Last year we reviewed Scotia’s gamolenic acid preparation, Epogam, for the treatment of atopic eczema.1 Gamolenic acid can now be prescribed for the symptomatic treatment of breast pain as Efamast, also made by Scotia. Like Epogam, each capsule contains 40mg gamolenic acid, an essential unsaturated fatty acid, obtained from the seed oil of varieties of evening primrose. Plasma and red-cell concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids are low in women with mastalgia compared with normal subjects; oral gamolenic acid corrects this and restores the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids towards normal. This is believed to lessen the sensitivity of breast cells to the effects of prolactin and ovarian hormones.
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