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Gabapentin With or Without Antidepressants in Treating Hot Flashes in Women Who Have Had Breast Cancer or Have Concerns About Taking Hormone Therapy

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Identifier:
First received: July 8, 2004
Last updated: November 21, 2009
Last verified: August 2005

RATIONALE: Gabapentin may be effective in relieving hot flashes in women who have had breast cancer or who have concerns about taking hormone therapy to treat hot flashes. It is not yet known whether gabapentin is more effective with or without antidepressants in treating hot flashes.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying gabapentin and antidepressants to see how well they work compared to antidepressants alone in treating hot flashes in women who have had breast cancer or who have concerns about taking hormones to treat hot flashes.

Condition Intervention Phase
Breast Cancer
Hot Flashes
Drug: gabapentin
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: A Phase III Randomized, Trial of Gabapentin Alone or in Conjunction With an Antidepressant in the Management of Hot Flashes in Women Who Have Inadequate Control With an Antidepressant Alone

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Hot flash reduction by diary record at 4 weeks

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Toxicity by questionnaires at 4 weeks

Study Start Date: November 2004
Primary Completion Date: April 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:


  • Compare the efficacy of gabapentin with vs without an antidepressant, as measured by the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, in patients with a history of breast cancer or a concern about taking hormonal therapy due to a fear of developing breast cancer.
  • Compare adverse events in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Correlate a reduction in hot flash scores with improvement in quality of life and related outcomes in patients treated with these regimens.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to duration of hot flash symptoms (< 9 months vs ≥ 9 months), average frequency of hot flashes per day (2-3 vs 4-9 vs ≥ 10), and antidepressant currently being used (venlafaxine vs paroxetine vs other). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients continue to receive the same antidepressant (as before study entry) on weeks 1-5. During weeks 2-5, patients also receive oral gabapentin once daily on days 8-10, twice daily on days 11-13, and then three times daily on days 14-35 in the absence of unacceptable toxicity.
  • Arm II: Patients receive gabapentin as in arm I. Patients are tapered off their antidepressant over 7-10 days and remain on gabapentin alone (per arm I schedule).

Patients in both arms complete a hot flash diary at baseline and then daily during study treatment.

Quality of life is assessed at baseline and then weekly during study treatment.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 110 patients (55 per treatment arm) will be accrued for this study within 2 years.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • History of breast cancer OR a concern about taking hormonal therapy due to a fear of developing breast cancer
  • Experiencing bothersome hot flashes, defined as patient-reported occurrence ≥ 14 times per week AND sufficiently severe to prompt desire for additional therapeutic intervention despite current use of an antidepressant

    • Currently (≥ 2 weeks) being treated with a stable dose of an antidepressant

      • No monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclics
  • No current evidence of malignant disease
  • Hormone receptor status:

    • Not specified



  • 18 and over


  • Female

Menopausal status

  • Not specified

Performance status

  • ECOG 0-1

Life expectancy

  • At least 6 months


  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective barrier contraception


Biologic therapy

  • Not specified


  • More than 4 weeks since prior antineoplastic chemotherapy
  • No concurrent antineoplastic chemotherapy

Endocrine therapy

  • More than 4 weeks since prior androgens, estrogens, or progestational agents
  • More than 2 weeks since prior dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for treatment of hot flashes
  • No concurrent androgens, estrogens, or progestational agents, including oral contraceptives
  • No concurrent DHEA for treatment of hot flashes
  • Concurrent tamoxifen, raloxifene, or aromatase inhibitor therapy allowed if on a stable dose for at least 4 weeks prior to study entry and during study treatment


  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • No prior gabapentin
  • More than 2 weeks since other prior treatment for hot flashes (e.g., clonidine or Bellergal-S®)
  • Concurrent vitamin E or soy supplements allowed if on a stable dose for at least 1 month prior to study entry and during study treatment
  • No other concurrent treatment for hot flashes (e.g., clonidine or Bellergal-S®)
  • No other concurrent antidepressants
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00087399

  Show 162 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
North Central Cancer Treatment Group
Study Chair: Charles L. Loprinzi, MD Mayo Clinic
Investigator: Debra Barton, RN, PhD, AOCN, FAAN Mayo Clinic
  More Information

Additional Information:
Loprinzi CL, Kugler JW, Barton DL, et al.: Phase III randomized trial to evaluate the use of gabapentin alone vs with continuing an antidepressant in women failing an antidepressant for the treatment of hot flashes: North Central Cancer Treatment Group study N03C5. [Abstract] J Clin Oncol 24 (Suppl 18): A-526, 9s, 2006. Identifier: NCT00087399     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000374993, NCCTG-N03C5
Study First Received: July 8, 2004
Last Updated: November 21, 2009
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
breast cancer
hot flashes

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Hot Flashes
Breast Diseases
Neoplasms by Site
Signs and Symptoms
Skin Diseases
Antidepressive Agents
Anti-Anxiety Agents
Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
Antimanic Agents
Antiparkinson Agents
Calcium Channel Blockers
Cardiovascular Agents
Central Nervous System Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Excitatory Amino Acid Agents
Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Psychotropic Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on November 25, 2014