Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 115, Issue 3, pp 573–580

Venlafaxine versus clonidine for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients: a double-blind, randomized cross-over study

Authors

  • Ciska Buijs
    • Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
    • Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
    • Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
  • Pax H. B. Willemse
    • Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
  • H. Marike Boezen
    • Department of EpidemiologyUniversity Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen
  • J. Marina Maurer
    • Hospital Pharmacy, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
  • A. N. Machteld Wymenga
    • Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
    • Medical Spectrum Twente
  • Robert S. de Jong
    • Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
    • Martini Hospital
  • Peter Nieboer
    • Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
    • Wilhelmina Hospital
  • Elisabeth G. E. de Vries
    • Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
  • Marian J. E. Mourits
    • Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of Groningen
Clinical Trial

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-008-0138-7

Cite this article as:
Buijs, C., Mom, C.H., Willemse, P.H.B. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2009) 115: 573. doi:10.1007/s10549-008-0138-7

Abstract

Purpose Breast cancer patients with treatment-induced menopause experience frequent and severe hot flashes (HF). We compared venlafaxine and clonidine for the treatment of HF with regard to side effects, efficacy, quality of life and sexual functioning. Methods In a double-blind, cross-over study, 60 breast cancer patients experiencing HF were randomized to 8 weeks venlafaxine followed by 2 weeks wash-out, and 8 weeks clonidine or vice versa. HF frequency and severity, side effects, quality of life and sexuality were assessed. Results Thirty patients started with venlafaxine and 30 with clonidine. Premature discontinuation for toxicity occurred in 14/59 during venlafaxine and 5/53 during clonidine (P = .038). Venlafaxine induced more side effects. Median reduction in HF score was 49% for venlafaxine and 55% for clonidine (ns). Conclusion Venlafaxine and clonidine are equally, but moderately effective in HF reduction. Side effects are the main reason for drug discontinuation, occurring more often with venlafaxine.

Keywords

Breast cancerHot flashesMenopauseClonidineVenlafaxine

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008