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Minerva Ginecologica 2000 June;52(6):263-8

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Evaluation of the association of Kava-Kava extract and hormone replacement therapy in the treatment of anxiety in postmenopause

De Leo V., La Marca A., Lanzetta D., Palazzi S., Torricelli M., Facchini C., Morgante G.


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Background. Anxiety is one of the main symptoms in menopause. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the association of Kava-Kava extracts with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and to compare it with HRT alone in the treatment of postmenopausal anxiety.
Methods. Forty women in physiological or surgical menopause for the past 1 to 12 years were enrolled in the study. Patients in physiological menopause were randomly assigned to one of the following protocols: TTS natural estrogens 50 mg/day with progestin and Kava-Kava extract at a dose of 100 mg (HRT+K, no. = 13); TTS natural estrogens 50 mg/day with progestin and a placebo product (HRT, no. = 9). Patients in surgical menopause were randomly assigned to one of the following protocols: TTS natural estrogens 50 mg/day and Kava-Kava extract at a dose of 100 mg (ERT+K, no. = 11); TTS natural estrogens 50 mg/day and a placebo product (ERT, no. = 7). Each treatment cycle lasted for 6 months. The outcome of the study was to evaluate changes in the HAMA score.
Results. A significant reduction in the HAMA score was observed after 3 and 6 months' treatment in all four groups of women studied. The groups treated with the therapeutic association (HRT+K, ERT+K) showed a greater reduction in the HAMA score compared to patients in the groups treated with hormones alone.
Conclusions. The results of this study show that the association of HRT and Kava-Kava extract may represent an excellent therapeutic tool for the treatment of women in stabilized menopause, in particular those suffering from anxiety and depression, given that Kava-Kava therapy accelerates the resolution of psychological symptoms without diminishing the therapeutic action of estrogens on organic disease, such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

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