Fezolinetant, an oral, non-hormone therapy in clinical development, offers relief for hot flashes and night sweats, which are the most common menopause-associated symptoms for which women seek treatment. About 80 percent of American women experience these symptoms.
“An effective alternative to estrogen for the treatment of hot flashes is needed to provide better care,” said Nanette Santoro, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and an author of the study published online in August by the journal Menopause. “There are some medications that can be used, but all have significant side effects and are of lesser efficacy than estrogen.”
The study reviewed the experience of 352 women with moderate to severe menopausal vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes, who were enrolled in a 12-week study that compared treatment with fezolinetant versus a placebo. The treatment was tested in a range of dosages.
“The occurrence of VMS [vasomotor symptoms] interfere with sleep, concentration, memory, work productivity, and personal relationships and has been linked to feelings of depression, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and social embarrassment/isolation,” Santoro and her co-authors write. “All of these factors contribute to the observed negative influence of VMS on psychological well-being and health-related quality of life.”
In their own words: