HealthDay News — Low-dose dexamethasone may reduce heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) when taken during the luteal phase of menstrual cycles, according to a study published online recently in EBioMedicine.

Pamela Warner, PhD, from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 97 women with HMB to placebo or 1 of 6 dexamethasone doses (0.2mg, 0.4mg, 0.5mg, 0.6mg, 0.75mg, or 0.9mg) taken orally twice daily over 5 days in the midluteal phase of three menstrual cycles.

The researchers found that 1.8mg dexamethasone daily showed a 25mL greater reduction in menstrual blood loss compared with placebo, with a probability of 0.98 of benefit over placebo. Three-quarters of women receiving dexamethasone reported adverse events (58 of 77) vs 58% (15 of 26) taking placebo, but no participants withdrew due to adverse effects. Three serious adverse events occurred: 2 during screening and 1 in a placebo participant.

“Our findings support dexamethasone as a safe and effective medical therapy for HMB, making it a treatment option that might be welcomed by women who eschew surgical treatment, experience unacceptable side-effects with hormonal treatment, or wish to try for pregnancy,” the authors write.


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Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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