Effects of Chicory-Fumitory Syrup on Hot Flashes in Comparison with Megestrol in Prostate Cancer Patients: a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Document Type : Original paper


1 Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center and Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Clinical Oncology, Shohada-e-Tajrish Medical Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Persian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background and objectives: Hot flashes are among the common and bothersome side effects of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in men with prostate cancer.  Given the lack of standard treatment, further research is required to develop efficient and safe treatments. Methods: In the present randomized controlled clinical trial, patients with prostate cancer undergoing ADT were randomly allocated into chicory-fumitory syrup (from hydroalcoholic extract of chicory and fumitory) and megestrol groups.  The participants recorded the number and severity of hot flashes in a daily diary one week before the intervention (baseline).  Next, they started the syrup (5 mL twice daily) and megestrol (20 mg twice daily) for four weeks and completed the diary. Results: A total of 69 patients completed the study (35 patients in the chicory-fumitory group and 34 patients in the megestrol group).  After four weeks of the intervention, the mean daily frequency of hot flashes in the chicory-fumitory group decreased to 38.19% (p=0.004); the hot flash score also decreased to 44.39% (p=0.008).  In the megestrol group, the mean frequency of hot flashes was decreased by 68.93% (p<0.001), and the mean hot flash score was reduced by 67.47 (p=0.001). According to the independent samples t-test, the number and severity of hot flashes showed a more significant reduction in the megestrol group compared with the chicory-fumitory group (p=0.001 and p=0.021, respectively). Conclusion: The chicory-fumitory syrup is effective against hot flashes in men with prostate cancer; however, the reduction in the number and severity of hot flashes in the megestrol group was more prominent. Further clinical trials with longer intervention periods, and larger sample sizes are recommended to confirm the efficacy of chicory and fumitory against hot flashes.


Main Subjects

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