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01-11-2009 | Gynaecology | Article

Menopausal hot flashes effectively treated with St John’s wort

Abstract

Journal

MedWire News: St John’s wort extract is effective for treating vasomotor symptoms in peri- and postmenopausal women, show study results.

Marjan Khajehei (Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran) and colleagues randomly assigned 100 women aged 50.4 years on average to receive 60 drops of St John’s wort extract containing 0.2 mg/ml per day or placebo for 8 weeks. Climacteric complaints were assessed at two follow-up visits 4 and 8 weeks after treatment..

In total, 45 women in the treatment group and 43 in the control group completed the study. Women in both groups had a similar duration and severity of hot flashes, measured over a 24-hour period, at baseline, at an average 21.7 and 20.5 minutes and scores of 2.3 and 2.3 on the Blatt-Kupperman Index, respectively.

Both groups responded to treatment after 4 weeks, but no significant differences in the duration of vasomotor symptoms were seen between women receiving treatment and those on placebo (16.2 and 18.0 min).

However, symptom severity significantly decreased to a greater extent in women receiving treatment compared with those on placebo (1.7 vs 2.1) at 4 weeks.

After the eighth week of treatment, women taking St John’s wort showed a further reduction in vasomotor symptoms and symptom severity, which was significantly different to that seen in those who took placebo (10.7 vs 15.7 min and 0.93 vs 1.7).

“The positive influence of St John’s wort on hot flashes offers an effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms associated with the hormonal fluctuation of perimenopause or menopause,” conclude the authors.

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Ingrid Grasmo