Adriane Fugh-Berman, associate professor in the complementary medicine program at Georgetown University has chronicled the lack of good treatment alternatives for hot flashes.
In an article published in The Washington Post she quotes the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). There is “very little high-quality scientific evidence about the effectiveness and long-term safety” of current alternative therapies for menopausal symptoms.” “Acupuncture is safe but ineffective, while estrogen poses health risks.”
The bottom line?
The response to black cohosh is disappointing, while vitamin E, relaxation techniques, and phytoestrogens are being studied.
According to the the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), nonprescription remedies such as soy, isoflavone supplements, black cohosh, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids are generally low risk but with efficacy generally similar to placebo.
Dr. Fugh-Berman suggests consuming cold drinks, using portable fans, or turning up the air conditioning.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.