In news that comes as a breath of cool, fresh air for those among us awoken by night sweats and hot flashes, a new drug has been found to lessen those dreaded symptoms of menopause by as much as 73 percent.
A trial out of the Imperial College in London discovered that women suffering seven or more hot flashes in a day could see this near-three-quarter improvement with the help of a new drug compound called MLE4901.
"For day-to-day living and work, that's a significant impact on quality of life. If we can reduce flushing by 73 percent, it's a game-changer for those patients," said lead professor Waljit Dhillo from the Department of Medicine at Imperial.
Menopause marks the end of the menstruation cycle in women. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, however it can occur earlier as premature or early menopause.
The drugs, which work by blocking certain receptors in the brain, may offer a favorable alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has been found to increase breast cancer and blood clot risk.
"A lot of women are choosing not to take HRT because it is estrogen-based. This new drug is a pill which blocks the NK3 receptor, so it won't have the side effects associated with estrogen,” added Professor Dhillo.
Dr. Julia Prague, first author of the study, says participants felt “human again” after finding a new way to cope with the symptoms.
“It was so exciting to see the lives of those who participated in the study become transformed when their flushes improved once taking the new drug," she said. They could sleep through the night and be less embarrassed in the daytime; they told me they felt 'human again'."
A larger-scale and long-term trial is now set to commence.
Visit the Better Health website or make an appointment with your doctor for more information.
This post was written by Katie Skelly. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.