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Support Care Cancer. 2011 Jun;19(6):859-63. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1099-7. Epub 2011 Jan 27.

A pilot phase II trial of magnesium supplements to reduce menopausal hot flashes in breast cancer patients.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine Residency Program, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, VA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We tested if magnesium would diminish bothersome hot flashes in breast cancer patients.

METHODS:

Breast cancer patients with at least 14 hot flashes a week received magnesium oxide 400 mg for 4 weeks, escalating to 800 mg if needed. Hot flash score (frequency × severity) at baseline was compared to the end of treatment.

RESULTS:

Of 29 who enrolled, 25 women completed treatment. The average age was 53.5 years; six African American, the rest Caucasian; eight were on tamoxifen, nine were on aromatase inhibitors, and 14 were on anti-depressants. Seventeen patients escalated the magnesium dose. Hot flash frequency/week was reduced from 52.2 (standard error (SE), 13.7) to 27.7 (SE, 5.7), a 41.4% reduction, p = 0.02, two-sided paired t test. Hot flash score was reduced from 109.8 (SE, 40.9) to 47.8 (SE, 13.8), a 50.4% reduction, p = 0.04. Of 25 patients, 14 (56%) had a >50% reduction in hot flash score, and 19 (76%) had a >25% reduction. Fatigue, sweating, and distress were all significantly reduced. Side effects were minor: two women stopped the drug including one each with headache and nausea, and two women had grade 1 diarrhea. Compliance was excellent, and many patients continued treatment after the trial.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral magnesium appears to have helped more than half of the patients and was well tolerated. Side effects and cost ($0.02/tablet) were minimal. A randomized placebo-controlled trial is planned.

PMID:
21271347
PMCID:
PMC3085555
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-011-1099-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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