A study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (February 1, 2010 vol. 28 no. 4 634-640) looked at the hot flashes in 52 breast cancer patients receiving anti-estrogen therapy. Over a period of 12 weeks, the researchers found that acupuncture treatment was as effective as venlafaxine (Effexor) in reducing hot flashes and depression over a period of three months after beginning anti-estrogen therapy. The subjects were randomly chosen to receive either acupuncture or venlafaxine. Two weeks after the onset of therapy, the group receiving the acupuncture experienced fewer hot flashes compared to the drug group. Many of the acupuncture patients also enjoyed better energy, sense of well-being and clarity of thought. Side-effects of the venlafaxine included dry mouth, dizziness, anxiety, and nausea—not experienced by the group receiving the acupuncture.
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