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New menopause drug approved for hot flashes and sweating

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 10 months ago

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Veozah, a new drug by Astellas Pharma that treats menopause symptoms. Unlike traditional treatment methods that use estrogen and progestin, Veozah blocks the chemical neurokinin B in the brain that regulates body temperature. Studies have shown that the drug significantly reduces hot flashes and night sweats that accompany menopause. Women who have been treated for breast cancer or have a history of stroke, blood clots, heart attack and other health conditions may not be able to use hormonal therapy, making Veozah a major development for menopause treatment. More than 1 million women in the United States experience menopause each year, and it’s estimated that about 85% of postmenopausal women have experienced symptoms in their lifetime, such as sweating, flushing, and chills that can last for several minutes.

One 45 milligram pill of Veozah is taken orally each day, with or without food, and should be taken at the same time each day. The drug carries an FDA warning about potential liver damage, so women will need to be screened for liver damage or infection before getting a prescription and get a blood test every three months for nine months to monitor for safety problems. The most common side effects of the drug are abdominal pain, diarrhea, insomnia, back pain, hot flush, and elevated levels of liver enzymes. Veozah may be beneficial to those over 60 as starting hormonal treatments can be risky at that age. The drug will cost $550 for a one-month supply before insurance coverage is factored in and before other discounts typically negotiated by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers. The pills could be available in pharmacies within weeks. While the drug is considered a significant breakthrough, the price may be a concern for many women who cannot afford it.

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