News: Low-dose estradiol spray decreases hot flashes

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A low-dose estradiol spray may significantly decrease hot flashes in healthy postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms.

A low-dose estradiol spray (E2) may significantly decrease hot flashes in healthy postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms, according to a new study published in the June issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

John E. Buster, MD, of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI, and colleagues conducted a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 454 postmenopausal women with at least eight moderate-to-severe hot flashes per day. The E2 spray was applied daily, using doses of one, two, or three sprays, or equivalent placebo sprays. Primary endpoints were mean change from baseline in frequency and severity of moderate-to-severe hot flashes at weeks 4 and 12.

All three of the dose levels of E2 produced a statistically significant decrease in hot flashes at weeks 4 and 12 versus placebo, the authors report. At week 12, about 75% to 85% of women using E2 had a 50% or more reduction in hot flash frequency relative to baseline, versus 46% of women in the placebo group. Doses of two or three sprays showed significant reductions in hot flash severity at the designated timeframe.

The research was sponsored by Vivus, Inc. Several of the study authors report financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

Buster JE, Koltun WD, Pascual ML, et al. Low-Dose Estradiol Spray to Treat Vasomotor Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;111:1343-1351.

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