Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and other symptoms can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life.
While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms for many years, concerns about its potential side effects and risks have led researchers to search for alternative options.
Elinzanetant: A Promising Treatment for Hot Flashes and Sleep Issues
A study published last month in the journal Menopause, March 2023, evaluated the effectiveness and safety of a new drug called elinzanetant. This innovative, non-hormonal medication has shown potential in treating menopause-related hot flashes, sleep problems, and improving overall quality of life for menopausal women.
The clinical trial demonstrated that elinzanetant significantly reduced the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats. Furthermore, the drug helped improve sleep and overall well-being for participants.
Elinzanetant stands out because it is the first drug of its kind to target specific receptors in the brain that influence body temperature and sleep regulation.
Fezolinetant: Another Option for Managing Hot Flashes
A few days ago, on April 1, 2023, The Lancet journal published the results of a study called SKYLIGHT 1, which investigated the safety and effectiveness of fezolinetant, another
non-hormonal medication for treating moderate-to-severe hot flashes associated with menopause.
Fezolinetant showed significant reductions in both the frequency and severity of hot flashes compared to a placebo group. These improvements were observed after just one week and maintained throughout the 52-week study period.
The treatment also had a low occurrence of side effects, making it a promising non-hormonal option for menopausal women.
How Do These Medications Work?
Both elinznaetant and fezolinetant are neurokinin 3 receptor antagonists.
Neurokinin 3 (NK3) receptors are proteins found in the brain that play a role in regulating body temperature, mood, and sleep.
During menopause, hormone fluctuations can disrupt the normal functioning of these receptors, leading to symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Neurokinin 3 receptor antagonists, like elinzanetant and fezolinetant, work by blocking the action of NK3 receptors, which may help alleviate menopause-related symptoms by restoring balance to the affected systems.
Medical Cannabis Use During Perimenopause and Postmenopause
An interesting survey study published in the journal Menopause in September 2022 explored the use of medical cannabis during perimenopause and postmenopause. The endocannabinoid system, which is involved in various physiological and psychological processes, may play a role in alleviating menopause-related symptoms.
The survey aimed to assess how perimenopausal and postmenopausal women typically use cannabis and the specific menopause-related symptoms that medical cannabis may help alleviate.
While the results of this survey study do not provide definitive evidence of the efficacy of cannabis for treating menopause symptoms, they do highlight the need for further research and clinical trials to investigate the potential benefits of cannabinoid-based therapies.
Expanding Options for Menopausal Women
These recent findings offer hope for women who are seeking non-hormonal treatment options to manage their menopause-related symptoms.
Although these novel medications may not be widely accessible yet, check in with your doctors to see what new options are available to you now or may be available in the near future.
As science continues to advance our understanding of menopause and treatment possibilities, women can look forward to a broader range of options that can help improve their quality of life during this transitional period.