gabapentin for hot flushes on tamoxifen?

I’ve just been prescribed this drug, an anti-epileptic, to help with my non-stop hot flushes which are being caused either by tamoxifen which I’ve been on for 7 months or by the chemo destroying my ovaries and dumping me into the menopause 9 months ago.

Has anyone else tried this drug? As usual I am scared by the horrendous list of side effectsand don’t want to make things worse.


Hi Helen, I was recommended this drug by a new doctor at the breast clinic who had previously worked in Neurology. I have bone mets and she suggested that I try it for nerve pain. I was on a small dose to start with and it seemed to help. About a year later I was referred to a Pain Specialist who said that I could take four times the amount I was taking…so now I am on 600mg twice a day ( was originally on it 3 times a day but now do not need one of the doses). When I was told to increase it I had to do it in stages…not all at once. I think this drug had worked wonders for me. I have no problems with it at all. ( I may have had a few side effects to start with but they couldn’t have lasted as I cannot remember what they were! ) Give it a go…no harm in trying…and let me know how you get on. Love Val

Hi Leucite
Sorry to jump in without any helpful advice! I’ve been on tamoxifen for 3 months and my hot flushes are really intense and relentless day & night. I’d love to try this, did you see your GP or did you have to go through oncology?
Would love to hear how you get on with it
kate x

Hi Kate

this was recommended by my breast care clinical assistant on my one year check up - she wrote to my gp to recommend it. My onc put me on venlafaxine just after chemo when the flushes were at their worst, but it just didn’t work for me, so I’ve stopped it now. My gp has put me on a split dose of tamoxifen and prescribed the gabapentin but I haven’t started it yet, just waiting to see if the split dose does any good first. She thinks that the hot flushes are probably caused by an early menopause due to chemo, though, and I’m waiting for blood test results to see. The tamoxifen probably makes them worse. I’ve had them for 9 months now, they went away for a while early this spring, then returned with a vengeance in July, I don’t know why.

I most concerned again with the long list of side effects, particularly the one which says ‘weight gain’. I really can’t cope with any weight gain as I am desperately trying to lose weight for my wedding in November, and failing miserably at the moment.

I’ll let you know once I finally pluck up the courage to take the tabs.


p.s. I’ve tried every complementary therapy under the sun, including some of the ones I’m not supposed to take - magnets in my knickers, aromatherapy, acupuncture, evening primrose oil, starflower oil, chillow pillow, loads of exercise, changing diet, sage tablets, menopausal vitamins, soy isoflavones - none of which has any effect. I’m not allowed HRT due to high sensitivity to both ER and PR.

Good Morning All
My onc suggested Clonodine for my flushes and I had to refuse after checking the side effects. I know they always say ‘possible’ but I found them quite scary. I have been on Tamoxifen for 1 year now and the flushes have settled to annoying. The hot muggy weather definitely made it worse. So cooler weather, cotton sheets, open windows at night and fresh air. I am loathe to get involved with the drugs offered to take care of the flushes and sweats because they seem to be using a sledgehammer to a nail. I am trying to stick to starflower oil and Vitamin B, exercise, positive thinking. And I am considering going back onto progesterone cream to tackle the monthly emotional rollercoaster that is occuring. No period but all the attending turmoil.
I try to be well informed but it is up to me to decide what is right for me. There are always alternatives.
I am glad to be here


I too was prescribed clonidine for my hot flushes in august. I have been on tamoxifen for three years and suffered with varying degrees of hot flushes and sleepless nights also bad headaches. I decided not to take the clonidine because of the possible side effects. It is quite scary when you already take one drug that causes side effects, you certainly don’t want have any more. After eighteen months of no periods I had quite a heavy period in July and my GP has referred me to the hospital for a scan and biopsy. I am a little worried has anyone else experience of this.

It won’t help you with hot flushes but it might make you laugh. My German Shepherd Dog, Floyd, was put on gabapentine for a spinal problem - the vet said it was very useful for nerve pain and thought Floyd might benefit from it and it might make him forget his pain!! It did - he can now jump in to the car without any problems!!

If it worked for the dog - it might just work for you!

Thanks, that cheered me up when I needed it, just about to see GP for more hormone therapy!

Well I’ve been on the gabapentin for about 2 weeks now. I am not sure if it’s had an awful lot of effect on the flushes but I have been advised to give it more time. They definitely seem to have decreased in number and severity, although haven’t gone altogether. I also don’t seem to have any serious side effects, although it made me feel a bit spaced out for the first day, this has gone now. I have put on some weight, though, and this is listed as a side effect which is really annoying as what with chemo, menopause and tamoxifen, what hope is there of ever losing weight? No other side effects, though, and I am definitely sleeping better.

I’ll let you know how things improve, but they are looking better so far.


Hi Star of the ball,

Yes I was period free before bc for about 18 months and then out of the blue had two very heavy periods on the trot, then they stopped again, not had one since, except for a small spotting whilst on chemo, but that was 10 months ago now.

take care


I worked my way up from 400mg to 900mg on Gabapentin, but then reduced down to 600mg. I had tried everything and this is the only thing that made my surgical menopause plus arimadex flushes bearable, however the effects did wear off a bit after a few months.

. 600mg was great…changed my life and no side effects, but eventually became not quite as effective.

. 900mg made me feel like something was crawling on my skin!

I have now found just 300mg of Gabapentin before bed seems enough along with an over the counter sleeping tablet alternate nights is enough to insure a good night’s sleep!

Good news, the gabapentin seems to be working. Either that or something else is doing the job. I’m on 3x300mg a day, they have no side effect that I can see (still struggling to lose weight, though, and the gp says they can cause water retention same as tamoxifen but that should go after a few months), and the hot flushes have all but gone. It took about 3 weeks to have any affect but I can sit here in a jumper and get no flushes where I was getting 16 severe ones a day and 4 at night. I wouldn’t say they have all gone, I had one severe one yesterday when I was a bit flustered and hot cooking breakfast, and I get occasional less severe ones, but they have made such a significant improvement to my quality of life I would heartily recommend anyone give them a try.

Nice to have some good news for a change.