Pilot evaluation of venlafaxine hydrochloride for the therapy of hot flashes in cancer survivors

Charles L. Loprinzi, Thomas M. Pisansky, Rafael Fonseca, Jeff A. Sloan, Katherine M. Zahasky, Susan K. Quella, Paul J. Novotny, Teresa A. Rummans, Daniel A. Dumesic, Edith A. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2377-2381
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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