Navigation Links
Hot Flashes in Men Treated for Prostate Cancer Reduced by Non-hormonal Drug

CHICAGO -- Low doses of a drug used to prevent epileptic seizures and treat nerve pain caused by shingles, considerably reduces hot flashes in patients undergoing anti-hormonal treatment, or androgen-deprivation therapy, for prostate cancer. This is the result of a study carried out by North Central Cancer Treatment Group researchers based at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

In presenting results of a 223-patient, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Mayo Clinic investigators report that the drug gabapentin reduced the frequency and the intensity of hot flashes by up to 46 percent in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy. The men who received gabapentin reported fewer side effects than those receiving a placebo tablet, the researchers say.

Many men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy suffer debilitating hot flashes, but until now the only therapeutic agents proven to provide relief are androgen-originating hormones, some of which can actually fuel their cancer. So any symptom relief these men get comes with worry about new cancer growth.

"To my knowledge, this is the first nonhormonal treatment of hot flashes in men, where results from a placebo-controlled trial are positive enough to support that a nonhormonal medication can be used to help some of our patients," says the studys lead investigator, Mayo Clinic oncologist Charles Loprinzi, M.D.

He adds that hot flashes in patients receiving androgen-deprivation therapy can be quite severe. Overall, between 60 percent and 80 percent of these patients suffer from hot flashes, Dr. Loprinzi says, and in this clinical trial, about 40 percent of participants had hot flashes for longer than nine months and a similar percentage reported having at least 10 hot flashes a day.

Because gabapentin works on the central nervous system, its function may be similar to some anti depressants that are prescribed to reduce hot flashes in women entering menopause, he says. "But we dont understand exactly how any of these drugs work to reduce hot flashes," says Dr. Loprinzi.

Gabapentin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat epileptic seizures in 1994, and pain from shingles in 2002. The ability of gabapentin to reduce hot flashes was first detected when it was being used for other reasons. Since then, several clinical trials testing gabapentin in women found that a dose of about 900 milligrams a day decreased hot flashes by about half -- the same dose and a similar degree of effectiveness discovered in Dr. Loprinzis clinical trial.

Men participating in this study had a mean age of 70, and suffered with hot flashes occurring at least 14 times a week. They were randomized into four groups. Over 28 days, one group was given placebo pills, another received a 300 mg/d (milligrams a day) tablet of gabapentin, a third group received an escalating dose of gabapentin that reached 600 mg/d, and the fourth groups dose reached 900 mg/d. The study was blinded: physicians and patients did not know which pills contained the active agent.

Using a scale from 1 to 4, patients recorded the daily number of mild, moderate, severe, and very severe hot flashes. Researchers found that median hot flash frequency and score decreased between 22 percent to 27 percent in the placebo group, 23 percent to 30 percent in the 300 mg/d group, 32 percent to 34 percent in the 600 mg/d group, and 44 percent to 46 percent in the 900 mg/d gabapentin arm.

The highest dose used in the study was less than one-third of the dose that can be used to treat epileptic seizures, Dr. Loprinzi says, leaving room for possible improvements in effect against hot flashes with an increase in dosage. His research team may explore that idea in the future.

Women can develop hot flashes during menopause because of the suddenness with which their ovaries stop producing estrogen. Similarly, a sudden loss of testosterone in men, from androgen deprivation therapy, can also result in hot flashes. (Testosterone is part of a class of compounds known as androgens, which are largely steroid hormones. This class of compounds also includes the precursors to estrogen.) In general, men dont develop hot flashes because their production of steroid hormones gradually tapers off as they age, Dr. Loprinzi says. But the dramatic decrease in testosterone with prostate cancer treatment can cause hot flashes.

The moderate ability of gabapentin to reduce hot flashes is less than hormonal therapies provide, he adds. But many prostate cancer patients dont use hormonal treatments because of fear that their hormone-sensitive cancer will recur, he says, or because some therapies, such as estrogen, produce unwanted side effects, such as growth of breast tissue.

"This [gabapentin] provides an immediate clinical option that has not been previously available for treatment of hot flash side effects, and it is a welcome one," Dr. Loprinzi says.


Related medicine news :

1. Antidepressant Helps Relieve Hot Flashes
2. Insight for Hot Flashes In Postmenopausal Women
3. Long Term Mediation Not Advisable To Treat Hot Flashes
4. Women With Severe Hot Flashes May Have Increased Chronic Sleep Problem
5. Hot Flashes Could Be Minimized By Rhubarb Extract
6. Black Cohosh Does Not Treat Hot Flashes
7. Hot Flashes in Women Linked to High Blood Pressure
8. Men too Experience Hot Flashes Similar to Women
9. Hot Flashes: Studies Explore the Various Possibilities Involved
10. FDA Approves Divigel(R) for Treatment of Hot Flashes Linked With Menopause
11. Older Breast Cancer Patients Can Be Effectively Treated With Chemotherapy
Post Your Comments:

(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Trustify is proud to announce the success of the seventh ... organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. , Trustify and Becky’s Fund have joined forces ... of domestic violence. Trustify is also proud to announce the launch of the company’s ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Henderson, ... Tennessee to receive Gigabit Internet through a partnership this year with Aeneas Internet ... Henderson is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs who want to build a business. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an ... has filed a discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ... Care Act (ACA) plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the denial ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Speech and ... believe that with innovative technologies and under the right circumstances, these practices can ... benefit of a dual-approach to his or her therapeutic sessions, as well as ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... It’s official: Tattoo taboo is a thing of the past. ... Millennials (a whopping one in three aged 18 to 25 is inked). As tattoos ... their ink. In fact, RealSelf , the world’s largest community for learning and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Contraceptives ... Contraceptives, Male Condoms, Female Condoms, Intrauterine Devices, ... Diaphragms, Contraceptive Sponges, Non-Surgical Permanent Contraception Devices) ... Trends and Forecast 2014 - 2020 ", ... (TMR).The report states that the global contraceptives ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015   MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc . (OTCQB: ... has filed an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with ... Company,s lead fully human antibody product HuMab 5B1 as ... to initiate the Phase I clinical trial early in ... The planned Phase I trial will evaluate the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015  InCarda Therapeutics, Inc. (InCarda), a privately-held biopharmaceutical ... for cardiovascular conditions via the inhalation route, today announced ... Australia . InCarda is planning to undertake ... in the first half of 2016. The ... in Adelaide and Melbourne.  In ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: