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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2009 Mar;25(3):166-74. doi: 10.1080/09513590802549866.

Current alternative and complementary therapies used in menopause.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Liverpool Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the efficacy and safety of common complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies used to relieve the menopausal symptoms.

DESIGN:

Comprehensive literature search was conducted through the databases Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane, AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine), NCCAM (The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) to identify relevant monographs in English language.

RESULTS:

Studies have shown that some therapies such as clonidine, selective serotonin receptor inhibitors (SSRIs) and gabapentin are effective in decreasing the degree and frequency of somatic symptoms in menopause, while phytooestrogens and black cohosh have shown mixed results. Use of Ginseng, evening primrose, Dong Quai or vitamin E appears not to be efficacious for the relieving hot flushes. Other effects of these therapies including possible improvements in mood are yet to be substantiated.

INCLUSION CRITERIA:

All available human complementary medicine studies on menopausal women with regard to the relief of menopausal symptoms.

EXCLUSION CRITERIA:

Studies not meeting the inclusion criteria, published in languages other than English or animal studies.

CONCLUSION:

There is a general lacking of longer-term follow-up beyond the trial lengths of 6-12 weeks in the use of CAM, although women may be taking these medications for many years. Well-designed, randomised control trials are needed to elucidate the true effect of these therapies above the placebo effect.

PMID:
19347706
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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