Potential role of gabapentin and extended- release gabapentin in the management of menopausal hot flashes
Manisha Yadav, Judith Volkar
Center for Specialized Women’s Health, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Abstract: About 80% of postmenopausal women experience vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats – symptoms that are associated with sleep disruption and can lead to fatigue and mood changes. Moreover, hot flashes can be embarrassing for women, causing difficulties at work and in their social lives. Many therapies have been advocated for relief of vasomotor symptoms, but only hormone therapy has been US Food and Drug Administration approved. However, after the Women's Health Initiative Study suggested that there was a correlation between hormone therapy and increased risk for breast cancer and cardiovascular events, many women stopped taking hormone therapy, and many do not want to initiate it. Hormone therapy is also contraindicated in certain women, such as those with a history of hormone-stimulated cancer like breast and uterine cancer. Gabapentin (Neurontin) has shown efficacy in relieving vasomotor symptoms and is used as off-label for this indication. A new extended-release formulation of gabapentin has also shown efficacy in treating hot flashes and improving sleep quality with possibly fewer side effects than regular gabapentin.
Keywords: Hot flushes, vasomotor symptoms, postmenopausal, hormone-sensitive cancer, non-hormonal therapy, gastric-retentive, Breeze
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