Could a Nitroglycerin Patch Ease Hot Flashes?

7 Jun 2023 • A new study, findings published June 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine, on using nitroglycerin patches to help women with frequent hot flashes caused by menopause has delivered mixed results. The benefits of wearing these patches were modest. They also were short-lived, with any benefits appearing to wear off over time, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Due to the potential risks of long-term systemic estrogen therapy, many menopausal women are interested in nonhormonal treatments for vasomotor symptoms. Recent efforts to identify alternative hot flash treatments have focused on central nervous system (CNS) mechanisms that are hypothesized to play a role in triggering these symptoms, such as changes in the thermoregulatory set point of the hypothalamus. The study aimed to determine whether uninterrupted administration of transdermal nitroglycerin (NTG) to induce nitrate cross-tolerance decreased the frequency or severity of menopause-related hot flashes.

However, continuous use of NTG did not result in sustained improvements in hot flash frequency or severity relative to placebo and was associated with more early but not persistent headache.

Overall, the findings of this trial do not support daily uninterrupted use of transdermal NTG as a nonhormonal treatment for menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms. Further research could explore other approaches to inducing nitrate tolerance or evaluate other physiologic mechanisms aside from NO-mediated vasodilation underlying the peripheral manifestations of the hot flash.

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine | Read full story

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