Complementary and alternative medicine for natural and treatment-induced vasomotor symptoms: An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2019 Aug;36:181-194. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.07.007. Epub 2019 Jul 19.


Background and purpose: Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are very common in menopausal populations and cancer patients and can cause physical and mental discomfort. We aim to summarize the findings of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (SRs/MAs) that assessed the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicines(CAMs)on VMS to provide solid evidence for future practice.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science were searched from inception to May 2019 to identify relevant SRs/MAs. The methodological quality of SRs/MAs and evidence levels of the outcomes were assessed.

Results: A total of 29 SRs/MAs were reviewed. Evidence has shown that acupuncture, hypnosis, paced respiration, cognitive behavioural therapy, genistein, soy isoflavones, S-equol, combined preparations of black cohosh, and omega-3 supplements could significantly reduce VMS. The methodological quality of the SRs/MAs was moderate or high.

Conclusion: CAMs might be beneficial for reducing VMS, but the evidence levels were not high. Several priorities for future practice were identified.

Keywords: Complementary and alternative medicine; Hot flashes; Night sweats; Overview; Vasomotor symptoms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Hot Flashes / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic