BUT BEWARE TAKING ANTI-DEPRESSANTS IF ON A CANCER DRUG
There’s only one word for the hot flushes and night sweats caused by cancer treatment drugs – misery!
One friend had tried and tried to tell her Oncologist of her suffering, but this kept on being dismissed. Until one day in his Consulting Room she had a ‘flush’. Sweat poured off her in a shower, and he finally took notice, saying “I didn’t realise it was so bad”.
What does one have to do to get ‘them’ to listen?
However, if on Tamoxifen, and using anti-depressants, the respected news agency Bloomberg recently reported that when taken with antidepressants like Eli Lilly & Co.’s Prozac, Pfizer Inc.’s Zoloft and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Paxil, a study says this doesn’t work.
The report said “Tumours were more than twice as likely to return after two years in women taking the antidepressants while on the cancer drug, compared with those taking tamoxifen alone”, the study showed. The research, by Medco Health Solutions Inc., was presented at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando.
Doctors began treating hot flashes with antidepressants, an unapproved use, after a U.S. study seven years ago linked the former standard remedy, hormone replacement therapy, to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart attacks. Other types of antidepressants, such as Wyeth’s Effexor, may be safer for women on tamoxifen than Paxil or Prozac, said Powel Brown, director of cancer prevention at the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
“Effexor doesn’t interfere with tamoxifen so that is the preferred drug for oncologists to treat hot flashes,” said Brown, who wasn’t involved in the study. “We need to get that message out to primary care doctors and psychiatrists and gynecologists so they will be aware that antidepressants like Paxil have a risk of inhibiting tamoxifen.”
Tips that might help
- Wear layers of clothing that can easily be taken off
- If your flushes are caused by Tamoxifen, ask if you can split the dose
- Have a rest during the day, then it doesn’t matter if you don’t sleep through the night
- Take walks and other exercise
- Wear cotton, silk and wool or cashmere which absorb moisture and don’t cling
- There are mini fans you can carry around – try one for fun!
If you have flushes at night, friends report that the Chillow is a safe, cool and soothing way to ease the discomfort of hot flushes and night sweats, and reclaim your sleep. It is exactly what it sounds like – a chilled pillow, designed to help with the misery of Hot Flushes. It is a thin, cushioned pad that lies on top of a normal pillow or inside the pillowcase. It works by taking heat away from the body and keeping you cool throughout the night, helping you to sleep naturally.
Anyway, if you have problems sleeping, several friends have reported very favourably on their Chillow. This is a special pad that needs no pre-cooling or refrigeration, and is meant to be used on top of or inside a pillow case – but one friend has one as a pillow and another underneath her.
The Chillow remains cool and hence cools you down but returns to room temperature during the day. It is always ready to use, dry, soft and cool. By helping the body lose heat, the Chillow induces sleep naturally – no pills or potions, just a non-invasive pad that works in harmony with the body’s natural rhythms.
Chillow, ChillowPlus and Mini Chillow are available by mail order from Soothsoft on 08700 117 174. Or order online at wwww.chillow.co.uk. Prices from £19.95 to £39.95 + £2.95p&p, all with a 30-day no-quibble money-back guarantee.