Mirtazapine for the treatment of hot flushes in breast cancer survivors: A prospective pilot trial

Nicoletta Biglia, Franziska Kubatzki, Paola Sgandurra, Riccardo Ponzone, Davide Marenco, Elisa Peano, Piero Sismondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purposes of the study are to evaluate the efficacy and safety of mirtazapine 30 mg/daily for 12 weeks to reduce hot flushes (HF) in women with previous breast cancer and to assess the influence of the same treatment on sleep quality and other menopausal symptoms. A prospective pilot trial was conducted in 40 breast cancer patients with at least seven HF per day. A HF diary was completed daily; sleep quality and other menopausal symptoms were assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and the SF-36 Health Survey. Treatment was never started by 13 out of 40 patients (32.5%) and was interrupted by 7 out of 27 patients (25%) due to of the occurrence of side effects (mostly somnolence). In the remaining 20 patients who completed the three months treatment period, there was a 55.6% (p <0.05) reduction in HF frequency and 61.9% (p <0.05) reduction in HF score as compared to baseline. A significant reduction in the MRS score (32.8%; p <0.05) was observed. Mirtazapine appears to be effective in reducing HF in breast cancer survivors. The more frequent side effect was somnolence. A sizeable compiliance problem has been observed due to the reluctance to take antidepressant drugs and to side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-495
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Breast cancer survivors
  • Hot flushes
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Mirtazapine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Oncology


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