Cancer patients pick antidepressant f...

Cancer patients pick antidepressant for hot flashes

There are 75 comments on the Reuters story from Nov 8, 2010, titled Cancer patients pick antidepressant for hot flashes. In it, Reuters reports that:

Breast cancer survivors who struggle with hot flashes may find respite in an antidepressant, according to a new study that suggests the medication should be the go-to drug when the overheating is severe.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Reuters.

Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#21 Aug 13, 2011
I have posted a lot in the past about Femara. I've been off it for almost two years. I had an extreme reaction to it. I also had an even more extreme reaction to Tamoxifen.

Rather than talking to me I would urge people to talk to their doctors and politely insist on the full story on all these drugs. It's tough when a drug that may save your life can cause significant side effects, but that's what happens sometimes.

Good oncologists know about the research "in the works" as well as what has already been published. They know who did the research and who paid for it. But you can also ask that question -- how independent was that research? Was it well controlled? Did it have enough participants in it to make a good study? Does it contradict all the other well done research on that question?

Research is very tightly focused, and ten studies on one drug might ask ten entirely different answers. It's a big mistake to draw conclusions from research that the researchers did not draw.

I was really lucky with chemo. I sailed right through it. If everyone were like me, people would have virtually no side effects from chemo.

I wasn't that lucky with AI's. If everyone were like me on the AI's, the FDA probably wouldn't allow them. I was at the two extremes with the two different treatment. We're all so individual.
Chemo Girl

Portsmouth, OH

#22 Aug 14, 2011
mcsrider wrote:
My cancer doctor put me on Effexor and said it was the only one that would work with Taxoxifen.
I would have probably died of the hot flash if it were not for Effexor. The side effects are irrelevant to me since my alternative is to die with Breast Cancer.
When you are faced with the big "C", life becomes less complicated. You live, love and laugh for today because no one is promised a tomorrow. This sounds tacky but it is something that I believe.
I had breast cancer as well. The Effexor does not cure you of breast cancer so your argument is null. I can tell you there IS something worse than the chemo. It was the complete destruction of both of my Achilles Tendons from the Effexor. Not being able to walk when I have two young children is awful. Over the past year I have had two total Achilles Tendon transplants. The surgery is very difficult and the recover is long. I still don't have complete mobility in either tendon and I may never have it. Believe me, living with the hot flashes is SO much easier than the excruciating pain of degenerated Achilles Tendons or the surgery to fix them.
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#23 Aug 14, 2011
Chemo Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
I had breast cancer as well. The Effexor does not cure you of breast cancer so your argument is null. I can tell you there IS something worse than the chemo. It was the complete destruction of both of my Achilles Tendons from the Effexor. Not being able to walk when I have two young children is awful. Over the past year I have had two total Achilles Tendon transplants. The surgery is very difficult and the recover is long. I still don't have complete mobility in either tendon and I may never have it. Believe me, living with the hot flashes is SO much easier than the excruciating pain of degenerated Achilles Tendons or the surgery to fix them.
Well, her argument isn't "null." Effexor is not prescribed to cure breast cancer. It's prescribed to help deal with side effects so a person can keep take Tamoxifen or an AI, which CAN help cure the cancer.

I have never heard of Effexor causing tendon damage. I've heard of Cipro doing that, but Cipro is an antibiotic. In any case I'm really sorry for what you've been through. My husband had to have Achilles tendon surgery and it was terribly painful.

Since: Aug 11

Los Angeles, CA

#24 Aug 15, 2011
Here's some info for survivors who who might be thinking of using other (non-Effexor) antidepressants. Paxil appears to reduce the benefit of tamoxifen in breast cancer survivors. Prozac increased the metastasis of breast cancer cells to the brain in a mouse model of breast cancer. The names of the studies are given below (Google the titles if you are interested):

"Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer mortality in women receiving tamoxifen: a population based cohort study"

"Brain plasticity and its effects on breast tumor metastasis to the brain"

It's not that all anti-depressants are necessarily dangerous, but we need to get the facts on any that are prescribed for us (especially by a non-onc), as was pointed out by Gail above. Hope this is useful,

Sarah

Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#25 Aug 16, 2011
SarahCharie wrote:
Here's some info for survivors who who might be thinking of using other (non-Effexor) antidepressants. Paxil appears to reduce the benefit of tamoxifen in breast cancer survivors. Prozac increased the metastasis of breast cancer cells to the brain in a mouse model of breast cancer. The names of the studies are given below (Google the titles if you are interested):
"Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer mortality in women receiving tamoxifen: a population based cohort study"
"Brain plasticity and its effects on breast tumor metastasis to the brain"
It's not that all anti-depressants are necessarily dangerous, but we need to get the facts on any that are prescribed for us (especially by a non-onc), as was pointed out by Gail above. Hope this is useful,
Sarah
I agree with Sarah, but I'm going to go even further: we need to be just as careful with OTC drugs and alternatives if they're put into the body. I can't tell you how many people recommended black cohash to me. Well, I don't know whether that would encourage cancer cells, so I didn't take it.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#26 Aug 16, 2011
Chemo Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
I had breast cancer as well. The Effexor does not cure you of breast cancer so your argument is null. I can tell you there IS something worse than the chemo. It was the complete destruction of both of my Achilles Tendons from the Effexor. Not being able to walk when I have two young children is awful. Over the past year I have had two total Achilles Tendon transplants. The surgery is very difficult and the recover is long. I still don't have complete mobility in either tendon and I may never have it. Believe me, living with the hot flashes is SO much easier than the excruciating pain of degenerated Achilles Tendons or the surgery to fix them.
I agree with you sorry your having such a hard time of it I hope your recovery is soon and that it is complete.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#27 Aug 16, 2011
Over the year we hear conflicting reports one study will say Antidepressant cause cancer another will say they cure cancer I have done some reading both ways. A book by Robert Whitaker says they shorten the life by I think 12 years or something it may have been 20 I don't recall that is for long term use based on statistics.
Just for the heck of it I looked up Effexor effects on breasts actually did a search on a side effects page for breasts and this is what popped up it may means something to some of you on this thread.

Urogenital system—Frequent: metrorrhagia*, prostatic disorder (prostatitis and enlarged prostate)*, vaginitis*; Infrequent: albuminuria, amenorrhea*, cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, leukorrhea*, menorrhagia*, nocturia, bladder pain, breast pain, polyuria, pyuria, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, vaginal hemorrhage*; Rare: abortion*, anuria, balanitis*, breast discharge, breast engorgement, breast enlargement, endometriosis*, fibrocystic breast, calcium crystalluria, cervicitis*, ovarian cyst*, prolonged erection*, gynecomastia (male)*, hypomenorrhea*, kidney calculus, kidney pain, kidney function abnormal, female lactation*, mastitis, menopause*, oliguria, orchitis*, pyelonephritis, salpingitis*, urolithiasis, uterine hemorrhage*, uterine spasm*, vaginal dryness*.

most of these words I would have to look up to see what they mean the people on effexoractivist say they do this on purpose so if you are checking you will not really know what it means without a lot of work they hope you give up and just take the pill.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#28 Aug 16, 2011
wow I looked up some of these thing and I cannot help wondering HOW E causes them a search on that question showed no real results.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#29 Aug 16, 2011
Chemo Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
I had breast cancer as well. The Effexor does not cure you of breast cancer so your argument is null. I can tell you there IS something worse than the chemo. It was the complete destruction of both of my Achilles Tendons from the Effexor. Not being able to walk when I have two young children is awful. Over the past year I have had two total Achilles Tendon transplants. The surgery is very difficult and the recover is long. I still don't have complete mobility in either tendon and I may never have it. Believe me, living with the hot flashes is SO much easier than the excruciating pain of degenerated Achilles Tendons or the surgery to fix them.
Is tendon rupture on the side effects list? I know we have talked about this but my memory fails often. If not and you can prove E caused you can sue it may pay for the surgery and some pain and suffering I know that is never enough but it would be something. I can guess you answer right now you just want your life back. My heart goes out to you hugs.
Gail Perry

Oldsmar, FL

#31 Aug 17, 2011
btdt wrote:
Over the year we hear conflicting reports one study will say Antidepressant cause cancer another will say they cure cancer I have done some reading both ways. A book by Robert Whitaker says they shorten the life by I think 12 years or something it may have been 20 I don't recall that is for long term use based on statistics.
Just for the heck of it I looked up Effexor effects on breasts actually did a search on a side effects page for breasts and this is what popped up it may means something to some of you on this thread.
Urogenital system—Frequent: metrorrhagia*, prostatic disorder (prostatitis and enlarged prostate)*, vaginitis*; Infrequent: albuminuria, amenorrhea*, cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, leukorrhea*, menorrhagia*, nocturia, bladder pain, breast pain, polyuria, pyuria, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, vaginal hemorrhage*; Rare: abortion*, anuria, balanitis*, breast discharge, breast engorgement, breast enlargement, endometriosis*, fibrocystic breast, calcium crystalluria, cervicitis*, ovarian cyst*, prolonged erection*, gynecomastia (male)*, hypomenorrhea*, kidney calculus, kidney pain, kidney function abnormal, female lactation*, mastitis, menopause*, oliguria, orchitis*, pyelonephritis, salpingitis*, urolithiasis, uterine hemorrhage*, uterine spasm*, vaginal dryness*.
most of these words I would have to look up to see what they mean the people on effexoractivist say they do this on purpose so if you are checking you will not really know what it means without a lot of work they hope you give up and just take the pill.
I have NEVER heard that antidepressants either cause OR cure cancer. They do save lives, but that's by preventing suicides. It does not treat cancer.

They can treat side effects from some of the treatments for cancer.

The research uses those terms "on purpose" because they are medically precise. We are supposed to discuss our concerns with our doctor, but if you go in with that list your doctor will not waste his or her time trying to explain 25 different complicated medical conditions with you just to have a chat about a list of side effects. That's not how it works.

I said before that reading medical research is a specialized skill. That list demonstrates what I mean. It's not something you can learn just by reading the research, and if you don't know how to read it you might think it means things it doesn't mean at all while missing the real important things.

Effexor is a powerful drug. However, most people take it without any serious problems at all. Tamoxifen depressed me so much that if I'd HAD to stay on it I would have taken anything to relieve the depression. Depression is AWFUL and no one should leave it untreated. Depression kills.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#32 Aug 17, 2011
Gail Perry wrote:
<quoted text>
I have NEVER heard that antidepressants either cause OR cure cancer. They do save lives, but that's by preventing suicides. It does not treat cancer.
They can treat side effects from some of the treatments for cancer.
The research uses those terms "on purpose" because they are medically precise. We are supposed to discuss our concerns with our doctor, but if you go in with that list your doctor will not waste his or her time trying to explain 25 different complicated medical conditions with you just to have a chat about a list of side effects. That's not how it works.
I said before that reading medical research is a specialized skill. That list demonstrates what I mean. It's not something you can learn just by reading the research, and if you don't know how to read it you might think it means things it doesn't mean at all while missing the real important things.
Effexor is a powerful drug. However, most people take it without any serious problems at all. Tamoxifen depressed me so much that if I'd HAD to stay on it I would have taken anything to relieve the depression. Depression is AWFUL and no one should leave it untreated. Depression kills.
"In making the case for antidepressants, Lieb discusses prostaglandins, molecules that regulate the physiology of every cell in the body. When produced above a critical threshold, prostaglandins cause many disorders, including depression and cancer. By inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, antidepressants can neutralize or defeat cancer. Cancer is not a hundred different diseases, as touted, but one disease with innumerable variations."
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1107/S00062/...

This is a rather new one but I have read reports that say antidepressants cure and cause you have google you can find it if you care to.
I look them up those terms are not so medically precise lol..they are just not.
"That's not how it works."
because they decide how it works that could change.
We are all going to die sometime it is inevitable... some go way too soon it is true.
Antidepressants save lives I guess they do but what kind of life do people have when they end up disabled by the drug... as suggested by Robert Whitaker and a drain on resources apparently as they never work again... apparently or he says anyway that before antidepressants were invented the majority of people who were depressed got better in two years now with the drugs they don't recover and stay a burden on the system he says it will break the country if it keeps growing at the rate it is. His book is called anatomy of an epidemic.
who knows not me
wish you good health

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#33 Aug 17, 2011
My oncologist prescribed Paxil for the hot flashes. It reduced them but did not eliminate them for me.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#35 Aug 18, 2011
LRid wrote:
My oncologist prescribed Paxil for the hot flashes. It reduced them but did not eliminate them for me.
An article I just read said paxil is one of the drugs not to be use do some research maybe if you want to.
Bradybelle

Lynn, MA

#36 Aug 22, 2011
I was prescribed Paxil for the hot flashes I got from both chemo induced menopause as well as Tamoxifen and Femara. I take the minimum dose that can be prescribed and for me it has been a lifesaver. I found my own 3.5 cm lump in my 30's.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#37 Aug 22, 2011
Bradybelle wrote:
I was prescribed Paxil for the hot flashes I got from both chemo induced menopause as well as Tamoxifen and Femara. I take the minimum dose that can be prescribed and for me it has been a lifesaver. I found my own 3.5 cm lump in my 30's.
I found a comment saying paxil was no good for this you should do a search.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#38 Aug 22, 2011
sorry not a comment but a site ... it was an extensive report
Bradybelle

Lynn, MA

#39 Aug 23, 2011
Hmm, interesting. I was prescribed this at Dana Farber, for severe depression due to the fact that after 10 yrs of infertility, 5 days after diagnosis it was discovered that I was pregnant. I then lost the pregnancy between surgeries (lumpectomies, and went on to have a mastectomy). After being on it for awhile realized the hot flashes had subsided. My oncologist told me that many of his patients found this to be a pleasant side effect of Paxil and he was starting to prescribe for just that reason. Funny (not really) how different things work for differnt people. I think that is what makes this such a difficult thing to treat.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#40 Aug 23, 2011
Bradybelle wrote:
Hmm, interesting. I was prescribed this at Dana Farber, for severe depression due to the fact that after 10 yrs of infertility, 5 days after diagnosis it was discovered that I was pregnant. I then lost the pregnancy between surgeries (lumpectomies, and went on to have a mastectomy). After being on it for awhile realized the hot flashes had subsided. My oncologist told me that many of his patients found this to be a pleasant side effect of Paxil and he was starting to prescribe for just that reason. Funny (not really) how different things work for differnt people. I think that is what makes this such a difficult thing to treat.
I did not say it did not work I said it does not go with the cancer drugs that is what I read... look it up if you care. Maybe you don't that's ok too. Your choice your life.
btdt

Scarborough, Canada

#41 Aug 23, 2011
Gail Perry wrote:
<quoted text>
I have NEVER heard that antidepressants either cause OR cure cancer. They do save lives, but that's by preventing suicides. It does not treat cancer.
They can treat side effects from some of the treatments for cancer.
The research uses those terms "on purpose" because they are medically precise. We are supposed to discuss our concerns with our doctor, but if you go in with that list your doctor will not waste his or her time trying to explain 25 different complicated medical conditions with you just to have a chat about a list of side effects. That's not how it works.
I said before that reading medical research is a specialized skill. That list demonstrates what I mean. It's not something you can learn just by reading the research, and if you don't know how to read it you might think it means things it doesn't mean at all while missing the real important things.
Effexor is a powerful drug. However, most people take it without any serious problems at all. Tamoxifen depressed me so much that if I'd HAD to stay on it I would have taken anything to relieve the depression. Depression is AWFUL and no one should leave it untreated. Depression kills.
something new they r working on
http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/23/could-a...
Bradybelle

Lynn, MA

#42 Aug 24, 2011
Sheesh, I didn't expect to be abused. It IS my life! And it is my choice! Paxil works for me, for what ever reason. It may not work for anyone else. I have been thru hell and don't need to put up with anything from someone who doesn't know me and isn't my Dr.!

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