Venlafaxine for the control of hot flashes: results of a longitudinal continuation study

Oncol Nurs Forum. 2002 Jan-Feb;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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia / chemically induced
  • Constipation / chemically induced
  • Cyclohexanols / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclohexanols / pharmacology
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / classification
  • Hot Flashes / drug therapy*
  • Hot Flashes / etiology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Postmenopause / drug effects*
  • Postmenopause / physiology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride
  • Xerostomia / chemically induced


  • Cyclohexanols
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride