Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) in tamoxifen-treated breast cancer patients with climacteric complaints—a prospective observational study

Institute of Complementary Medicine, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.
Gynecological Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 1.33). 10/2011; 27(10):844-8. DOI: 10.3109/09513590.2010.538097
Source: PubMed


The antihormonal therapy of breast cancer patients with the antiestrogen tamoxifen often induces or aggravates menopausal complaints. As estrogen substitution is contraindicated, herbal alternatives, e.g. extracts of black cohosh are often used.
A prospective observational study was carried out in 50 breast cancer patients with tamoxifen treatment. All patients had had surgery, most of them had undergone radiation therapy (87%) and approximately 50% had received chemotherapy. Every patient was treated with an isopropanolic extract of black cohosh (1-4 tablets, 2.5 mg) for 6 months. Patients recorded their complaints before therapy and after 1, 3, and 6 months of therapy using the menopause rating scale (MRS II).
The reduction of the total MRS II score under black cohosh treatment from 17.6 to 13.6 was statistically significant. Hot flashes, sweating, sleep problems, and anxiety improved, whereas urogenital and musculoskeletal complaints did not change. In all, 22 patients reported adverse events, none of which were linked with the study medication; 90% reported the tolerability of the black cohosh extract as very good or good.
Black cohosh extract seems to be a reasonable treatment approach in tamoxifen treated breast cancer patients with predominantly psychovegetative symptoms.

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    • "); (Saadati et al. 2013) #3447 (Agarwal et al. 2014; Pinkerton et al. 2014); SSRIs: (Simon et al. 2013; Aedo et al. 2011; Suvanto-Luukkonen et al. 2005; Oktem et al. 2007), venlafaxine (Evans et al. 2005; Boekhout et al. 2011; Vitolins et al. 2013), desvenlafaxine (Speroff et al. 2008; Archer et al. 2009a; Archer et al. 2009b; Cheng et al. 2013; Bouchard et al. 2012; Pinkerton et al. 2013), isoflavones (Albertazzi et al. 1998; Han et al. 2002; van de Weijer & Barentsen 2002; Jeri 2002; Sammartino et al. 2003; Nahas et al. 2004; Nahas et al. 2007; Khaodhiar et al. 2008; Cheng et al. 2007; Radhakrishnan et al. 2009; Ye et al. 2012; Aso et al. 2012; Mainini et al. 2013; D'Anna et al. 2007; D'Anna et al. 2009; Ferrari 2009; Evans et al. 2011; Murkies et al. 1995; Crisafulli et al. 2004; Labos et al. 2013; Upmalis et al. 2000; Faure et al. 2002); hops (Heyerick et al. 2006); red clover (Hidalgo et al. 2005; Lipovac et al. 2012), flaxseed (Colli et al. 2012), St. John's wort (Uebelhack et al. 2006; Briese et al. 2007), French maritime pine bark (Yang et al. 2007; Kohama & Negami 2013), Sibiric Rhubarb (Heger et al. 2006; Kaszkin-Bettag et al. 2007; Kaszkin-Bettag et al. 2009; Hasper et al. 2009), and CREs (Drewe et al. 2013; Lopatka et al. 2007; Vermes et al. 2005; Liske et al. 2002; Frei-Kleiner et al. 2005; Schellenberg et al. 2012; Osmers et al. 2005; Ross 2012; Newton et al. 2006; Geller et al. 2009; Stoll 1987; Wuttke et al. 2003; Nappi et al. 2005; Bai et al. 2007; Uebelhack et al. 2006; Briese et al. 2007; Oktem et al. 2007; Hernández Munoz & Pluchino 2003; Rostock et al. 2011). "
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