Oncology

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Venlafaxine Provides Alternative to Hormonal Therapy for Hot Flashes in Patients Surviving Breast Cancer

KEY POINT

Venlafaxine (Effexor—Wyeth-Ayerst) and other antidepressants look promising for treatment of hot flashes in women who survive breast cancer. Hormonal therapy, a common treatment for hot flashes, is contraindicated in women who have had estrogen–receptor-positive breast cancer, and others are concerned about taking hormones after having had breast cancer. In a 4-week trial, venlafaxine 37.5–75 mg/day was effective for this indication.

SOURCES

Loprinzi CL et al. Venlafaxine in management of hot flashes in survivors of breast cancer: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2000;356:2059–63.