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Junior Member
Posts: 47
Reply with quote  #1 
I was pushed into menopause with my chemo treatments. Are there any natural supplements shown to help hot flashes, they seem to be getting worse, especailly at night. I guess those are called night sweats.

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Posts: 7,476
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Patty,
I asked about black cohosh which is supposed to help but my onc said absolutely not.
I don't know of anything that is safe.
I have a pedestal fan in my bedroom that has a remote control. I turn it on sometimes at night to cool off. What is good about it is I don't have to get up and disturb my sleep too much.





Chief of Research
Posts: 1,129
Reply with quote  #3 

There are only four robustly evidenced and safe non-estrogen interventions for relief from vasomotor symptoms of hot flashes: 


  1. Gabapentin (Neurontin), prescription or OTC (over-the-counter) at 900mg daily (best to build up slowly 300mg each 3 days until reaching 900mg daily, and as there may be some sedative action, entire dose can be taken at nightime, preferably with a meal).
  2. The SNRI antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor), at 75mg / daily extended release (prescription item).
  3. The progestin megesterol acetate, 20mg daily (prescription).
  4. Tibolone (Livial) (prescription), at 1.25 mg daily.


Of these Livial is the most effective, exceeding the benefit even of HRT, and with demonstrable antitumor benefit, but although approved in 70+ countries, it is currently not available in the U.S. (it would have to be ordered off-prescription from the UK under a personal use FDA  exemption).  Gabapentin (a natural agent), and Effexor are between at least 40 - 60% effective in general, higher in certain receptive individuals, with megesterol acetate somewhat more effective.  Given tolerability, a typical plan of intervention would be to run through trials of (1) gabapentin, (2) Effexor, (3) megesterol, and (4) Livial, in that order, allowing a period of at approximately 6 weeks  per trial to judge efficacy (reduction in the number of hot flashes, or in their severity, or both).


Non-agent approaches are switching strategies: switching from tamoxifen to an aromatase inhibitor (AI), or to fulvestrant (Faslodex), or to toremifene (Fareston), as switching is effective in over half of all patients.


Although there are some other miscellaneous options, they are less evidenced and more erratic in benefit, with some safety concerns in some of these, so the above represents the best interventions available to this time.


Constantine Kaniklidis
Breast Cancer Watch

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