Wednesday Bubble: News Flash – there’s a new kid in town

Posted by on Sep 29, 2010 in hot flash, new approaches | 0 comments


Hey Ladies:

There’s a new kid in town: Menerba®. Although it’s not yet available, the Food & Drug Administration has cleared the way for its manufacturing and production.

Menerba is characterized as an oral botanical drug because its activities are derived from botanical sources, implying that although it is is a pharmaceutical agent, it acts like a plant-based formulation.  Nevertheless, Menerba, which is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (or SERM) is apparently a safe alternative to both selective and non-selective SERMS, as well as HRT, for the treatment of hot flashes/vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. The reason it is considered an alternative is that unlike traditional SERMS, which activate estrogen pathways that have been implicated in breast and uterine cancers, Menerba specifically targets the estrogen pathway in the body that is directly associated with hot flashes. So, theoretically it should be equally if not more effective for addressing hot flashes and also, safer than agents that have come before it.

Thus far, Menerba has been shown in clinical studies to reduce hot flash frequency by as much as 50% and also significantly improve sleep disruptions due to night sweats, with higher doses yielding the best results. Generally, it is well tolerated  and has not had any noted impact on uterine or breast tissue. A larger trial of 600 postmenopausal women is slated to begin this year and is currently recruiting.

The bottom line?

Menerba looks pretty promising. I’m not quite sold on the characterization of Menerba as a botanical and would like to see more information on this, especially because its characterization as such could certainly be confusing once clinical trials are completed and the drug reaches the market. Nevertheless, you may want to keep an eye out for this new kid in town.

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