Hi had first Herceptin yesterday and first Tax Tuesday. I have had the most awful hot sweats and stomach cramps- any good coping techniques?? I’m sure they will get better soon.

Hi. It’s probably the tax rather than Herceptin that’s giving the big SE’s, so I’ll leave tax ladies to respond. I’m only saying that because I don’t want you to worry that you’ll have big and horrid SEs to deal with for a year. 3 treatments is more than enough to have to cope with, the other 15 Herceptin should be much easier when there isn’t chemo involved too.

I have just had my 17th Herceptin, one more to go and I have had flushes ever since the first one. They got so bad that for last couple of months I have been taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine which has stopped them a treat. You have to remember though that the first one is the worst as it is given with Tax which is horrible and the dosage is a higher as it is a loading dose, so from now on your dose will be less.

Once you start to get over the chemo you will find the Herceptin gets easier. I went back to work in August and have been nipping out for sessions at lunchtime every 3 weeks so it has been convenient.

Hi 1234,

I didn’t have Herceptin but did have Tax. I started FEC last January and had one more period after that, then they stopped. I had my first hot flush in the evening after my first dose of Tax last March and they’ve continued ever since.

I started on Tamoxifen in late May and they got more frequent at that point. They’re quite variable - some days I can have up to three and hour but usually not as many as that, and they do wake me up in the night.

Alcohol and spicy food makes them worse, so I avoid them when I can (needed to cut down on alcohol as much as possible anyway as mine was ER+) and also recently I’ve started drinking decaff coffee which also seems to have helped cut down the number of flushes (although not the intensity).

Luckily I have dry hot flushes rather than sweats or I really don’t know how I’d cope. I have several Chinese fans that I keep in my handbag and dotted around the house so I can grab one when I overheat. Some women on Tam have found that their flushes have gone away after a couple of months on it, but not mine unfotunately!

Jane xxx