Brand name: Nolvadex ®
Tamoxifen is available by
Approval: TAMOXIFEN(R) (tamoxifen citrate) was
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 1998 for the treatment of certain breast
cancers in men and women.
Indications: Tamoxifen is an antiestrogen; it is used to treat certain
forms of breast cancer in men and women, mainly:
Tamoxifen is used as a preventive
treatment in people who are at high risk for developing breast cancer. Tamoxifen is also used to prevent
complication in women who have had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
Tamoxifen is sometimes prescribed to
treat ovulation problems in women who want to get pregnant but are unable to produce eggs. In addition, the
medication can be used in the treatment of McCune-Albright syndrome, a genetic disease that affects the bones
and color (pigmentation) of the skin in children.
form: Tamoxifen comes as white
coated tablet to be taken by mouth
to prescribe you an effective dosage of Tamoxifen, many criteria will be taken in considerations: your age, health
status, and your body surface area (BSA). In addition, taking other
medications as well as the severity of the cancer can play a role in the choice of the treatment. Having this
information, your oncologist will recommend you an effective dosage able to combat the
the indications of your health care provider or the directions on the prescription label carefully.
the recommended daily dosage of
Tamoxifen is 20
to 40 mg in single or multiple doses, before, with or after meals. In the case of adjuvant therapy, the recommended
dose is 20 mg per day, for a period of 5 years. In the treatment of advanced cancer, daily doses are between 20 and
40 mg, taken once or twice a day. Do not take less or more of the medication.
water, natural juice or any non-alcoholic drink to swallow Tamoxifen tablets; do not chew or crush them. It is
better to take Tamoxifen around the same time every day. It is very important that you take the pills as
directed by your physician or pharmacist. Do not change the prescribed dosage or interrupt the treatment without
first talking to your doctor.
Storage: keep Tamoxifen tightly closed in the
container it came, out of the reach of
children. Store it at room temperature (15-25
° C), away from heat, light and moisture. Tamoxifen and all other drugs should not be used beyond the expiration
date printed on the container.
Overdose: Tamoxifen overdose can be fatal. The
risk is even higher when the drug is overdosed for a long term. In fact, most chemotherapy drugs overdose,
including Tamoxifen, can lead to death. Even in the absence of overdose, Tamoxifen can cause strokes, blood
clots in the lungs, and cancer of the uterus. It is extremely important that you take Tamoxifen as indicated by
your health care provider or according to the directions on the label.
your best to take Tamoxifen around the same time every day.
In case you forget to take a dose, take the missed
one as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose,
do not double the next dose to recover the missed one; it can be dangerous. Contact your doctor or wait to go back
to your regular schedule.
can cause life threatening health problems.
is contraindicated in the following conditions:
who are breast-feeding
(unless under strict medical supervision).
during the therapy, it is
important that you keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory for regular medical examinations,
especially cardiologic and gynecologic exams. Regular checkups help your physician to detect early signs of
cancer of the uterus or/and heart problems related to Tamoxifen.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Tamoxifen is an antiestrogen; it slows
or stops the multiplication of cancer cells by blocking the hormonal effects of estrogen in the body.
talk to your doctor before taking prescriptions and non-prescription substances such as aspirin, vitamins,
nutritional supplements, and St. John's Wort. Some medicines may interact with Tamoxifen. Tell your doctor and
pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin,
- Doxorubicin (Doxil,
- Methadone (Dolophine,
- Phenytoin (Dilantin,
- Rifampin (Rifadin,
Side effects: Tamoxifen not only attack
cells but also healthy
cells, which often leads to adverse reactions in most patients. Common Tamoxifen side effects
- nausea and
- headache and
- stomach pain or
- loss of sexual desire
or ability (in men)
If the side
effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately if you
experience any of these symptoms:
of the skin or eyes
bruising or bleeding
- mouth sores
of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs.
1 - encyclopedia.com, document
2 - nlm.nih.gov, Tamoxifen