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.