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Ann Pharmacother. 2011 Mar;45(3):388-94. doi: 10.1345/aph.1P366. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Use of gabapentin for the management of natural or surgical menopausal hot flashes.

Author information

1
Harrison School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Auburn University, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the literature examining the use of gabapentin for treatment of hot flashes during natural or surgically induced menopause.

DATA SOURCES:

A literature search was conducted via PubMed, MEDLINE, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1948-November 2010) using the search terms gabapentin, hot flashes, and menopause. Literature was limited to English-language, human studies. Additional material was identified by reviewing reference citations of the articles retrieved.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION:

Studies with data describing gabapentin for hot flash management during natural or surgically induced menopause were included. Any studies including women with a history of breast cancer were excluded. Four studies met the inclusion criteria.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Gabapentin significantly decreased hot flash frequency and hot flash composite scores by 45-71% from baseline in the 4 trials included in this review. In 2 of the trials, gabapentin was comparable to hormone replacement therapy (71% vs 72%, respectively, p=0.63) in decreasing hot flash composite scores at the end of 12 weeks and in decreasing hot flash frequency at the end of 8 weeks (58.9% vs 70.1%, p>0.05). In all trials, the most common adverse effects with gabapentin were somnolence/drowsiness, unsteadiness, and dizziness. These adverse effects were most pronounced during the first 1-2 weeks of therapy, but resolved and were similar to those reported with placebo by week 4. These trials were short (<12 weeks) and had small sample sizes; however, their results appear to show that gabapentin is safe and effective for short-term treatment of hot flashes in women who have entered menopause either naturally or surgically.

CONCLUSIONS:

Gabapentin 600-2400 mg/day in divided doses may be a viable option for treating hot flashes in menopausal women who do not want to use hormone replacement therapy.

PMID:
21343402
DOI:
10.1345/aph.1P366
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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