A new study shows that the drug gabapentin can improve sleep quality in menopausal women with hot flashes.
“It has minimal side effects and it is a generic drug,” lead author Dr. Michael E. Yurcheshen said in a prepared statement. “That makes it a very attractive treatment for these problems.”
The study involved 59 postmenopausal women; they experienced seven to 20 hot flashes daily.
The women were given 300 mg of gabapentin three times a day. Results show that subjective sleep quality was improved at both four weeks and 12 weeks.
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant; it is FDA-approved for the treatment of partial seizures.
“We really are not sure which mechanism is responsible,” said Yurcheshen. “But this study suggests that it does work to improve sleep quality.”
A 2008 study in the journal Sleep examined sleep during the menopausal transition. It found that hot flashes were an independent predictor of sleep quality.
The AASM reports that sleep disturbances are more common during and after menopause. Insomnia related to menopause often occurs.
Learn more about sleep and women on SleepEducation.com.