Veozah is a once-daily pill that treats moderate-to-severe symptoms including sweating, flushing and chills. The drug is different from other menopause treatments in that it is not a hormone and works by targeting a brain receptor that plays a role in regulating body temperature.
The FDA said in a statement the medication will provide “an additional safe and effective treatment option for women.”
The agency noted more than 80% of women experience hot flashes during menopause as the body gradually produces lower levels of reproductive hormones between the ages of 45 and 55.
OB/GYN specialist Dr. Shari Brasner said Tuesday on “CUOMO” the drug will give women more options in treating their menopause symptoms.
“Hopefully, this is just the start of new things coming down the pipeline,” Brasner said.
The drug carries an FDA warning about potential liver damage. Women will need to be screened for liver damage or infection before getting a prescription, then get a blood test every three months for nine months to monitor for safety problems, according to the FDA label.
The drug’s manufacturer, Astellas Pharma, said it will cost $550 for a one-month supply. That’s the price before insurance coverage and other discounts typically negotiated by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers.
“There’s a lot we’ve got to learn … but as a women’s health care provider, I have to say I’m excited to just have a something new to offer because it’s been years,” Brasner said. “It’s going to reduce hot flashes, they say, in over 50% of women, reduce them by 50%. If those numbers are accurate, this is going to be a wonder drug.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.