Gabapentin for Hot Flashes
How It Works
Gabapentin is an antiseizure
(anticonvulsive) medicine that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) for controlling
epilepsy. How it works to improve hot flashes is not
Why It Is Used
Gabapentin may be used to treat
It addition to seizure
control, gabapentin is also commonly used to treat
panic disorder, and
How Well It Works
Gabapentin may lower the number of
hot flashes each day and the intensity of hot flashes.1, 2
Side effects from gabapentin include:
- Fatigue or drowsiness.
and lightheadedness, especially during the first couple of weeks of
- Swelling of the hands and
Side effects are less likely when the dose is gradually
increased and when medicine is taken with meals or at bedtime.
The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on antiseizure medicines and the
risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people
stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take antiseizure medicine
should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take antiseizure
medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Use of gabapentin for hot flashes
The long-term risks or
benefits of gabapentin are unknown.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Pandya KJ, et al. (2005). Gabapentin for hot flashes
in 420 women with breast cancer: A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled
trial. Lancet, 366(9488): 818-824.
Reddy SY, et al. (2006). Gabapentin, estrogen, and
placebo for treating hot flushes. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 108(1): 41-48.