Hot Flash Treatment Strategies for Patients With Breast Cancer


Ahead of his presentation at the 39th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference, Charles L. Loprinzi, MD, highlights some non-estrogenic approaches to hot flash management for patients with breast cancer.

Reducing hot flashes is often a critical component of breast cancer care, Charles L. Loprinzi, MD, explains.

Loprinzi, a consultant in the Division of Medical Oncology in the Department of Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has been involved in approximately 30 clinical trials related to non-estrogenic management of chemotherapy-induced hot flashes in patients with breast cancer. Currently, Loprinzi is serving as the principal investigator of an ongoing phase 3 trial seeking to assess whether a lower dose of oxybutynin will yield fewer adverse events (AEs) in patients with breast cancer who either are not candidates for or are not interested in hormone replacement therapy.1

During the 39th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference®, Loprinzi spoke with Oncology Nursing News® about how he typically helps patients manage chemotherapy-induced hot flashes.

“There are a number of non-estrogenic things that can be used [as a] treatment. Newer antidepressants, [like] selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have been around for some time. Decades ago, the very first placebo-controlled trial looked at venlafaxine, which markedly decreased hot flashes [by] about 60% vs about 20% with a placebo,” Loprinzi. “A lot of doctors, when they think of antidepressants, they think [of venlafaxine] first. I don't ever use that drug myself [to treat] hot flashes; citalopram works as well as venlafaxine and has less toxicities: with nausea upfront, and with [less] withdrawal symptoms than some people have with venlafaxine.”


  1. Clinical trials: oxybutynin chloride in managing hot flashes. Mayo Clinic. Accessed March 7, 2022.

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