FDA approves new drug to help hot flashes, night sweats that come with menopause

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it has approved a nonhormonal medication that treats night sweats and hot flashes that women get during menopause, according to The New York Times.

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The drug is aimed at those who do not want to take hormone replacement treatments or those who cannot take hormone treatment, such as women with certain cancers.

The drug, fezolinetant, will be marketed as Veozah, according to The Associated Press.

According to the FDA, the medication works by targeting and blocking a receptor in the brain that regulates body temperature.

Menopause is considered to be the point 12 months after a woman’s last and final period. Transitioning to menopause can take several years, according to the National Institutes of Health. Most women experience the menopausal transition between the ages of 45 and 55, according to the NIH.

“I’m so excited about this FDA ruling,” Dr. Mary Rosser, an assistant professor of women’s health at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of Integrated Women’s Health at Columbia told NBC News. “We’re talking about something that is going to be powerful.”

Veozah could be available in pharmacies within weeks, Marci English, vice president and head of BioPharma Development at Astellas, the drug’s maker, said in an interview.

According to researchers, while the new medication provides some relief from hot flashes and night sweats, it is not as effective as hormone replacement therapy.

During the drug’s Phase 3 trial, results showed that it cut hot flashes in 48% of the women who took a higher dose of the medication and 36% of women on a lower dose.

A 30-day supply of the medication is expected to cost $550. It is believed most healthcare insurance policies will cover some of the cost.



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