Hot news for hot flushes – there could be a new drug on the horizon.
Exciting research is taking place at Imperial College London for the hot flushers amongst us. Promising findings from an early-stage study, published in The Lancet in April 2017, offer hope to women suffering hot flushes who’d like to ideally see the back of hot flushes, or at least, reduce the number of flushes to a handful a day.
This study found a reduction in the frequency and intensity of hot flushes in 73% of the women taking part. The report’s author, Dr Julia Prague, called this a ‘game-changer’ for women experiencing more than 7 hot flushes a day. This is a ‘game’ where we say anything that will improve your quality of life is much appreciated, thank you.
The research was based on the discovery that post-menopausal women had an increased level of the hormone, neurokinin (NKB). Scientists speculated, (or did something more scientific), that blocking this hormone might reduce the frequency of hot flushes. Using the compound, MLE4901, which targets receptors in the brain to block the effects of NKB, they concluded that it ‘significantly reduced the average total number of flushes during the four-week treatment period, as well as their severity’ and ‘helped to reduce the impact of flushes on the women’s lives, improving sleep’. We call that a win-win, having fewer debilitating flushes and sleeping better!
It could be really great news for women suffering oestrogen-dependent conditions who can’t take hormone replacement therapy (HRT). MLE4901 doesn’t have the side effects associated with HRT. It’s hoped that in future, it can be prescribed not only for women who can’t take HRT, but for those who take HRT yet still experience hot flushes, and also for those who prefer not to take HRT because of safety concerns but still want to see an end to their own private sauna hell of hot flushes.
Where can you get your hands on it? Well, unfortunately for the time being you can’t. Research continues into the next phase to see if this is a safe and effective treatment in the longer term and in a larger group of women. We think it’s amazing to know that there’s ongoing research into this mysterious and miserable consequence of menopause.
As the scientists behind the study said, ‘exciting findings’. Indeed! We’ll keep you posted.