Citalopram for hot flushes

Hi all, I’ve recently started taking Citalopram to help with hot flushes they are horrendous!! I’ve been living with secondary breast cancer for 5 years and am on anastrozole and herceptin I finally caved in and asked my GP for Citrolapram he’s prescribed 10mg initially maybe increasing the doseage. I was wondering if anybody else has any experience on this drug and if you could share those with me. I’ve put on 4 stone since being dx (for the first time in my life) and asked my GP if the drug would make me put on weight he seemed to think it would not make me put on weight but would kurb my appetite and maybe make me feel sick. However, I’ve just had a google and it seems it might make you put on weight, anybody experience this? also my hot flushes seem to be worse at the moment is this because it takes time to get into your system and it kind of gets worse before it gets better scenario?


Any advice on this subject would be most appreciated. xxxx

HI SarahLouise,


I experienced bad hot flushes on Tamoxifen, which I started taking just over a year ago. Initially they were bad primarilly at night, but later on last year they started to become bad during the day too - causing me to have to peel off clothing rather rapidly or risk feelings of spontaneous combustion!


My GP prescribed Citralopram midway through last year, primarilly for stress/anxiety (dealing with an employer who had been ridiculous during my return - expecting me back to 40 hours a week plus 2 hours commute each day on busy trains after only 2 weeks back). 


After starting Citalopram (10mg then upped to 20mg) I experienced severe dizziness upon turning my head while lying down (the room would spin - no alcohol involved!), and dizziness when getting up/significant head movements. Those eventually stopped after a couple of months. I would say it helpded me with the anxiety but not really re hot flushes, which actually got slightly worse during the day sometime after. Perhaps it helpded at night? Can’t say for sure.


In December I saw the Oncologist and said hot flushes were really bad. Surprisiingly she asked if I had tried sage and said many women found it helpful. I asked what form and she said any.


Given the flushes were so bad I thought nothing ventured nothing gained so popped to H&B, found the supplements with the highest mg of sage and started my experiment! First few days no difference but then a notable reduction in intensity of flushes at night and major reduction during day. Still had an open mind. Over the Christmas period kept forgetting to take the sage and the magnatude and frequency of hot flushes increased. My partner even noticed the difference and started asking me if I’d had taken my sage! So took the full dose again and the flushes are now just mild and at night - they no longer wake me. So, sceptical as I was, it appears sage does work for me. If it hadn’t been for the Onc suggesting it I would still be boiling alive…


I take 2x285mg sage twice a day (ie 1,140mg a day). It’s quite expensive but H&B do offers of buy one get second item for 1p etc from time to time. Yet to check out if its cheaper from other shops. I think eating that quantity of sage would be rather unpleasant but there may be recipes! Until then, sage supplements it is and a stream of jokes about Paxo for breakfast!


Hope the above helps - let me know if you try sage and if it helps.


Re the Citalopram - it affects people in different ways, suggest you stick with it for a while longer and if no positive affects speak to your GP - possibly try Venoflaxine which some forum users have found to help them.


Try the sage!


Seabreeze on sage and almost flush free! Yippeeeeee!!!