New drug may be the hot flash fix

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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MIAMI, Fla. - Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause, but they still catch many women off guard.

It's more than annoying because it really make your life, sometimes  you feel so frustrated that it make your life a little bit miserable," said Gaby Etchevanne.

As a dog groomer in Miami, Etchevanne needs to keep her cool.  That became all but impossible when the hot flashes hit two years ago.

"They need to do something, they need to come up with something new because whatever is on the market I try and nothing works," she said.

A new prescription medication called Duavee, specially approved for treating hot flashes, may be the relief Etchevanne and millions of other women are looking for.

"I think it's going to be widely used all over the world because of the fact it really targets woman's fears, as well as targeting their symptoms," explained Endocrinologist Dr. Kenneth Gelman.

Gelman recently started prescribing Duavee, a first of it's kind drug that combines a small dose of conjugated estrogen with an estrogen receptor modulator. The combination is intended to block the potentially harmful effects of estrogen.

"For example, it will block the effects of estrogen on the uterus, preventing what we would call uterine hyperplasia or pre-cancerous conditions in the uterus,  and also block the effect, importantly, of estrogens on breast tissue," Gelman explained.

The drug is also approved by the Food and Drug Administration for osteoporosis and is currently being studied in Britain as a possible breast cancer preventive.

That all sounds good to Etchevanne.

"Maybe this new drug hopefully will help me and a lot of other women, yes," she said.

Duavee does not address other symptoms of menopause such as libido and depression and it should not be used by women at risk for blood clots or deep vein thrombosis.

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