Question: I am a breast cancer survivor with menopausal hot flashes, so I can’t take estrogen therapy. Is there anything I can take for the hot flashes that doesn’t involve hormones?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Hot flashes related to menopause are one of the most common complaints menopausal women have. Often they are exacerbated by the sudden loss of hormones that come with age, all that is needed is a more gradual hormone reduction regimen with supplemental estrogen.
Some women prefer to use phytoestrogen from tofu or other vegetable sources, but this is still estrogen supplementation, and should generally be used short term and not for a long time.
Some patients respond well to other agents, such as the blood pressure medication, clonidine. It can be titrated and is available in a patch formulation. But I would recommend consulting your physician to be sure that the hot flashes you are experiencing are menopausal, and not related to some other condition.
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