- Question from Sheri: What's the latest on the effectiveness of black cohosh? It's being touted a lot, but I thought there was a recent study that didn't find it to be very effective.
- Answers - Charles Loprinzi There have been a number of pilot studies suggesting that black cohosh may decrease hot flashes. These have to be taken carefully because we know in our placebo controlled trials that overall in women receiving placebos, there's about a 25-30 percent reduction in hot flashes. And amongst women taking placebos, up to 10-20 percent of can have a major reduction in hot flashes of 75 percent compared to what they had before taking the placebo. A recent placebo controlled trial looking at black cohosh was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In this trial, there was no substantial difference in hot flashes between the women in the placebo and black cohosh groups. However, there was a strong suggestion that women taking the black cohosh had less trouble with sweating than women taking a placebo. We are aware of ongoing studies that are still trying to address the efficacy and toxicity of black cohosh.
- Debra Barton In my opinion, the jury is still out on black cohosh. One placebo-controlled study in this country doesn't answer the question. Black cohosh is approved for menopause in Germany. There have been studies in Germany looking at general menopausal symptoms, not specifically hot flashes, so it's definitely worth looking at further.
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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