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

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.


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