Tamoxifen is used to treat certain forms of breast cancer, both in women and men. It can also be administered to women with high risk of breast cancer to reduce the likelihood of developing a tumor.
What is Tamoxifen?
Tamoxifen works by blocking the action of estrogen, the female hormone, which some types of breast cancer require to be able to grow.
How should Tamoxifen be taken?
Typically, Tamoxifen is administered orally.
Side effects associated with Tamoxifen
Treatment with Tamoxifen may increase the risk of uterine cancer, stroke or blood clots in the lungs. It may also reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.
Among the other possible adverse effects are included:
- Vaginal discharge
It is important to immediately contact a doctor if taking Tamoxifen triggers any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
- Symptoms of stroke
- Symptoms of blood clots in the lung (pain or trouble breathing) or leg (pain or discomfort in the legs)
- Vision problems
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pain or pressure in the pelvic area
- Occurrence of new breast lumps
- Liver problems (e.g. nausea, jaundice or clay-colored stools)
- High levels of calcium in the blood
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen is contraindicated during pregnancy and in case of taking anticoagulants.
Moreover, before starting the treatment it is important to tell your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to the active substance, to other components or other drugs or foods
- You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, especially anticoagulants
- You suffer (or have suffered) from liver disease, high triglycerides, cataracts, stroke or blood clots
- You are undergoing chemo or radiotherapy
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding