Today, it was revealed that a proposed new drug called "Depomed" failed to achieve the expected results in the treatment of menopausal hot flashes. Depomed is gabapentin, otherwise known as Neurontin, an anti-seizure medicine. Neurontin has it's uses and I prescribe it on occasion, for things like post herpetic neuralgia, and chronic diabetic neuropathic pain, even insomnia and anxiety. However, it misses the point with respect to menopause.
Conventional medicine has become obsessed with treating symptoms and not the real cause of medical problems. Women have been treated with antidepressants, antipsychotics, even botox injections for migraines, hot flashes, and anxiety and insomnia associated with perimenopause or menopause when what they really need are properly administered bioidentical hormones. As the article mentions, the reason for development of antidepressants and antiseizure medicines to treat the symptoms of hot flashes is because of the fear of causing breast cancer by using conventional HRT (Premarin, Provera, Prempro, etc). This is correct as these drugs do cause breast cancer. However, as I tell my patients over and over, there is another way.
Studies indicate that properly prescribed bioidentical hormones do not increase the risk of breast cancer (they may even lower it acording to some studies) and they don't cause the stroke risk and blood clot risk of conventional HRT pills. I commonly am able to wean women from sleeping drugs, antianxiety drugs, migraine drugs and replace them all with safe and effective doses of bioidentical hormones.
Unlike the symptom-masking drugs, these hormones have the added benefit of reversing the "brain fog", osteoporosis, high cholesterol, weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, PMS, and all the other problems associated with hormonal deficiency-they don't just mask symptoms. They fix the root of the problem and the symptoms go away.
Dr. Joseph Kaye