Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gabapentin cools hot flashes as well as estrogen

04.07.2006
Rochester continues search for alternative menopause treatments

University of Rochester researchers, who have been investigating new therapies for hot flashes for several years, report in the July Obstetrics and Gynecology journal that the seizure drug gabapentin is as effective as estrogen, which used to be the gold standard treatment for menopause symptoms.

Estrogen is no longer the preferred therapy because recent, large studies have shown that the hormone increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease for some women. Given that news, millions of women have abandoned hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and are seeking other ways to ease symptoms. So-called natural remedies such as soy, herbal products or acupuncture have not proven safe or effective at this point.

The latest Rochester study is the first to compare gabapentin and estrogen head-to-head against a placebo. Although it showed a substantial placebo effect similar to other menopause studies – women taking the sugar pill reported a 54-percent reduction in hot flashes – the women taking gabapentin and estrogen reported even better results, with a 71 percent to 72 percent decline in symptoms.

"Gabapentin does appear to be as effective as estrogen," said lead author Sireesha Y. Reddy, M.D., assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "Until now its efficacy relative to estrogen was unknown."

Approximately 75 percent of postmenopausal women between the ages of 35 and 60 experience hot flashes. Gabapentin (sold under the trade name Neurontin) was approved by the FDA in 1994 to treat epileptic seizures but has been used off-label for years to treat headaches, shingles pain and other ailments. Scientists hypothesize that gabapentin may reduce hot flashes by regulating the flow of calcium in and out of cells, which is one mechanism for controlling body temperature.

An expert panel on menopause convened by the National Institutes of Health last year cautioned against the tendency to use treatments with scant safety data, and concluded that nothing to date was as effective as estrogen therapy although more research was needed.

In the latest study, Reddy and colleagues enrolled 60 women in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for 12 weeks. Initially the researchers received more than 1,500 calls from women who wanted to participate, but after screening the callers to meet the study's protocol, the number was whittled to 60, with 53 women complying with every step.

They were randomly divided into three groups: 20 women received gabapentin at 2,400 mg per day and a daily placebo or fake estrogen pill; 20 received estrogen in the form of Premarin at 0.625 mg per day and a fake gabapentin pill; 20 received sugar pills resembling gabapentin and estrogen. The women recorded the frequency and severity of their hot flashes in diaries.

Results were tabulated using two statistical methods to compare the women's hot flash reports throughout the 12-week period with their baseline symptoms. Doctors did find that women who took gabapentin complained more often of headaches, dizziness or disorientation. Researchers believe that slowly ramping up the medication and taking it with meals can alleviate the side effects.

Leslie Orr | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>