Objective: To determine the effects of clonidine, a centrally acting adrenergic agonist, in abating symptoms of hot flashes in men receiving either leuprolide or goserelin for prostate cancer.
Design: Patients were administered transdermal or oral clonidine 0.1-0.2 mg/d. Dosages were increased in increments of 0.1-0.3 mg/d every two to four weeks if symptoms persisted or until adverse effects developed.
Setting: Medical oncology clinic at the University of Illinois and the hypertension clinic at the Veterans Affairs West Side Medical Center.
Participants: Consenting male patients were eligible for the study if they were receiving leuprolide or goserelin for prostate cancer and were experiencing hot flashes. Exclusion criteria included diastolic blood pressure of 75 mm Hg or below or a history of adverse reactions to clonidine.
Main outcome measures: Effectiveness of clonidine was determined by questioning patients about frequency, severity, and duration of hot flashes at baseline and at two- to four-week intervals.
Results: All four patients receiving clonidine experienced a partial response within two weeks of starting treatment. No dose-dependent response was observed. Adverse effects were noted in one patient but did not result in discontinuation.
Conclusions: Our results document the first report of the use of clonidine to treat hot flashes secondary to leuprolide or goserelin therapy. Symptomatic improvement was noted in all four patients. Further evaluation of clonidine as well as other centrally acting adrenergic agonists is needed.