SSRI for host flushes in breast cancer – pro

Women who are experiencing hot flashes associated with menopause or induced by treatment for breast cancer may respond to SSRi’s such as Parosetine of Effexor. A 2002 study showed that fluoxetine (Prozac) is moderately effective in reducing hot flushes in breast cancer patients. A pair of recent Mayo studies have confirmed earlier reports that antidepressants are safe and effective in reducing both the frequency and severity of hot flashes by approximately 60 percent.

A follow-up study of more than 100 postmenopausal women, most being treated for breast cancer, showed that venlafaxine (Effexor), a combined serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, reduces hot-flash symptoms over an eight-week period, twice the length of time reported in a previous Mayo study involving nearly 200 women.

The venlafaxine study, which appeared in the February issue of the journal, Oncology Nursing Forum, furthers evidence that the antidepressant is a safe and effective treatment in place of the traditional prescription for estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy. The report on venlafaxine builds on previous studies of the use of paroxetine (Paxil) in treating hot flashes. In those previous studies, as well as the current report, researchers found that the medication seemed to affect patients’ mood as well.

In conclusion, SSRI’s as a class reduce hot flushes.

C. Mom, C. Buijs, P. Willemse, M. Mourits, E. de VriesHot flushes in breast cancer patients. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, Volume 57, Issue 1, Pages 63-77 2006

Robert F Casper Is paroxetine an effective treatment for hot flashes?Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology & Metabolism (2006) 2, 250-251

Yvonne De Sloover Koch, Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors for the Treatment of Hot Flashes The Annals of Pharmacotherapy: Vol. 38, No. 7, pp. 1293-1296.

P. AmatoFluoxetine may reduce hot flashes in women with a history of breast cancer.
Evidence-based Oncology, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 182-184 2002

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