In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out if two medications, gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) helped relieve symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats in postmenopausal women and women with breast cancer receiving hormonal therapy. The study found that gabapentin reduced the frequency of hot flushes in these women.
Menopause can be a difficult time for some women. Often, women experience symptoms such as hot flushes (or hot flashes) and night sweats. Women with breast cancer treated with hormonal therapy can also experience hot flushes.
Historically, these symptoms have been treated with hormone replacement therapy. However, there is evidence that hormone replacement therapy can cause or aggravate heart disease and breast cancer. Gabapentin and pregabalin are medications that may help relieve the symptoms of menopause with fewer side effects. It is not known how effective these medications are when compared to other therapies.
Methods & findings
This study analyzed the results from 21 smaller studies. Overall, 3519 patients who were experiencing symptoms of menopause were included. Women in the studies were randomly assigned to receive treatment with gabapentin, pregabalin, or something else (control group). Most of the women were treated for 12 weeks.
Patients treated with gabapentin had a reduction in hot flush events and hot flush severity than those treated with placebo. Both menopausal women and patients with breast cancer benefitted from gabapentin treatment. No difference in reduction of hot flush severity was found between gabapentin and antidepressants. The trials comparing pregabalin were small and the results were contrary.
The patients treated with gabapentin were 4.45 times more likely to experience the side effect of dizziness. The patients treated with gabapentin were 3.29 times more likely to experience the side effect of drowsiness.
The bottom line
The study concluded that treating hot flush symptoms with gabapentin may be beneficial for women going through menopause or those with breast cancer treated with hormonal therapy.
The fine print
This study looked at the results of smaller studies with different protocols. The evidence for the effectiveness of pregabalin was not clear in this study.
Published By :
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dec 20, 2019
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