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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;28 Suppl 2:7-11. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Progesterone for hot flush and night sweat treatment--effectiveness for severe vasomotor symptoms and lack of withdrawal rebound.

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Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, Endocrinology and Metabolism, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


A controlled trial recently showed that oral micronized progesterone (Progesterone, 300 mg at h.s. daily) was effective for vasomotor symptoms (VMS) in 133 healthy early postmenopausal women. Here, we present subgroup data in women with severe VMS (50 VMS of moderate-severe intensity/wk) and also 1-mo withdrawal study outcomes. Women with severe VMS (n = 46) resembled the full cohort but experienced 10 VMS/d of 3 of 4 intensity. On therapy, the progesterone VMS number (#) decreased significantly more than placebo # to 5.5/day (d) versus 8/d (ANCOVA -2.0 95% CI: -3.5 to -0.4). Just after trial mid-point, a withdrawal substudy (D/C) was added--56 women were invited and 34 (61%) took part (progesterone 17; placebo 17). Those in the D/C cohort resembled the whole cohort. On stopping, VMS gradually increased--at D/C week 4, on progesterone, VMS daily # reached 78% and significantly less than baseline (-3.0 to -0.8) but placebo VMS # did not differ from run-in. In summary, progesterone is effective for severe VMS and does not cause a rebound increase in VMS when stopped. That progesterone may be used alone for severe VMS and unlike estrogen does not appear to cause a withdrawal rebound increases VMS treatment options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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