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Can Botox treat hot flashes?

Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause.  A recent study published in Dermatologic Surgery in November 2011 found that Dysport, a medicine very similar to Botox, did reduce the intensity, frequency, and sweating associated with hot flashes in women.  We already know that Botox treats excessive underarm sweating.
In the study, 30 menopausal patients were injected with Dysport, and 30 were treated with a sham product.  Forty injection sites were used on the face, neck, chest, and back of the scalp.

Results were measured after 60 days, and the study found that treated patients had less intense hot flashes, fewer of them, and less sweating.  In addition, treated patients reported that they felt less irritable.

The authors of the study offer two explanations for the improvement they observed.  First, hot flushes may be less noticeable when sweating is not present, and second, the frequency of hot flashes may be less because of an unknown mechanism.

Although this is a pilot study, the improvement in hot flashes from botulinum toxin treatment is impressive so far.

Marina et al. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of menopausal hot flushes. Derm Surg 2011;37:1579-1583.

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