SAN ANTONIO – Oxybutynin (), a drug approved to treat overactive bladder, is highly efficacious and well tolerated when used to alleviate hot flashes, according to results of a randomized, controlled trial of 150 women reported by lead author .
The women, about two-thirds of whom were breast cancer survivors taking tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, were having at least 28 hot flashes weekly at baseline. Results of the trial showed that the 6-week reduction in a hot flash score capturing both frequency and severity was about 30% with placebo, 65% with oxybutynin 2.5 mg b.i.d., and 80% with oxybutynin 5 mg b.i.d. (P less than .01 across groups).
There also was a significant difference in quality of life in favor of the drug and, in the higher-dose group, significantly better scores for mood and life enjoyment. In a video interview, Dr. Leon-Ferre discussed how oxybutynin compares with other available treatment options, which women are good or poor candidates for this drug, and how the findings have influenced his own practice.
Dr. Leon-Ferre of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., disclosed that he had no relevant conflicts of interest. The study was funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.