Sometimes not knowing all the bad that could happen is better than knowing what is printed on my prescription receipt. It will make you not want to take it! I’m taking 20mg daily of this Demon Drug.
I’ve always been a pretty fit person with just walking for exercise, and so to be rounder and heavier and not to really be able to do much about it—that’s been hard. And it has taken a lot out of my self-confidence.
This is a listing of what to look for while taking Tamoxifen. Don’t get terrified, I know lots of ladies who have no side effects at all except the volcanic hot flashes.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Nolvadex, Soltamox
Tamoxifen is used to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic breast cancer), to treat breast cancer in certain patients with ER/PR+ breast cancer after surgery and radiation therapy, and to reduce the chances of breast cancer in high-risk patients.
This medication blocks the growth of breast cancer cells. It works by interfering with the effects of estrogen in the breast tissue and cancer cells that feed on estrogen.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using tamoxifen and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication orally , either with or without food, usually once or twice daily for 5 years, or as directed by your doctor. Daily dosages greater than 20 milligrams are usually divided in half and taken twice a day, in the morning and evening, or as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
If you have breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, you may experience increased bone/cancer pain and/or disease flare-up as you start taking tamoxifen. In some cases, this may be a sign of a good response to the medication. Symptoms include increased bone pain, increased tumor size, or even new tumors. These symptoms usually disappear quickly. In any case, report these symptoms right away to your doctor.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.
Tamoxifen rarely causes very serious (possibly fatal) strokes, blood clots in the lungs/legs, and cancer of the uterus. If you are taking tamoxifen to reduce the risk of breast cancer, or if your cancer is limited to the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma in situ-DCIS), then discuss the benefits and risks of taking this medication with your doctor. However, if you are taking tamoxifen to treat breast cancer, then the benefits of taking tamoxifen are greater than the risks of side effects.
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of a stroke or blood clots in the lungs/legs, such as weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, confusion, shortness of breath, chest pain, or calf pain/swelling.
Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of cancer of the uterus, such as unusual changes in your monthly period (e.g., amount or timing of bleeding), unusual vaginal discharge, or pain/pressure below your “belly button” (navel).
Hot flashes, nausea, leg cramps, muscle aches, nerve pain, hair thinning, headache, and numb/tingling skin may occur. A loss of sexual ability/interest may occur in both men and women taking it. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly.
Remember, your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: vision changes (e.g., blurred vision), eye pain, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes, swelling of ankles/feet, unusual tiredness.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking tamoxifen, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have cancer limited to the milk ducts, or if you are taking this medication to prevent breast cancer, then this medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a history of blood clots (e.g., deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, stroke), conditions that require treatment with a “blood thinner” (such as warfarin).
If you have breast cancer and a history of blood clots/stroke, you may or may not be able to take tamoxifen. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high cholesterol/triglycerides, limited or no ability to walk (immobility), diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, cataracts, liver disease.
Before having surgery (especially breast reconstruction), tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should start tamoxifen during their periods or get a negative pregnancy test before starting the medication. It is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication and for 2 months after treatment. Women must use reliable non-hormonal forms of birth control (such as condoms, diaphragms with spermicide) while taking this medication and for 2 months after stopping the medication.
It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including thyroid tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.