Venlafaxine for the Control of Hot Flashes: Results of a Longitudinal Continuation Study

Debra L. Barton

Beth La Vasseur

Charles Loprinzi

Paul Novotny

Mary Beth Wilwerding

Jeff A. Sloan

ONF 2002, 29(1), 33-40. DOI: 10.1188/02.ONF.33-40

Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate the intermediate term efficacy and toxicity of the use of venlafaxine for the control of hot flashes.

Design: An open-label continuation phase study following a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial that tested three doses of venlafaxine for the control of hot flashes.

Setting: North Central Cancer Treatment Group institutions.

Sample: 102 postmenopausal women.

Methods: Women could titrate venlafaxine to optimum efficacy while recording daily hot flash counts and weekly toxicity information.

Main Research Variables: Hot flash frequency, hot flash score.

Findings: The reduction in hot flashes previously reported in the randomized study phase was maintained during the open-label study. Toxicity did not appear to increase over time.

Conclusions: The data from this study provides evidence that venlafaxine has intermediate term efficacy and good tolerability as a treatment for hot flashes.

Implications for Nursing Practice: Nurses can inform symptomatic women that an effective nonhormonal alternative exists to control their hot flashes.

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