. patients taking a placebo had four or five fewer.
>> it's not taking away the underlying physiologic reason a woman is having a hot flash . it's likely affecting her response and the results of the hot flash over a long period of time.
>> reporter: some 24 million american women suffer from hot flashes , an estimated two-thirds are doing nothing to combat them. no word on how much brisdelle will cost when avail nbl november. for "today," janet shamlian , nbc news.