Transdermal clonidine for ameliorating tamoxifen-induced hot flashes

J Clin Oncol. 1994 Jan;12(1):155-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1994.12.1.155.


Purpose: To determine the efficacy of transdermal clonidine for alleviating tamoxifen-induced hot flashes in women with a history of breast cancer.

Patients and methods: A randomized, double-blind, crossover design was used in this prospective study. Women with a history of breast cancer who were receiving tamoxifen and suffering from hot flashes were potentially eligible for this protocol study.

Results: Clonidine did reduce hot-flash frequency to a degree that was statistically impressive (P < .0001), but clinically moderate (20% reduction from baseline). It also decreased hot-flash severity (P = .02, 10% reduction from baseline). Clonidine was related to increased mouth dryness (P < .001), constipation (P < .02), itchiness under the patch (P < .01), and drowsiness (P < .05).

Conclusion: Better means are needed to alleviate hot flashes among patients in whom estrogen therapy is contraindicated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Climacteric / drug effects*
  • Climacteric / physiology
  • Clonidine / administration & dosage
  • Clonidine / adverse effects
  • Clonidine / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tamoxifen / adverse effects*


  • Tamoxifen
  • Clonidine