Treatment of hot flushes in breast and prostate cancer

Kerin B. Adelson, Charles L. Loprinzi, Dawn L. Hershman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Hot flushes, the most common health problem reported by menopausal-age women, can lead to significant morbidity and affect the social life, ability to work and sleep pattern of the sufferer. Women treated for breast cancer and men receiving androgen ablation for prostate cancer experience hot flushes that are more frequent, severe and longer lasting than those experienced by the general menopausal population. In women with breast cancer, hot flushes can result from chemotherapy-induced menopause, hormonal therapy, or ovarian suppression. In men with prostate cancer, hot flushes occur after surgical or medical castration. Hormone replacement therapy with oestrogen-based compounds has been a mainstay of treatment for hot flushes during the perimenopausal period. However, recent studies have shown that, in healthy menopausal women, hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, myocardial infarction, thromboembolic events and stroke. Thus, identifying nonhormonal agents that can control hot-flush symptoms is essential to the quality of life of a growing population of cancer survivors. The most promising agents act on the CNS and include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, as well as venlafaxine and gabapentin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1106
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Breast cancer
  • Gabapentin
  • Hot flushes
  • Prostate cancer
  • SSRIs
  • Vasomotor instability
  • Venlafaxine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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