Hot flashes are common experience for menopausal women, and for many, are severe enough to significantly compromise their overall sense of well being and quality of life. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of evening primrose with placebo in improvement of menopausal hot flashes.
In a 6-week randomized clinical trial, a total of 56 menopausal women aged 45–59 years were participated in this study. The patients were asked for their hot flashes characteristics and responded to HFRDIS (hot flash related daily interference scale) questionnaire before and after the intervention. The participants were randomly assigned to take two capsules per day (totally 90 capsules for 6 weeks) of placebo or evening primrose (500 mg) for continuous 6 weeks. Then, the improvement in hot flashes was compared between two groups.
The percent of improvement in hot flash frequency, severity and duration were 39, 42 and 19 %, in evening primrose group compared with 32, 32 and 18 % in placebo group, respectively. Although all three characters of hot flash was ameliorated in evening primrose arm, only its severity was significantly better in this arm compared with placebo group (P < 0.05). All HFRDIS score were significantly improved in two groups, but the percentage of improvement in social activities, relations with others, and sexuality was significantly superior to placebo group (P < 0.05).
The application of oral evening primrose oil compared with placebo for controlling hot flashes may decrease more the intensity of attacks as well as ameliorating the HFRDIS score.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Gold EB, Block G, Crawford S, Lachance L, FitzGerald G, Miracle H, Sherman S (2004) Lifestyle and demographic factors in relation to vasomotor symptoms: baseline results from the study of women’s health across the nation. Am J Epidemiol 159(12):1189–1199. doi:10.1093/aje/kwh168
Rossouw JE, Anderson GL, Prentice RL, LaCroix AZ, Kooperberg C, Stefanick ML, Jackson RD, Beresford SA, Howard BV, Johnson KC, Kotchen JM, Ockene J (2002) Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the women’s health initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 288(3):321–333
Cheema D, Coomarasamy A, El-Toukhy T (2007) Non-hormonal therapy of post-menopausal vasomotor symptoms: a structured evidence-based review. Arch Gynecol Obstet 276(5):463–469. doi:10.1007/s00404-007-0390-9
Park MK, Satoh N, Kumashiro M (2008) Mental workload under time pressure can trigger frequent hot flashes in menopausal women. Ind Health 46(3):261–268. doi:JST.JSTAGE/indhealth/46.261
Thurston RC, Blumenthal JA, Babyak MA, Sherwood A (2006) Association between hot flashes, sleep complaints, and psychological functioning among healthy menopausal women. Int J Behav Med 13(2):163–172. doi:10.1207/s15327558ijbm1302_8
Vestergaard P, Hermann AP, Stilgren L, Tofteng CL, Sorensen OH, Eiken P, Nielsen SP, Mosekilde L (2003) Effects of 5 years of hormonal replacement therapy on menopausal symptoms and blood pressure––a randomised controlled study. Maturitas 46(2):123–132 pii: S0378512203001816
Panidis D, Rousso D, Kourtis A, Giannoulis C, Mavromatidis G, Stergiopoulos K (2001) Hormone replacement therapy at the threshold of 21st century. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 99(2):154–164 [pii: S0301211501004055]
Espeland MA, Rapp SR, Shumaker SA, Brunner R, Manson JE, Sherwin BB, Hsia J, Margolis KL, Hogan PE, Wallace R, Dailey M, Freeman R, Hays J (2004) Conjugated equine estrogens and global cognitive function in postmenopausal women: women’s health initiative memory study. JAMA 291(24):2959–2968. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2959
Hulley S, Grady D, Bush T, Furberg C, Herrington D, Riggs B, Vittinghoff E (1998) Randomized trial of estrogen plus progestin for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women. Heart and Estrogen/progestin replacement study (HERS) research group. JAMA 280(7):605–613
Beral V (2003) Breast cancer and hormone––replacement therapy in the million women study. Lancet 362(9382):419–427 [pii: S0140673603140652]
National Institutes of Health (2005) National institutes of health state-of-the-science conference statement: management of menopause-related symptoms Ann Intern Med 142(12 Pt 1):1003–1013 [pii: 0000605-200506210-00117]
Rossmanith WG, Ruebberdt W (2009) What causes hot flushes? The neuroendocrine origin of vasomotor symptoms in the menopause. Gynecol Endocrinol 25(5):303–314. doi:10.1080/09513590802632514
Carroll DG (2006) Nonhormonal therapies for hot flashes in menopause. Am Fam Physician 73(3):457–464
Chenoy R, Hussain S, Tayob Y, O’Brien PM, Moss MY, Morse PF (1994) Effect of oral gamolenic acid from evening primrose oil on menopausal flushing. BMJ 308(6927):501–503
Bassey EJ, Littlewood JJ, Rothwell MC, Pye DW (2000) Lack of effect of supplementation with essential fatty acids on bone mineral density in healthy pre and postmenopausal women: two randomized controlled trials of Efacal versus calcium alone. Br J Nutr 83(6):629–635 [pii: S0007114500000805]
Conquer JA, Roelfsema H, Zecevic J, Graham TE, Holub BJ (2002) Effect of exercise on FA profiles in n-3 FA-supplemented and nonsupplemented premenopausal women. Lipids 37(10):947–951
Cancelo Hidalgo MJ, Castelo Branco C (2011) Optimizing soy isoflavones effect in postmenopausal women: the impact of timing on climacteric symptoms. Gynecol Endocrinol 27(9):696–700. doi:10.3109/09513590.2010.526665
Carpenter JS (2001) The hot flash related daily interference scale: a tool for assessing the impact of hot flashes on quality of life following breast cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage 22(6):979–989 [pii: S0885392401003530]
Ziaei S, Kazemnejad A, Zareai M (2007) The effect of vitamin E on hot flashes in menopausal women. Gynecol Obstet Invest 64(4):204–207. doi:10.1159/000106491
Yakoot M, Salem A, Omar AM (2011) Effectiveness of a herbal formula in women with menopausal syndrome. Forsch Komplementmed 18(5):264–268. doi:10.1159/000333430
Loprinzi CL, Barton DL, Qin R (2011) Nonestrogenic management of hot flashes. J Clin Oncol 29(29):3842–3846. doi:10.1200/JCO.2011.37.5865
Loprinzi CL, Sloan J, Stearns V, Slack R, Iyengar M, Diekmann B, Kimmick G, Lovato J, Gordon P, Pandya K, Guttuso T Jr, Barton D, Novotny P (2009) Newer antidepressants and gabapentin for hot flashes: an individual patient pooled analysis. J Clin Oncol 27(17):2831–2837. doi:10.1200/JCO.2008.19.6253
Loprinzi CL, Qin R, Balcueva EP, Flynn KA, Rowland KM Jr, Graham DL, Erwin NK, Dakhil SR, Jurgens DJ, Burger KN (2010) Phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of pregabalin for alleviating hot flashes, N07C1. J Clin Oncol 28(4):641–647. doi:10.1200/JCO.2009.24.5647
Aidelsburger P, Schauer S, Grabein K, Wasem J (2012) Alternative methods for the treatment of post-menopausal troubles. GMS Health Technol Assess 8: Doc03. doi:10.3205/hta000101
Bordeleau L, Pritchard KI, Loprinzi CL, Ennis M, Jugovic O, Warr D, Haq R, Goodwin PJ (2010) Multicenter, randomized, cross-over clinical trial of venlafaxine versus gabapentin for the management of hot flashes in breast cancer survivors. J Clin Oncol 28(35):5147–5152. doi:10.1200/JCO.2010.29.9230
Maclennan AH, Broadbent JL, Lester S, Moore V (2004) Oral oestrogen and combined oestrogen/progestogen therapy versus placebo for hot flushes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (4): CD002978 doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002978.pub2
Stein DJ, Baldwin DS, Dolberg OT, Despiegel N, Bandelow B (2006) Which factors predict placebo response in anxiety disorders and major depression? An analysis of placebo-controlled studies of escitalopram. J Clin Psychiatry 67(11):1741–1746
Papakostas YG, Daras MD (2001) Placebos, placebo effect, and the response to the healing situation: the evolution of a concept. Epilepsia 42(12):1614–1625
van Die MD, Teede HJ, Bone KM, Reece JE, Burger HG (2009) Predictors of placebo response in a randomized, controlled trial of phytotherapy in menopause. Menopause 16(4):792–796. doi:10.1097/GME.0b013e318199d5e6
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Farzaneh, F., Fatehi, S., Sohrabi, M. et al. The effect of oral evening primrose oil on menopausal hot flashes: a randomized clinical trial. Arch Gynecol Obstet 288, 1075–1079 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-013-2852-6
- Hot flashes
- Evening primrose