(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Gabapentin 300mg/day significantly improved physical well-being in women with breast cancer participating in a randomized trial of the agent for hot flashes, according to a June 28 presentation at the International Symposium on Supportive Care in Cancer, held in New York, NY.

Previously, results of the trial had found that gabapentin 900mg reduced hot flashes in women with breast cancer; however, physical well-being, a quality-of-life domain, has not been studied. Kavita D. Chandwani, MBBS, DrPH, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of the trial data to examine physical well-being.

A nationwide sample of women with breast cancer and 2 hot flashes per day were assessed at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks of treatment with gabapentin 300mg/day, 900mg/day, or a matching placebo. Physical well-being was assessed via a subscale of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast.

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A total of 384 women were included in the study; median age was 54.9 years, 72% were older than 50 years of age, 95% were Caucasian, 76% were married, 71% had more than a high school education, 10% were undergoing chemotherapy and 9%, radiotherapy.

Mean physical well-being showed a significant time effect and interaction of time and treatment (P<0.0001), they reported. Gabapentin 300mg/day improved physical well-being by 4 weeks that was maintained at 8 weeks, while placebo and gabapentin 900mg/day showed modest improvement at 4 weeks that continued at 8 weeks.

Gabapentin 900mg/day, while effective in reducing hot flashes, showed minimal effects on physical well-being, in contrast to gabapentin 300mg/day. “Future studies to further examine the physical well-being in this population are needed,” they concluded.

The International Symposium on Supportive Care in Cancer is sponsored by the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and the International Society of Oral Oncology.