Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seizure Drug Enhances Sleep For Women With Hot Flashes

Date:
September 10, 2009
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Gabapentin, a drug initially used to treat seizures, improves sleep quality in menopausal women with hot flashes, researchers report in a new study.

Gabapentin, a drug initially used to treat seizures, improves sleep quality in menopausal women with hot flashes, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers report online and in the September issue of the Journal of Women's Health.

Approximately 40 percent of menopausal women experience sleep disruption, often in the form of difficulty with sleep initiation and frequent nighttime awakenings. The study is the first to show sustained benefits in sleep quality from gabapentin, which Rochester researchers already have demonstrated alleviates hot flashes.

"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," said Michael E. Yurcheshen, M.D., assistant professor of Neurology and the lead author of the article.

"It has minimal side effects and it is a generic drug," said Yurcheshen, who is based at the Strong Sleep Disorders Center. "That makes it a very attractive treatment for these problems in this patient population."

For the current study, researchers used data from a previously published randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of gabapentin in 59 postmenopausal women who experienced seven to 20 hot flashes daily. The subjects took either 300 milligrams of gabapentin three times a day or a placebo.

The research used a factor analysis of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a well-known and validated questionnaire, to evaluate sleep. The results showed overall improvement in the sleep quality score, even after 12 weeks of treatment.

Gabapentin's impact on the sleep quality factor in menopausal women may reflect improvement in hot flashes, stabilization of sleep architecture, or a decrease in the amount of time to transition from wakefulness to sleep, the researchers wrote. It is also possible that gabapentin improved sleep quality by addressing underlying sleep pathology, such as restless legs syndrome.

"We really are not sure which mechanism is responsible, but this study suggests that it does work to improve sleep quality," Yurcheshen said.

The gabapentin research reported in the Journal of Women's Health is the most recent in a series of Rochester studies into relief of hot flashes. In 2000, a Medical Center neurologist treating a menopausal woman for migraines first observed that the seizure medication seemed to cure her hot flashes. Since then, a clinical trial confirmed those results in women suffering from hot flashes due to menopause. Another Rochester study showed that gabapentin provides control of hot flashes in women with breast cancer who suffer hot flashes as a result of their cancer treatment. A third study found that gabapentin is as effective in reducing the number of hot flashes as the hormone estrogen, which used to be the gold standard treatment for menopause symptoms.

A co-author on the paper, Thomas Guttuso Jr., M.D., is listed as the inventor on a patent owned by the University of Rochester for the use of gabapentin in the treatment of hot flashes. The patent has been licensed to three companies. Guttuso is a former Medical Center neurologist who is now on the faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

In addition to Yurcheshen and Guttuso, the authors of the article include Michael P. McDermott, Ph.D., associate professor of Biostatistics at the Medical Center, Robert G. Holloway, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Neurology at the Medical Center, and Michael Perlis, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Seizure Drug Enhances Sleep For Women With Hot Flashes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090908103630.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2009, September 10). Seizure Drug Enhances Sleep For Women With Hot Flashes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090908103630.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Seizure Drug Enhances Sleep For Women With Hot Flashes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090908103630.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins