Sage drops and hot flushes

I have been having a real nightmare with hot flushes over the past 8 months. They have been so bad I can’ really go back to work - I get about 20plus a day and of course throught the night as well.

I recently started taking sage drops - Menosan - on the recommendation of a friend who is a nurse. The flushes do not appear to be so bad - although they still come thick and fast. I was just about to order some more when I noticed they have a warning about using them if you take tamoxifen and have had breast cancer.

I am really beginning to feel desperate - is there nothing I can try. My doctor seems clueless. Beginning to wonder if taking Tamoxifen is worth it. Someone else suggested a blood pressure mediation and anti depressants.

Am I destined to be this sweaty nutcase for ever??


Hi Caroline - I sympathise totally with you. I suffered 24/7 with hot sweats and my whole quality of life was ruined. My husband is a GP and he suggested I took Pro-Banthine (only available on prescription but Google it and you will see it is for excessive sweating). I have to say it really did stop the horrible sweating but had the side effect of giving me a dry mouth - for which I started chewing gum and am still doing so 17 years later. It is worth a try. I had tried everything known to man to no avail. I stuck on Tamoxifen for 3.5 years. My BC came back 17 years later and I now wonder if I should have done the full 5 years. Let us know how you get on.

Hi Caroline - I got hot sweats some 18 years ago when we lived in Spain. Put it down to the hot climate.
Quite wrong - my problem was pre-menopausal. When we repatriated to England I had a total hysterectomy for fibroids,(had had some 5 d&c’s) and the hot flashes just got worse. I was put on HRT, which probably gave me breast cancer, and I still suffer from hot flashes. A friend in America sent me a Chillow Pillow - sounds bizarre, but it does work to some extent. I now sleep with a fingertip towel under my pillow, and wake up quite a few times at night, but just towel off for a minute or so and go back to sleep. I have tried various medications from my GP, but none of them alleviated the problem, so I just now do what I can and have learned to live with them.
I would love to hear of a permanent solution.

Hi Fairthorne and Olivia07

I really feel for anyone going through those dreadful flushes, I too am going through them, I am on armimidex and do take sage leaf from mediherb. My surgeon said they would be fine and also the pharmacy. I have heard of something else you could try which says it has no hormones, it is called Femal, you could google it and see if your BC nurse or surgeon thinks you could try it. I showed my printoff to my breast nurse and she said it did not seem to have much of anything in it! It does say it is useful for hot flushes. I am continuing with the sage to see if it does help as i am not on tamoxifen but will try the other one if it does not work. I had terrible night sweats even before diagnosis when i was on HRT, soaking the bed everytime. Poor husband had to move into another room so I could change my clothes and sleep on the other side of the bed where the mattress was not soaked. I now keep a fan in the bedroom and have ditched the duvet for old fashioned sheet and a blanket so I can peel the layers off if i get hot, so far it seems to be helping especially with the fan. Olivia07 do not beat yourself up about your BC coming back so long after, I doubt it was anything to do with not taking tamoxifen for the whole 5 years. I met a lady in hospital who had been through the lumpectomy, total lymph node removal the works and her cancer also came back after 17 years. My brother in law has just had a return of mouth cancer after 15 great cancer free years so I think you were just unlucky. Nothing we do to ourselves causes this vile disease it chooses us.
Do hope Fairthorne your flushes and sweats abate soon. We sweaty girls do not get much help over the side effects and menopausal symptoms and really have to find ways to deal with it ourselves. At least we are all in the same boat and can understand what each of us is going through.
Best or luck from another sweaty girl

Thanks for all your thoughts - must admit it really is getting me down - however I do have to remember this time last year I felt alot worse having just started chemo so I suppose I mustn’t grumble. I will speak to oncologist - my breast care nurse hasn’t spoken to me since before I started chemo - over a year ago.

I have a chillow and also an airconditioning unit in the bedroom - that is bliss but very noisy, sounds a bit like a jet taking off but husband seems to be able to sleep through it.

Thanks for your input.