Citalopram in Treating Postmenopausal Women With Hot Flashes

  • Resize font
  • Print
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
Phase IIISupportive careCompleted18 and overNCI, OtherCDR0000489567
NCCTG-N05C9, N05C9, NCT00363909

Trial Description


RATIONALE: Citalopram may help relieve hot flashes in women who had or have not had breast cancer. It is not yet known which dose of citalopram is more effective in treating hot flashes in postmenopausal women.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying three different doses of citalopram to compare how well they work in treating postmenopausal women with hot flashes.

Further Study Information



  • Evaluate the efficacy of three different doses of citalopram hydrobromide on hot flash scores in postmenopausal women with a history of breast cancer or in postmenopausal women who do not wish to take estrogen replacement therapy for fear of increased risk of breast cancer.


  • Compare the side effect profile of these regimens in these patients.
  • Compare the effects of these regimens on the secondary outcome of mood and interference with activities from hot flashes.
  • Determine if CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 polymorphisms predict efficacy of various doses of citalopram hydrobromide.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to age (18-49 years vs ≥ 50 years), tamoxifen (yes vs no), selective estrogen-receptor modulators (SERMs) (yes vs no), aromatase inhibitors (yes vs no), duration of hot flashes (< 9 months vs ≥ 9 months), and frequency of hot flashes per day (< 4 vs 4-9 vs ≥ 10). Patients are randomized to 1 of 4 treatment arms.

  • Arm I (low-dose citalopram hydrobromide): Patients receive 1 tablet of oral citalopram once daily in weeks 2-7.
  • Arm II (medium-dose citalopram hydrobromide): Patients receive 1 tablet of oral citalopram once daily in week 2 and 2 tablets once daily in weeks 3-7.
  • Arm III (high-dose citalopram hydrobromide): Patients receive 1 tablet of oral citalopram once daily in week 2, 2 tablets once daily in week 3, and 3 tablets once daily in weeks 4-7.
  • Arm IV (placebo): Patients receive 1-3 placebo tablets once daily in weeks 2-7. All patients complete a diary of hot flash incidence in weeks 1-7 and undergo blood collection periodically during study treatment for translational research studies.

A Symptom Experience diary is completed weekly and Profile of Mood States and Hot Flash-Related Interference Scale questionnaires are completed at baseline and in week 7.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 220 patients will be accrued for this study.

Eligibility Criteria


  • Must meet 1 of the following criteria:
  • History of breast cancer
  • No current malignant disease
  • No history of breast cancer and refused estrogen replacement therapy due to perceived increased risk of breast cancer
  • Bothersome hot flashes, defined as hot flashes ≥ 14 times/week and of sufficient severity to make the patient desire therapeutic intervention
  • Presence of hot flashes ≥ 1 month prior to study entry
  • Hormone receptor status not specified


  • Female
  • Postmenopausal, as defined by 1 of the following criteria:
  • Absence of a menstrual period in the past 12 months
  • Bilateral oophorectomy
  • Absence of a menstrual period in the past 6 months with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level > 40 mIU/mL
  • ECOG performance status 0-1
  • Life expectancy ≥ 6 months
  • Willing to provide blood samples during study participation
  • No history of allergic or other adverse reactions to citalopram hydrobromide or other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • No documented mania or hypomania


  • At least 4 weeks since prior and no concurrent antineoplastic chemotherapy
  • At least 4 weeks since prior and no concurrent androgens, estrogens, or progestational agents
  • At least 3 months since prior antidepressant use, including Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort)
  • Concurrent tamoxifen, raloxifene, or aromatase inhibitors allowed if on a constant dose for ≥ 4 weeks and continuing medication during study period
  • No other concurrent or planned agents for treating hot flashes (e.g., phenobarbital, megestrol, or clonidine)
  • Stable dose of vitamin E allowed as long as it was started > 30 days prior to study entry
  • Concurrent soy allowed
  • Concurrent gabapentin allowed for reasons other than hot flashes if on a constant dose for ≥ 1 month and continuing during study period

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

North Central Cancer Treatment Group

  • National Cancer Institute
Debra Barton
Beth La Vasseur
Charles L. Loprinzi

Link to the current record.
NLM Identifier NCT00363909 processed this data on April 09, 2015

Note: Information about this trial is from the database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to