Elinzanetant Found Safe and Effective for Hot Flashes

Elinzanetant Found Safe and Effective for Hot Flashes


Elinzanetant (El-in-Zan-uh-Tant) is a new menopause treatment that the FDA has found safe and effective in treating hot flashes in phase 3 trials.

Of the 1.2 billion women expected to be in menopause by 2030, roughly 80 percent are expected to experience hot flashes, the most common menopause symptom that women complain about. Hot flashes affect sleep and quality of life and are being investigated for other impacts.

For many women, taking the highly effective hot flash treatment estrogen is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it is so effective; a curse because a large, highly publicized but poorly designed study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) incorrectly suggested that estrogen increased the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. As explained in the best-selling book The Estrogen Fix, estrogen does not increase the risk of breast cancer if begun in the window of time close to the beginning of menopause. More recent studies suggest estrogen may not increase the risk of breast cancer at all and seems to increase longevity for those who take it. Nevertheless, estrogen phobia persists among both doctors and the patients they treat.

In response to this concern, a new line of menopause treatment has been developed. These menopause treatment meds are non-estrogens and work in the brain on areas that regulate heat. When estrogen levels lower in perimenopause and menopause, certain hormones in the brain are altered to allow heat to increase, like a malfunctioning thermostat. These new medications bind to the heat-regulating receptors and bring the woman’s temperature back under control. The scientific name for elinzanetant is an oral, dual neurokinin-1,3 (NK-1,3) receptor antagonist.

This phase 3 study was the latest in a series of investigations into taking a once a day oral medication to control hot flashes due to menopause or due to certain endocrine treatments. This study involved 396 participants aged 40 to 65 years in the OASIS 1 study and 400 in the OASIS 2 study. Elinzanetant was found to be safe and effective in treating hot flashes, improving sleep and quality of life and is now one step closer to FDA approval for the treatment of hot flashes in the United States.

Elinzanetant joins a similar menopause treatment medication called fezolinetant (Fehz-oh-Lin-uh-Tant), currently being sold as Veozah since May 2023. These medications are safe and highly effective alternatives for women who either cannot or will not take estrogen. They appear to have a high level of safety, though doctors will likely draw blood tests every three months for the first year to prevent rare side effects from going unnoticed.

Menopause expert Dr. Mache Seibel is available to discuss these medications and other menopause symptoms or menopause treatment topics.


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