Is there a drug to stop menopause hot flushes? An update!

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The answer is, not yet, but there's hope on the horizon. We’ve been following Imperial College’s ‘game-changing’ research (their description) looking at a new class of drug, MLE490, which could end the misery of hot flushes for so many of us. Latest results show a 72% improvement in the number and intensity of hot flushes in just 3 days.

The drug works by blocking the action of the hormone neurokinin (NKB), with the compound MLE4901, targeting receptors in the brain. Don’t rush down to your doctor just yet, during testing small side effects found in the liver mean this drug isn’t being taken forward into larger trials.

But here’s the good news – two similar drugs have been developed using the same compounds, having 80-90% effectiveness in dealing with hot flushes. Research and large-scale testing is underway in the USA. It seems there’s going to be a race to get this drug to market. If drug companies needed any incentive, Dr Waljit Dhitto, one of the team behind the government-funded research, said on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, that there’s a potential market of 10 million women in the UK and 20 million women in the US. Big bucks indeed!

When can we get it? With the research and safety tests that still need to be done, Dr Dhitto thinks that the drug will be available in tablet form in about 3 years.

Those of us who suffer from hot flushes will wait with baited, albeit it hot, breath!

For more detailed information see our previous post, Hot news for hot flushes – there could be a new drug on the horizon