Research looks at cooling off hot flashes

Sep 16, 2010
Woman trying to cool of a hot flash

If you've ever watched a woman go from perfectly calm, cool and collected one minute to uncomfortable, red-faced and fanning herself frantically the next, then you've likely witnessed a hot flash. Now imagine having to experience one or dozens of these episodes a day -- from mild to severe -- with limited options for long-term relief.

"Probably 80 percent of women use nothing” to treat their hot flashes, says University of Cincinnati (UC) professor Michael Thomas, MD, the principal investigator on a Phase 2 clinical trial of a new, nonhormonal treatment for hot flashes.

The study is sponsored by Ausio, a Cincinnati-based pharmaceutical company. UC is one of two sites in the U.S. where the soy-based product is being studied.

Although there is no definitive cause for a hot flash, its origin is linked to estrogen diminishment during perimenopause, menopause and post menopause. (HRT) was the standard treatment until 1991, when a study suggested that therapy increased the risk of , , and other serious conditions, says Thomas.

"These fears, whether rational or not, have driven the need to look for alternative treatments,” adds Thomas, who is also the director of UC’s Center for Reproductive Health which oversees clinical trials.

Not all women have hot flashes, but those who do can experience one or all of these symptoms:

• Pressure in the head as the hot flash begins.

• A feeling of mild warmth to intense heat spreading through the upper body and face.

• A flushed appearance with red, blotches on the face, neck and upper chest.

• Rapid heartbeat.

• Perspiration, mostly on the upper body.

• A chilled feeling as the hot flash subsides.

According to Rose Maxwell, PhD, the center’s director of clinical trials, this study is for post menopausal females who experience moderate to severe hot flashes but are not on any medication, either chemical or herbal. A moderate hot flash is one that produces perspiration. A severe hot flash produces perspiration and is incapacitating to the point of disrupting normal activities, such as sleep.

The study will compare the effectiveness and safety of three doses of the soy-based Ausio product versus a placebo (an inactive look-alike substance) for hot flashes.

Thomas is a past paid consultant to Ausio. He reports no current conflict.

Explore further: What to do with kidneys from older deceased donors?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Acupuncture may cool hot flashes

Sep 25, 2006

Researchers at Stanford University are planning further investigation to see if acupuncture can cool the hot flashes of menopausal women.

Hot flashes underreported and linked to forgetfulness

Jun 16, 2008

Women in midlife underreport the number of hot flashes that they experience by more than 40 percent, and these hot flashes are linked to poor verbal memory, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois ...

Hot flash study examines diabetes

Oct 09, 2006

A University of Texas researcher has received funding to study if menopausal hot flashes can be controlled similar to sugar levels -- by diet and exercise.

Seizure drug enhances sleep for women with hot flashes

Sep 08, 2009

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 ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.