Effexor vs. tamoxifen for hot flashes?

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Question from JC: I am 30 and upon finishing treatment in July I went on tamoxifen. Hot flashes were unbearable. I thought about Effexor, but then the doc decided to increase the Celexa to 30 mg. I was taking 20 mg for low-grade anxiety/depression. It has helped the hot flashes somewhat but I am wondering if Effexor would do a better job. I have to be able to control the hot flashes.
Answers - Charles Loprinzi Venlafaxine (Effexor) happens to be the first of the newer antidepressants that was well studied for treating hot flashes. It turns out that a number of people are looking at others of the newer antidepressants, including Celexa, and the preliminary studies (and these are preliminary only) suggest that a variety of the other newer antidepressants, such as Celexa, do reduce hot flashes similar to how venlafaxine works. At this time, there are not good comparative studies and there is not good information about whether one antidepressant will work when another one does not. Those are questions that are hopefully going to be addressed in the near future.
Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. It might be worth giving the increased Celexa dose a little longer before making a switch, since you've noticed some improvement.
Charles Loprinzi What we have found so far is that usually within a week or two, we'll get the hot flash reactions to the antidepressants as opposed to having to wait for a period of a month or longer to get the antidepressant effects of these medications.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Managing Menopausal Symptoms featured Charles Loprinzi, M.D., Debra Barton, Ph.D., and Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. answering your questions about hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, and other symptoms associated with menopause.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2002.

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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