In the USA, over 30 million women are in or near menopause.
Menopause is associated with a cluster of issues. Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are the number one complaint of most menopausal women.
VMS are disruptive to women during the day and at night, which leads to poor sleep, anxiety, depression and poor concentration.
Up until now, the only US FDA-approved medication for moderate-to-severe VMS was hormone therapy.
Hormone therapy may not be appropriate for all women. Many drugs are used off-label to treat VMS. The most often used agents are agents that are FDA-approved medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
The pharmaceutical company, Noven Pharmaceuticals (FL, USA), has studied paroxetine mesylate 7.5 mg, previously known as low-dose mesylate salt of paroxetine, specifically to treat moderate-to-severe VMS in postmenopausal women. Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and is thought to help decrease VMS by regulating body temperature via neurotransmitters. Paroxetine is approved to treat various psychiatric disorders, but is used at much higher doses (20-60 mg/day).
Weber L, Thacker HL. Paroxetine: a first for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - a new use: approved for vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women. Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2014 Mar;10(2):147-54. doi: 10.2217/whe.14.3.
Content upadted March 2014
Content updated March 2014