Hot Flashes relating to tamoxifen therapy

Irish_Girl Member Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi, my name is Patti, I just had my 3 anniversary of being (Breast) cancer free. The last stage of my treatment after chemo & radiation is Hormone therapy (tamoxifen therapy) I have been on tamoxifen therapy since 11/1/05 & have 2 1/2 years to go before I'm done. I have HORRIBLE hot flashes & they have consumed my life! (Better them then Cancer) Is there anyone out there that has had this same problem that has found comfort? If so what worked for you?

Thank you


  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    First of all, a big happy dance for your 3 years!!!!
    I still have a few flashes. But I am keeping my b-complex vitamins in my system for my neuropathy, and it seems to help the flashes, too....

    Hugs, kathi
  • I got hot flashes as soon as I started my chemo, did you? They have lessened a little. I was premenopausal, too, and so entered medical menopause. This menopause may also be guitly of giving me some mood swings. I haven't started my tamoxofin yet (1 more taxol to go). I also take vitamin b6 to help with taxol, and since taking it have noticed that I have fewer night sweats. Incidentally, I was talking to a girlfriend going through natural memopause. SHe said she has been battling hot flashes for two years. Hot flashes seem to visit each person differently and can't just be seen as a curse of the CBeast. Sorry you have to go through this. Please post if you try the B6 (check with your onc first) and let us know if that helps. Interestingly (or disgustingly) enough, I have noticed that while I do sweat with the hot flashes I do not have a problem with body odor. I hope some people on this site have some good tips for you!
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    They thought I had ovarian cancer on top of breast cancer so I got a surgical menapause on top of tamoxifen. Then they gave me exemestane to lower my estrogen even further. I definately get hot flashes! It's better than breast cancer and luckily the ovarian stuff was nothing. There are lots of things I do (all non medical) to cope with mine. One thing is attitude. I decided to look on the bright side of things. My feet are no longer cold when I run to the bathroom at night. I just wait till a flash comes along and off I go. This helps getting out of bed on a winter day in the morning too. Sweating was a problems, especially at first. I removed a blanket or two from the bed in the winter and turned the ceiling fan on WITH the AC in the summer. A sheet and the fan worked in the summer even though my hubbie (who doesn't get flashes) left the house at 82. Leaving the comforter off all winter (house at 65 thanks to you know who!) works there. I sleep in cotton shortie pj's in the summer and not much more in the winter. A wet washcloth helps if I'm super warm, but that's not all that often. During the day, I keep plenty of water or tea handy. Sipping on cold drinks really helps if I'm overly warm. I always layer up when I dress for the day in layers that will come off quickly when necessary. I feel rather schizo taking sweaters off and on so often, but I hate being cold as much as I hate being hot. Most of the staff I work with is flashing too, so they understand. I understand that doctors do have various meds that can lessen flashs. Some are antidepressants and others treat epilepsy. DON'T USE HERBS! If they work, it is because they are estrogen-like substances. Estrogen promotes cancer in far too many of us. So dress for the weather, get a big mug, and see your doctor as needed! Good luck!
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Hi Patti, congratulations on your 3 yr anniversary. I am on tamoxifen and I can attest to your complaints about the intense hot flashes.
    Regular exercise seems to alleviate them somewhat. That is all I can add to what the gals have already said. Hope you find relief.
  • 3cbrca
    3cbrca Member Posts: 206
    Hi Patti
    I am a HUGE fan of Effexor XR for hot flashes. My chemo put me into menopause and my head felt like an active volcano! I have been on it for about a year. I have since finished chemo/RT and have been taking Aromasin for about 8 months which causes hot flashes, but with the Effexor I rarely notice them - once and awhile when I drink a warm beverage.
    From another sweaty Irish Girl.
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    I got hot and cold flashes when I was on Herceptin, which I will be on again after I finish the current chemo and radiation after that. I basically dressed in layers and bought a little fan for my office. I spent a lot of time turning the fan on and off and taking my jacket off and on...coworkers just rolled their eyes or laughed. I guess they'll be doing it again in a few months. I have never done tamoxifen.

    Hope it gets better, seof
  • pmillr2000
    pmillr2000 Member Posts: 26
    I've been on tamoxifen for about a year and a half. Don't have SERIOUS flash issues, but I DO have my "personal summers". My onc started me on monthly B12 shots at the same time I started Tamoxifen. Don't know if that made the difference or not.
  • cathdavis
    cathdavis Member Posts: 42
    Hi Patti,my flashes were brought on with super full force when taking arimidex after my surgery for BC. I have been off that for about 2 yrs and still have super flashes. I have tried everything mentioned...B vitamins, effexor, exercise, etc and still I get them. I am on cymbalta right now and I don't get them quite as often, but when they come, they are still vicious. As one person mentioned, it is so individual. I use a fan and layers too. Good luck! If you find something else that works, let us know!
    Cathy :-)