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‘Blockbuster’ menopause drug approved

A drug for preventing hot flashes during the menopause has been hailed by scientists as a ‘transformative’ treatment for women.

Fezolinetant was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in May, after tests in animals such as mice and rabbits confirmed that the drug was safe and effective for treating this major menopause symptom.

The drug is a non-hormonal therapy that blocks a protein in the brain, to stop the sudden flashes of heat that many women can experience during menopause, and is potentially an alternative to current hormonal therapies that do not work for many women and can pose health risks.

Animals were also used in the basic research to study the mechanism by which hot flashes occur, helping to develop the strategy that makes fezolinetant so effective.

Professor Waljit Dhillo, at Imperial College London, UK, who led a pioneering trial during the drug’s development, told The Guardian, “It’s unbelievable how well these drugs work. It’s going to be completely game-changing for a lot of women.”


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