If you have women in your life – or are a woman yourself! – then you’ll likely know the all-consuming discomfort that a sudden hot flush can bring on. One minute you’re fine, the next you’re grabbing the nearest thing to fan yourself with and sticking your head in the fridge.
According to the British Menopause Society, menopause symptoms affect more than 75% of women, with 25% of those saying their symptoms are severe. Some of the most common symptoms include a racing heart, insomnia, fatigue, low mood and the infamous hot flush, which can be debilitating for many.
Well, those sudden sweats might become a thing of the past with a revolutionary new drug, fezolinetant.
The non-hormonal medication, made by Astellas Pharma, could be approved for use in the UK by the end of the year.
It works by blocking a protein in the brain called neruokinin-3, which is essential in regulating body temperature and stopping it from turning up to 11.
“This is going to be a completely blockbuster drug,” Professor Waljit Dhillo, an endocrinologist at Imperial College London, told The Guardian.
He says that within a day or two of taking fezolinetant, the flushes go away and it will be “completely game-changing” for a lot of women.
The drug, which has been FDA-approved in the US since early May this year, has had impressive, hot flush-blocking effects in trials, with one showing that after 12 weeks of use, fezolinetant reduced the frequency of hot flushes by around 60% in those who had moderate to severe symptoms.
It was also proven to help improve the quality of sleep, another thing menopause can do a number on.
Fezolinetant is an alternative for those who can’t use HRT due to the risk of cancer and blood clots, too, due to its non-hormonal makeup.
All this will probably come as welcome news to fan-welding women who haven’t been able to reduce their symptoms due to HRT shortages. In terms of an official release date – watch this space!