FDA Approves First Nonhormonal Drug to Ease Menopause Sizzling Flashes

By Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter


SATURDAY, Could 13, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration on Friday accredited the primary nonhormonal medicine aimed toward easing menopause sizzling flashes.

The brand new tablet, referred to as Veozah (fezolinetant), is from a category of medicine referred to as neurokinin 3 (NK3) receptor antagonists. It targets a selected mind neuron that is regarded as set off stability as estrogen ranges naturally decline throughout menopause.

“It really works by binding to and blocking the actions of the NK3 receptor, which performs a task within the mind’s regulation of physique temperature,” the FDA defined in a news release issued Friday.

“The introduction of a brand new molecule to deal with average to extreme menopausal sizzling flashes will present a further secure and efficient remedy possibility for ladies,” she mentioned within the information launch.

In response to the FDA, over 80% of menopausal girls expertise sudden, usually debilitating sizzling flashes lasting a number of minutes that may be accompanied by sweating, flushing and chills.

Whereas estrogen-based hormone alternative remedy has lengthy been used to assist ease these signs, long-term use has been linked to a heightened threat for breast most cancers and stroke.

As well as, “some girls who expertise sizzling flashes and have a historical past of vaginal bleeding, stroke, coronary heart assault, blood clots or liver illness, can’t take hormone therapies,” the FDA defined. “Veozah will not be a hormone. It targets the neural exercise which causes sizzling flashes throughout menopause.”

Ladies take Veozah as soon as a day as a forty five milligram tablet, and if a day is missed customers ought to resume taking Veozah as quickly as doable and get again on schedule to assist maintain sizzling flashes at bay, the FDA mentioned.

The company primarily based its approval on the outcomes of two section 3 medical trials involving girls who averaged 54 years of age. Ladies first took both Veozah or placebo for 12 weeks — the trial was “blinded,” that means the ladies weren’t informed which routine they had been receiving. Then all girls got Veozah for a further 40 weeks to evaluate security.

“The commonest unintended effects of Veozah embody belly ache, diarrhea, insomnia, again ache, sizzling flush [flashes],” the company mentioned.

There was additionally a threat of elevated hepatic transaminase, or liver harm, so “earlier than utilizing Veozah, sufferers ought to have blood work performed to check for liver injury or an infection,” the FDA mentioned. “Whereas on Veozah, routine bloodwork ought to be carried out each three months for the primary 9 months of utilizing the medicine.”

Veozah is made by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. Talking with The New York Instances, Marci English, a vp at Astellas, referred to as sizzling flashes “distracting” and “uncomfortable.”

“It’s one thing that we type of managed in silence,” she mentioned. English mentioned Astellas hopes to have Veozah in pharmacies throughout the subsequent three weeks, and the drug will value about $550 for a 30-day provide, earlier than any rebates. In response to the Instances, Astellas mentioned it will start a assist program “to assist sufferers entry the medicine they had been prescribed.”

SOURCES: U.S. Meals and Drug Administration, information launch, Could 12, 2023; The New York Instances

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