Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1981 Mar 15;139(6):631-5.

Objective evidence that placebo and oral medroxyprogesterone acetate therapy diminish menopausal vasomotor flushes.


The vasomotor flush (VMF) is the most common reason for menopausal women to seek hormonal therapy, but the evaluation of therapeutic regimens has been hampered by the observation that placebo therapy can decrease VMF and, until recently, by a lack of objective criteria of measurement of the VMF. Using the objective criteria of temperature elevations (TEs) and luteinizing hormone (LH) pulses, we evaluated the effect of placebo and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) on VMF. MPA and possibly also placebo were found to reduce not only the subjectively noted VMF but also the frequency of TEs recorded. In addition, MPA, but not placebo, significantly reduced the frequency and amplitude of LH pulses. Possible mechanisms of action of MPA and placebo therapy are discussed.


This article describes the effects of treatment of VMF (vasomotor flush) with MPA (medroxy-progesterone acetate) and with placebo. 6 postmenopausal women participated in the study, they were randomly assigned to take either placebo or MPA for 4 weeks; then, after a period of 6 weeks without treatment, the patients were crossed over to the alternate treatment which was continued for another 4 weeks. Each subject was observed 3 times during the period, once before treatment and on the last day of each 4 week session of therapy. Skin TE (temperature elevation) and serum LH (luteinizing hormone) pulses were measured; during the same session the patients were asked to indicate the onset of each subjectively noted VMF. Results of observations showed that MPA and possibly placebo decreased not only the number of VMFs but also the frequency of TEs recorded; MPA but not placebo reduced the frequency and amplitude of LH pulses. MPA treatment was also associated with a 92% decrease in the frequency of VMFs occurring in association with rises in temperature. The mechanism by which MPA decreases VMFs and LH pulses is not known; the same goes for the mechanism by which placebo decreases VMFs. It should be noted that long-term experiments do not confirm a placebo effect on VMFs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center