Tamoxifen for breast cancer (SOLTAMOX)

Last modified date

Comments: 0

Take one 20 mg tablet a day.

You can take before or after meals.

The most common unwanted side effects are hot flashes, and vaginal discharge and itching. There are also some less common but more serious side effects – your doctor of any unusual vaginal bleeding, leg pains or shortness of breath and any allergic type reaction.

About tamoxifen

Treatment options for breast cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy. A combination of two or more of these treatments is often used. Tamoxifen is a hormonal treatment.

Some types of breast cancer need the female hormone estrogen to grow. The cells of these tumors have receptors on their surface that the estrogens can attach and are called ‘hormone receptor positive’ cancers. Tamoxifen works by blocking estrogen receptors and this prevents them from reaching cancer cells, preventing them from growing.

Before taking tamoxifen

Some medications are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a drug can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before taking tamoxifen it is important that the doctor or pharmacist knows:

      

  • If you have irregular or unusual menstrual periods.
      
  • If you have ever had a stroke, a blood clot in the lungs, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
      
  • If you are pregnant or nursing.
      
  • If you have porphyria (this is a rare hereditary blood disorder).
      
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medications you are currently taking, which are available for purchase without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines. It is also very important that you tell your doctor if you are taking a hormonal contraceptive (‘the pill’ or ‘mini-pill’) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
      
  • If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to a drug.

How to take tamoxifen

      

  • Before starting this therapy, read the manufacturer’s information leaflet printed inside the package. The brochure will give you more information about tamoxifen and the full list of side effects that may occur from taking it.
      
  • Take one 20 mg tablet of tamoxifen every day, exactly as your doctor tells you to. Your dose will also be on the packaging label to remember.
      
  • You can take tamoxifen at any time of day to find easier to remember, but try to take your doses at the same time each day. This will help you avoid losing any doses. Tamoxifen can be taken before, during or after meals.
      
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for the missed dose.

Getting the most out of your treatment

      

  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor or clinic. This is so the doctor can monitor your progress. A blood test may be necessary from time to time.
      
  • If you are having surgery, tell the person performing the treatment that you are taking tamoxifen. This is because it may be necessary to stop taking tamoxifen for a while before the operation.
      
  • You should not get pregnant while on tamoxifen. Make sure you have discussed with your doctor what kind of contraception are suitable for you and your partner, if this is important to you.
      
  • If you buy any medicine, consult a pharmacist who is suitable to take with other medicines.

Can tamoxifen cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most drugs can cause unwanted side effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body regulates for new medicine, but talk to your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects continue or become bothersome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment