Will hot flashes, panic attacks end?

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Question from Lindel: Will I get past these silly hot flashes and panic attacks? They are ruling my life.
Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. The answer is yes. Very few women have persistent hot flashes for the rest of their lives. Women who are experiencing menopause may have these symptoms for a 2 or 3-year period of time. Ten to 15 percent of women may have hot flashes and sweats for an indefinite period of time. However, you can talk to your physician about medications to control your symptoms during this time.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. There are some medications that can help with both hot flashes and panic attacks. In my practice, I have taken care of a number of women who experience both symptoms. They have had a good response to medications like Effexor (chemical name: venlavaxine) or Paxil (chemical name: paroxetine). Talk to your doctor about the possible use of such medications. I have been quite impressed by the ability of these medications to ease panic attacks, in particular, and hot flashes, second.

Editor's Note: Paxil is known to reduce the effectiveness of tamoxifen. If you are taking tamoxifen, talk to your doctor about alternatives to Paxil. For more information, please visit the Breastcancer.org Tamoxifen page.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Quality of Life featured Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how breast cancer can affect physical, emotional, social, and sexual aspects of your life.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2001.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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