Use of gabapentin for the management of natural or surgical menopausal hot flashes.Ann Pharmacother. 2011 Mar; 45(3):388-94.AP
To review the literature examining the use of gabapentin for treatment of hot flashes during natural or surgically induced menopause.
A literature search was conducted via PubMed, MEDLINE, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1948-November 2010) using the search terms gabapentin, hot flashes, and menopause. Literature was limited to English-language, human studies. Additional material was identified by reviewing reference citations of the articles retrieved.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION
Studies with data describing gabapentin for hot flash management during natural or surgically induced menopause were included. Any studies including women with a history of breast cancer were excluded. Four studies met the inclusion criteria.
Gabapentin significantly decreased hot flash frequency and hot flash composite scores by 45-71% from baseline in the 4 trials included in this review. In 2 of the trials, gabapentin was comparable to hormone replacement therapy (71% vs 72%, respectively, p=0.63) in decreasing hot flash composite scores at the end of 12 weeks and in decreasing hot flash frequency at the end of 8 weeks (58.9% vs 70.1%, p>0.05). In all trials, the most common adverse effects with gabapentin were somnolence/drowsiness, unsteadiness, and dizziness. These adverse effects were most pronounced during the first 1-2 weeks of therapy, but resolved and were similar to those reported with placebo by week 4. These trials were short (<12 weeks) and had small sample sizes; however, their results appear to show that gabapentin is safe and effective for short-term treatment of hot flashes in women who have entered menopause either naturally or surgically.
Gabapentin 600-2400 mg/day in divided doses may be a viable option for treating hot flashes in menopausal women who do not want to use hormone replacement therapy.