Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Epilepsy Drug May Ease Hot Flashes

Study: Hot Flashes Eased in Breast Cancer Patients Taking Neurontin
WebMD Health News

Sept. 1, 2005 -- An antiseizure drug called Neurontin may help ease hot flashes in women with breast cancer, researchers report in The Lancet.

Neurontin is approved to treat epilepsy. It has been studied before as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women who have hot flashes.

Hormone replacement therapy is indicated for treating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, but for some women, such as those with breast cancer, HRT is not an option.

"We believe that [Neurontin] can be added to the list of non-hormonal agents for the control of hot flashes in women with breast cancer," write Kishan Pandya, MD, and colleagues. Pandya works at the University of Rochester Cancer Center.

Neurontin showed benefits against hot flashes in postmenopausal women in an earlier University of Rochester study.

Latest Study

In the new study, researchers gave Neurontin or a fake drug (placebo) to 420 women with breast cancer. The women were 55 years old, on average; most were white. They were having at least two hot flashes per day at the study's start.

The women were randomly given a placebo, 300 daily milligrams of Neurontin, or 900 daily milligrams of Neurontin for eight weeks. Higher doses (3,000-3,600 milligrams per day) are usually used to treat seizures.

No one knew which drug they were taking.

The women were asked to keep diaries detailing their hot flashes during the study. Nearly 350 did so throughout the study.

Fewer, Less Severe Hot Flashes

The women's diaries show a 44% drop in hot flash frequency and a 46% drop in hot flash severity scores after taking 900 milligrams of Neurontin for eight weeks.

The placebo and lower dose of Neurontin didn't significantly ease hot flashes. "The effects of doses higher than 900 mg/day merit further study," write the researchers.

It's not clear how Neurontin helped relieve hot flashes, they note. Seizures aren't a symptom of hot flashes.

Long-Term Use?

The study was short, so the scientists can't comment on long-term Neurontin use for hot flashes.

However, they write that the drug "is used for long durations for various other symptoms and certainly could be considered for hot flashes also."

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow