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New Drug Reduces Number of Hot Flashes Drastically

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
Relief for women with menopause

Are you one of many women who suffer from multiple hot flashes in a single day—every day? Here’s the latest on a new class of non-hormonal drugs that a study reports drastically reduces the number of hot flashes by nearly 75 percent!


Hot flashes occur in a wide range of experiences that can last from a couple of minutes to 30 minutes, and as little as once every few days to multiple times per day. In addition, the severity can range from mild discomfort to an intensity that may induce fainting. And if that isn’t bad enough, hot flashes also interfere with sleep and result in secondary medical problems including depression that can last for years.

Experiencing a Hot Flash or Night Sweats? It May Not Be Menopause, Study Says

However, a recent study published in the journal Menopause reports that a new class of experimental drugs may just be what many women need that was found to reduce the number of occurrences of hot flashes by up to 75 percent in 37 menopausal women between 40 and 62 years old who experienced multiple hot flushes per day before taking the new drug. Moreover, the study also found that the new drug also led to significant sleep and concentration improvement within 3 days.

“We already knew this compound could be a game-changer for menopausal women, and get rid of three-quarters of their hot flushes in four weeks. But this new analysis confirms the beneficial effect is obtained very quickly—within just three days,” stated Professor Waljit Dhillo, an NIHR Research Professor from the Department of Medicine at Imperial according to a news release from Imperial College London.

So, what is the name of this miracle drug? Researchers call the drug “MLE4901”—one of several in a class of drugs that affects a brain chemical called neurokinin B (NKB), which has been shown to trigger hot flashes in previous studies involving animals and humans. According to the news release, the drug is thought to prevent NKB from activating temperature control areas within the brain, which then appears to reduce hot flashes.

In the aforementioned study, the women were divided into 2 groups which received either an 80mg daily dose of MLE4901 or a placebo for 4 weeks, and then were switched on their study and placebo treatments for another 4 weeks.

Analysis of the data showed that treatment with MLE4901 significantly reduced the number of hot flashes in comparison to when the placebo was taken. Furthermore, sleep and concentration were markedly improved while taking the drug.

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Unfortunately, however, MLE4901 will not make it as a prescribed drug for treating hot flashes, but that there are related compounds that may prove to be both effective and safe.

The news release states that Professor Dhillo explains this specific compound will not be taken further in trials, due to side effects that may affect liver function. However, two very similar drugs, which also block NKB but do not appear to carry these side effects have entered larger patient trials, with one such trial launched in the US last year.

Dr. Julia Prague, first author of the study, explained: “As NKB has many targets of action within the brain the potential for this drug class to really improve many of the symptoms of the menopause, such as hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, and poor concentration, is huge. To see the lives of our participants change so dramatically and so quickly was so exciting, and suggests great promise for the future of this new type of treatment.”

For more about what you can do about your hot flashes, here is an informative article titled “Menopause Help for Hot Flashes, Sleep without Drugs.”


Imperial College London news release “New class of menopause drugs reduces severity of hot flushes in three days

Menopause, 2018; 1 “Neurokinin 3 receptor antagonism rapidly improves vasomotor symptoms with sustained duration of action” Julia K. Prague et al.

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