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Side Effects Tamoxifen

Side Effects Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen (Brand Names: Nolvadex, Soltamox)

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Tamoxifen is the oldest and most-prescribed selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Tamoxifen is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat:

women and men diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive, early-stage breast cancer after surgery (or possibly chemotherapy and radiation) to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back (recurring)

women and men diagnosed with advanced-stage or metastatic hormone-receptor-positive disease

Tamoxifen also is used to:

reduce breast cancer risk in women who haven't been diagnosed but are at higher-than-average risk for the disease

Tamoxifen won't work on hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer.

Tamoxifen is available in two forms: a pill taken once a day (brand name: Nolvadex) or a liquid form (brand name: Soltamox). If you dislike pills or you're having trouble swallowing tamoxifen pills, Soltamox can help make it easier to stay on your treatment plan.

Benefits of tamoxifen

Since its approval in 1998, tamoxifen has been used to treat millions of women and men diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. While an aromatase inhibitor is the first hormonal therapy medicine choice for postmenopausal women, tamoxifen is the first choice for premenopausal women and is still a good choice for postmenopausal women who can't take an aromatase inhibitor.

Tamoxifen can:

  • reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back by 40% to 50% in postmenopausal women and by 30% to 50% in premenopausal women
  • reduce the risk of a new cancer developing in the other breast by about 50%
  • shrink large, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers before surgery
  • slow or stop the growth or advanced (metastatic) hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal women
  • lower breast cancer risk in women who have a higher-than-average risk of disease but have not been diagnosed.

Side effects of tamoxifen

  • Tamoxifen can be used to:
  • Treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer
  • Lower risk among women at high risk of breast cancer who have not been diagnosed
  • Compared to chemotherapy, tamoxifen has fewer side effects. For example, tamoxifen doesn't cause nausea.

Side effects in women

  • Menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes) are common in women who take tamoxifen.
  • Although menopausal symptoms may become less frequent and less intense over time, they can still be hard to manage. If you have symptoms, talk with your health care provider about ways to treat them.
  • The most serious health risks of tamoxifen, such as endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) and blood clots in the lungs, are rare.

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