Acupuncture is as effective as venlafaxine, also known as Effexor, in treating hot flashes and night sweats. A team of researchers led by Dr. Eleanor Walker of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit announced this finding and noted that acupuncture’s benefits have a longer duration and are without harmful side effects. Effexor is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant. Half of the forty-seven breast cancer patients who took part in the study received acupuncture and half took Effexor. Each group received 12 weeks of treatment. For the acupuncture group, the women experienced reduced symptoms for 15 additional weeks. For the Effexor group, the women experienced reduced symptoms for 2 additional weeks. The report was presented at the Boston meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology. The researchers noted that the women receiving acupuncture reported no side effects from acupuncture and also more energy, a sense of wellness, and increased libido. The researchers noted that the Effexor group experienced side effects from the medication. The side effects included higher blood pressure, nausea, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, low energy and anxiety. Walker noted that the acupuncture is more cost effective for insurance companies and the patient because the acupuncture regime would need only be administrated three or four times per calendar year.
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