Venlafaxine for Hot Flushes

I saw my onc yesterday as I have been suffering vey badly from hot sweats. She prescibed Venlafaxine for me.

I took the first tablet last night and within half an hour started to feel nauseous, I feel jittery, and hardly slept a wink last night.

Having looked at the side effect list I know these are all possibilities. Has anyone else had side effects from venlafaxine? How long have they lasted for? Should I give onc a ring? If I carry on feeling like ths I would rather have th hot sweats.

I am on Venlafaxine (for depression) ,I started June 2009.I did feel a bit odd for the first couple of days,dry mouth,nausea,yawning but these SEs soon settled.
However,despite controlling my depression very well.I seem to have worse sweats than before. I say sweats as I do not get the hot flushing feeling, just when I get a bit warm ,my forehead,back of my neck become very sweaty and damp…lovely eh? It actually runs down my forehead.
My Surgeon and Onc says its the Venlafaxine but my GP maintains its the Tamoxifen.Helpful! Not!
Do persevere with them as it does take time.Do you have the Modified release ones? Maybe that would help with the SEs?
Good luck

I have just spoken to a doctor from Oncology and he has told me to stop taking the tablets. I’m not just feeling odd, I feel as rough as I did in the first few days after each chemo.
The doctor is now going to refer me urgently to the Homeopathic hospital. So in the mean time I will put up with the sweats.

Hi cmw
I have been on venlafaxine (for depression) for some time. I have found that if I take them after I have eaten something then this stops the feeling of nausea. Also, I used to take just one tablet a day, but if I missed a dose I would get very dizzy and lightheaded within a few hours, so I now take a half dose twice a day instead. I think these tablets are really quite strong, when I decided to stop taking them last year (before diagnosis of bc, hence back on them), it did take me about 3 months to gradually wean myself off them, because of the side effects.
Hope this is of some help to you.
Samm x

I saw my consultant yesterday about my hot flushes. There are apparently a lot of different drugs you can take even if ER+ as I am. At the moment I’m on Clonodine. I don’t get side effects from these, but they have not completely got rid of the flushes. It could be worth seeing what other meds you could try.

I also take clonidine. They do seem to make the flushes a little more bearable.

Julia xx

Hello cmw,
I’ve been taking Arimidex for a month now and the SE’s kicked in almost immediatley. Hot flushes and pain in feet and legs. My doctor put me on Citalopram 2 weeks ago for depression and since starting them my SE’s have almost disappeared, hot flushes have stopped altogether and the pain in my legs and feet has lessened a great deal. That’s great for now but I really don’t want to have to stay on anti-depressants for the next 5 years to help keep the SE’s at bay. For now they are a great help. I am also sleeping much better in the last few days, but that could also be a bit of tiredness from starting rads this week.

I hope you can get sorted out very soon,

Best Wishes,

Isabelle xxx

If you really don’t get on with Venaflaxine, Mirtazepine is another antidepressant that is supposed to help with hot flushes, but I ran out of options and ended up on HRT in the end; as I am triple negative, it is not quite as risky, but still not a decision to take lightly.
I had chemo more than 3 years ago, and the hot flushes were getting worse, not better, and the pain I was experiencing every time I had HF was horrendous. I have been on Mirtazepine for years anyway, and suffer with bi polar, so GP was reluctant to try Clonidine, but I did, and it had no noticable effect. Had tried everything; chillow pillow, cold showers…and really was at my wits end.
But do persist with one of the anti depressants. the research for helping hot flushes is very positive. I think I just happened to be one of the odd ones out!
Best wishes,

Thanks for all your ideas. The docto I spoke to wasn’t happy to try me on any other anti depressants (not sure why but maybe as we were talking on phone rather than face to face). I have to go in September to see them again so if things haven’t ben sorted by then I will ask about other alternatives. In the meantime I will just have to be hot all the time.

I am on Arimidex and Venlafaxine, having just joined the forum I have picked these postings up and wonder if anyone has now been able to sort out their joint pains and flushes, I am deeply depressed and feel that I really do not know whether to continue to take all the medication, if it causes such problems, I would appreciate any reply regarding issues connected to this, thank you - Alys

Been on the clonidine for a week now, 3 tablets per day, I think they have a slight sedative effect and I still have some flushes but not as many and not as intense. Sleeping is difficult though and the pain in the leg muscles is still there. No one told me this would be the “new normal” after chemo…

My GP put me on 20mg Amitriptyline, another anti-depressant, to deal with potential SEs from Tamoxifen and Zoladex together. So far it seems quite effective, only woken up a few times with getting too hot at night, but no hot flushes during the day. Long may it last!

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I have been taking Venlafaxine for well over 8 years for hot flashes.  My prescription ran out one Wednesday afternoon and having an appointment with the onc in a few days, I decided to wait until my appointment to ask for a new script.  The bone pain lessened within a few days.  The hot flashes were barely no different then they were with the venlafaxine.  I decided not to go back to taking the venlafaxine   My joints feel so much better.  But the biggest surprise is that you will undergo withdrawal symptons for months if not up to a year or more.  I went cold turkey of course.  One can withdraw slowly.  I was not made aware that withdrawal would be one of the effects.