Pilot evaluation of citalopram for the treatment of hot flashes in women with inadequate benefit from venlafaxine

Charles L. Loprinzi, Patrick J. Flynn, Lisa A. Carpenter, Pam Atherton, Debra L. Barton, Tait D. Shanafelt, Teresa A. Rummans, Jeff A. Sloan, Alex A. Adjei, Betty A. Mincey, Tom R. Fitch, Mary Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: While newer antidepressants, such as venlafaxine and paroxetine, substantially decrease hot flashes, there is no published information with regards to whether a different antidepressant will be effective when one antidepressant does not adequately relieve hot flashes. Objective: The objective of this trial was to provide pilot information with regards to whether citalopram would effectively reduce hot flashes in patients who did not receive adequate enough hot flash reduction with venlafaxine. Design: This was a prospective pilot trial Measurements: Validated patient-completed hot flash diary questionnaires were utilized for measuring hot flashes. Subjects: Thirty patients were recruited to this trial, 22 of whom were fully evaluable. Results: Compared to a baseline week, hot flash scores were reduced by 53% 4 weeks later. The citalopram appeared to be well tolerated with many quality-of-life and potential toxicity symptoms much improved compared to the baseline week. At the end of the 4-week treatment, 19 patients (63% of patients entering the study and 86% of the patient completing the study treatment) chose to continue to use citalopram. Conclusion: This pilot information supports the hypothesis that citalopram will reduce hot flashes in patients with inadequate hot flash relief while taking venlafaxine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-930
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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