The Harrow Health Care Centre

Menopause hot flushes medication

Fezolinetant (Veoza)

The long awaited game changing medication for hot flushes is now available in UK

Veoza is not a hormone treatment, so it is suitable for women for whom hormone replacement therapy is not safe , or who wish to avoid hormones.

 Those of us who care for breast cancer survivors have been watching in eager anticipation the promise of the initial pilot studies, and now extensive trials have finalised and confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Fezolinetant , branded as Veoza in reducing the severity and frequency of hot flushes and sweats. Official approval for its use was given earlier this month and the pharmacies will begin to have it available by the end of this week. It is a prescription drug, and will initially only be available privately. This is because it has to be assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) before it can be approved for use in the NHS. It is expected that even with a push to have it approved that it will take about eighteen months before we can prescribe it on the NHS.

Neurokinin B receptor Agonist Veoza (Fezolinetant) has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of women who have significant flushes and sweats and who cannot take hormone replacement therapy. For those of us who want to know how it works, Veoza is a non-hormonal menopause drug that acts directly on the brain to prevent hot flushes. It works by blocking a brain protein called neurokinin-3 that plays a unique role in regulating body temperature in menopausal women.

Hot flushes, also called vasomotor symptoms, affect about 85 % of women going through the menopause. Women can suddenly and overwhelmingly feel hot, which often has an impact on their quality of life, exercise, sleep and productivity. We know that hot flushes last on average for seven years, for some women they last a couple of years but there are some women for whom they last a lifetime.

Despite the enormous numbers of women affected, for decades there have been few safe and effective treatment options. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective, but this is unsuitable for women with a history of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer. Some women experience side-effects or would prefer a non-hormonal alternative.

The British Menopause Society considers the advent of Veoza a very exciting advance and as a menopause specialist I am so pleased to be able now to prescribe for you .

This medication will help with vasomotor symptoms, it has very few minor side effects and there are only a very few drugs with which it may interact. In the trials it was noted to take very speedy effect, within days, and it is convenient to take once a day.

I can see it being hugely useful for my cancer survivors, and also for women who wish to avoid hormones who have persistent hot flushes. The studies looked at women between 40 and 65, and we will need more evidence to guide us if we want to use it for older women.

Like the BMS, I am very excited to start to use Veoza, please call 020 8861 1221 to make an appointment for my menopause clinic on Friday mornings or email [email protected]

Jane Woyka

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