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Chemo related hot flashes

ramapou
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

I've been on chemo for about 6 months now after a lumpectomy. Things have gone fairly well except for the hot flashes. I'd been having some hot flashes before I started chemo, but once I was on chemo I was having 20+ hot flashes a day! My gynocologist put me on 75 mg effexor daily and that has helped some, especially during the day. The nights are still a horror. I seldom get more than 30-40 minutes of sleep at a time, the hot flashes often last 10 or more minutes, and if I'm not having a not flash then I'm freezing from the inside---piles of blankets don't warm me up. Black cohosh doesn't work for me, I'm not supposed to have large quantities of soy. I've pretty much cut out caffine and spicy foods. I'm already taking 400 units of vitamin E. I'm trying to exercise, but with chemo fatigue (it's not my blood count), arthritis, and fibromyalgia, it's been difficult. If I could get at least 5 hours of solid sleep all of the above would improve. Sleeping aids don't help. HELP! What do I do now?????

ksfc
Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

I can definitely relate to those chemo induced hot flashes and also to the cold from the inside feeling. I had night sweats that would soak my whole side of the bed. It is better after chemo.
Tamoxifen gives me hot flashes but not as bad or as long in duration as chemo did. I take 1000 units of vitamin E to help. My onc said 800 to 1000 was fine. Good luck and take care - Diane

roxanne53's picture
roxanne53
Posts: 157
Joined: Feb 2004

I am also on the Effexor for the hot flashes at a bit higher dosage than you. I started at 75 mg but needed a higher dose. I take it in the evening rather than morning.
I am also on a sleep med at night and have been for awhile.
It appears that you may need to go back to your doctor to discuss these symptoms so that you get the right doses or medication adjustments.
Hope this is helpful.

billandpatty
Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2004

I had the hot flashes and at night would sweat so much, my side of the bed was soaking wet. Everything got better after chemo. As far as sleep -- I found that I didn't sleep through the night, either. I "crashed" early in the evening 7 p.m. or so (I missed sunsets in the summer!) It took a lot of hours of lying down and resting to get enough actual sleep in. I took naps the week following chemo. I worked during the chemo, but I was fortunate to have a job that I could leave work if I just couldn't make it through the day (usually during the week after treatment). If I happened to stay up 'til 9 or 10 p.m., I paid for it the next day, I felt like I had a hangover, so I rarely stayed up late. You don't say how much more treatment you have, but during this time and after -- be good and kind to yourself, do what you can do but let others take over -- sometimes they don't!, but you have to let go during this time and I think the fatigue makes you do that. Exercise is good -- helps with your feeling of wellbeing besides being good for you. My walking partner and I walked early (6 a.m.) in the morning when I had the most energy. You'll make it through this and have your stories and wisdom to pass on to others! Good luck to you. Enjoy the Spring.

Snookums
Posts: 149
Joined: Apr 2003

Wow- i do remember those days as well but it hasn't been that long about 7-8 months. I was on 75 of Effexor as well already for perimenopausal symptons so when I began to feel side effects from chemo I ask my dr could I up it and he said YES. I doubled the dose and mu minimal feelings of sadness were MUCH better and hot flashes got a lot better. I also, take zyrtec for my allergies (life in Louisiana) and I take that at night and effexor in the am. Somehow I ma pretty much flash free. I still have some warm spells here and there but nothing like the HOT flashes of before. So- ask your doc about proper dosage and then, remember this to shall pass- it will be better. You'll be in my prayers- C

momof4girls
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

My oncologist told me not to take anything while on the chemo for my hot flashes. It has been really difficult dealing witht the hot/cold sensations all day and night. I too am not getting a lot of sleep. My gynecologist has suggested the same meds that you mentioned as well as vitamin E and vitamin B6. Check those out. WIshing you a restful sleep at night.

m_m
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

I have also been having the severe hot flashes due to chemo.  Thanks for the info on vitamin E, B6, and exercise I will certainly give it a try.  I would be afraid to try the Effexor due to discontinuation syndrome reported by many patients.

 

Does anyone know how long the hot flashes last?  Do they stop after chemo? 

ramapou
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

Thank you to all for your replies. I'll speak to my gynocologist about upping the effexor. The oncologist is cool with anything I take as long as it's not estrogen-based.

Twinks56
Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2003

Just wanted you to know that my doc just increased the effexor from37.5 to 75mg and it has made a world of difference with the hot flashes.He told me I was on a baby dose before so no problem to increase.It has been about a week and a half.Hope this helps Teresa

Twinks56
Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2003

Just wanted you to know that my doc just increased the effexor from37.5 to 75mg and it has made a world of difference with the hot flashes.He told me I was on a baby dose before so no problem to increase.It has been about a week and a half.Hope this helps Teresa

TKIRK
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

I finished chemo middle of Sept; I was getting a hot flash every 20 min or so. I am on wellbutrin and a pain relief at nite. I still get hot flashes not as bad. No one told me about the menopause I would get thrown in. I am only 41 years old; I have lost interest in sex pretty much and I'm still very exhausted at the end of the work day. I put in 12 hrs with drive time. Is anyone else still tired 5 months after chemo? My cancer was estrogren fed.

sssy446
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

I can relate to your hot flashes. My were realy terrible. My Dr. gave me a exercise tape for lymphedema. The exercise helped alot with the hot flashes. Mostly the exercises were stretches.very gently done. Please try them.

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