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Menopause Hot Flashes could be helped by taking Gabapentin

June 20th, 2006

Menopause Hot Flashes could be helped by taking Gabapentin

Knowmenopause.com website

Gabapentin has been used to help in the treatment for menopausal hot flashes.  Gebapentin is used to treat migraine headaches.  Pfizer, who is the manufacturer of gabapentin, doesn't comment on off label use of drugs.  Using gebapentin for treating menopausal hot flashes is an off label use, but has been used as an alternative to the treatment of hot flashes compared to estrogen hormone therapy.

One research study looked at the alternatives therapies available for the treatment of hot flashes.  The researcher concluded with the following statement:


“Despite increasing interest in therapies for menopausal hot flashes that avoid use of estrogen, the efficacy and safety of other options currently are not well supported. The SSRIs or SNRIs, clonidine, and gabapentin provide some evidence of efficacy. However, effects are less than those for estrogen therapy, few trials have been published and most have methodological deficiencies, and generalizability beyond the small clinical populations studied could be limited. Adverse effects and cost may prohibit use for many women. Although these therapies may be most useful for highly symptomatic women who cannot take estrogen, they are not optimal choices for most women,” said Heidi D. Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., of the Oregon Health and Science University and Providence Health System, Portland, Oregon in a study that was first reported in the May 3rd issue of JAMA.


WCCO news reported that one person with breast cancer that had hot flashes was prescribed to take 900 milligram dose of gabapentin which reduced her hot flashes to around 50 percent.  Dr. Pandya and colleagues completed a study with the National Cancer Institute.  Women that had breast cancer and hot flashes were helped by taking gabapentin.  The hot flashes did not disappear altogether but the symptoms were reduced and so was the duration.

Another study conducted by Dr. Wulf Utian from the North Amercian Menopause Society claims that gabapentin hasn’t been any better than a placebo.  However when WCCO asked him, he did say that gabapentin might be helpful for some patients that are not able to take estrogen hormone therapy might benefit.


A website called knowmenopause.com is an informative site that helps educate you about menopause and the treatments that are currently available.  They show the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy and give you the information that you should discuss with your doctor.  The website also discusses symptoms as well as alternative treatment options by medical doctors.

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Nicole Wilson
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