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Pilot Evaluation of Gabapentin for Treating Hot Flashes


      To obtain pilot prospective data regarding the efficacy and tolerability of gabapentin for alleviating hot flashes.

      Patients and Methods

      This prospective single-arm clinical trial was conducted between July 26, 2001, and November 30, 2001. Patients underwent a baseline week and then 4 weeks of gabapentin treatment, with increasing doses during the first 3 weeks, from 300 to 600 to 900 mg/d. Data were obtained primarily from patient-completed questionnaires.


      Data from 20 evaluable women (of 24 entered in the trial) were available. Four patients discontinued use of gabapentin for perceived drug-related untoward symptoms, primarily related to light-headedness and dizziness. The 16 patients who completed this clinical trial had a mean reduction in hot flash frequency, in the fourth treatment week compared to the baseline week, of 66%. Their corresponding hot flash score (frequency times average severity) reduction was 70%. Additionally, patients who completed the 4 treatment weeks had a strong tendency to report an improvement in several other symptoms.


      Although a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial should be conducted to better elucidate the efficacy and toxicity of gabapentin in patients with hot flashes, the available data suggest that gabapentin is a reasonable treatment to consider in patients with hot flashes if they do not wish to use hormonal therapy.
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      Linked Article

      • Hot Flashes: The Old and the New, What Is Really True?
        Mayo Clinic ProceedingsVol. 77Issue 11
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          Estradiol levels decline intermittently during the perimenopausal transition and permanently after menopause. As a consequence, women experience symptoms related to urogenital atrophy, vasomotor instability, neurocognitive dysfunction, accelerated bone loss, and cardiovascular disease. For some women, vasomotor instability and associated insomnia are disabling.
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