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Clonidine, 0.05 mg twice daily, was evaluated in a multicentre, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study in 66 patients who had had menopausal flushing for less than 1 year. Although the placebo effect was substantial, clonidine reduced the frequency of attacks significantly more than did placebo. In three of the four trials the patients' comparisons of symptoms before and after crossover indicated significantly greater improvement when the crossover was from placebo to clonidine rather than the reverse. The frequency, severity and duration of attacks were reduced by clonidine in 78%, 89% and 88% of the patients respectively, and by placebo in 50%, 53% and 50%. Side effects were minimal and their pattern was the same for clonidine as for placebo. Clonidine's action as a peripheral vascular stabilizer makes it potentially useful for the treatment of menopausal flushing. It would be prudent to include clonidine at the beginning of treatment so that its efficacy could be assessed in each individual. Its use would enhance the effects of the usual management of the menopausal syndrome, which consists of explanation, reassurance and, sometimes, the use of tranquillizers. Clonidine is a symptomatic medication that makes flushing more tolerable and should reduce the number of patients who would otherwise be exposed to the risks of estrogens.