Purpose: Hot flashes can be a prominent clinical problem for breast cancer survivors and men who undergo androgen-deprivation therapy. Anecdotal information suggested a low dose of a relatively new antidepressant, venlafaxine, could abrogate this clinical problem. Materials and Methods: This study included 28 consecutive assessable patients entered onto a phase II clinical trial. Hot flash data were collected by daily diary questionnaires during a 1-week baseline period and then for 4 weeks, during which time patients received venlafaxine 12.5 mg orally twice daily. Results: Fifty-eight percent of patients who completed the study had a greater than 50% reduction in hot flash scores (frequency times severity) during the fourth treatment week as compared with the baseline week. Median weekly hot flash scores were reduced by 55% from baseline during the fourth week of veniafaxine therapy. Therapy was generally well tolerated and appeared to alleviate fatigue, sweating, and trouble sleeping. Conclusion: Venlafaxine appears to represent an efficacious new method to alleviate hot flashes. Further evaluation of this compound for alleviating hot flashes is indicated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research