Journal of the American Medical Association Insights
JAMA, October 3, 2023
A Review Article by 3 Medical Experts from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of San Francisco, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Washington School of Medicine
What’s Interesting about this article?
- Vasomotor symptoms of night sweats and hot flashes are common during menopause and result in diminished quality of life, work productivity, mood, and sleep. Symptoms may persist for 7-10 years with an average of 4-5 episodes per day.
- Hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms was approved by the FDA in 1942 but is now prescribed less frequently because of concerns over long-term side effects.
- The first non-hormonal therapy was approved in 2012 and led to a variety of anti-depressant like drugs for vasomotor symptoms. The FDA recently approved a new drug fezolinetant, an NK3R antagonist, as a non-hormonal treatment.
- The approval of only the second non-hormonal drug for vasomotor symptoms in the last ten years is an indication of the difficulty in finding replacements for traditional hormonal therapy, which is highly effective for most women. Wholesale cost of the new medication is $550.00 for a 30- day supply.
- A variety of non-pharmaceutical compounds or “nutraceuticals” are available for night sweats and hot flashes, but none have been proven to be highly effective.
- Women experiencing vasomotor symptoms, either prior to or during menopause, should discuss risks and benefits of traditional hormonal therapy vs new alternatives with their own physician.
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