It is surprising to observe that drugs which are used for treating some problem may also be also used in the treatment of a completely different problem. According to a research conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center, gabapentin, a drug at first used to treat seizures can apparently improve the quality of sleep in menopausal women with hot flashes.
Sleep disruption is apparently often experienced by about 40 percent of menopausal women, frequently in the form of difficulty with sleep initiation and recurrent nighttime awakenings. The research claims to be the first to show persistent advantages in sleep quality from gabapentin, which the Rochester researchers seem to have already verified to apparently lessen hot flashes.
Michael E. Yurcheshen, M.D., assistant professor of Neurology and the lead author of the article, commented, “Gabapentin improves sleep quality but does not have the potential dependency problems of some other sleep medications and does not involve the use of hormone replacement therapy. It has minimal side effects and it is a generic drug. That makes it a very attractive treatment for these problems in this patient population.”
For the research, data from a formerly published randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of gabapentin in about 59 postmenopausal women were used. They had apparently experienced 7 to 20 hot flashes every day. The participants apparently took either about 300 milligrams of gabapentin three times a day or a placebo.
The research supposedly used a factor analysis of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, which may be familiar and validated questionnaire, to assess sleep. The outcome apparently showed by and large improvement in the sleep quality score, even post 12 weeks of treatment.
The researchers were of the opinion that gabapentin’s impact on the sleep quality factor in menopausal women could mirror improvement in hot flashes, stabilization of sleep architecture, or a reduction in the quantity of time to switch from wakefulness to sleep. It may also be likely that gabapentin apparently improved sleep quality by attending to primary sleep pathology like restless legs syndrome.
Yurcheshen mentioned, “We really are not sure which mechanism is responsible, but this study suggests that it does work to improve sleep quality.”
In 2000, a Medical Center neurologist treating a menopausal woman for migraines first claimed to examine that the seizure medication appeared to treat her hot flashes. Since then, a clinical trial apparently established those consequences in women suffering from hot flashes due to menopause.
A different Rochester research illustrated that gabapentin may offer control of hot flashes in women with breast cancer who undergo hot flashes as an outcome of their cancer treatment. A third research apparently discovered that gabapentin may be as effective in decreasing the amount of hot flashes as the hormone estrogen, which apparently used to be the gold standard treatment for menopause symptoms.
This research is published in the Journal of Women’s Health.