Pharmacokinetics and Indications:
Tamoxifen blocks the actions of estrogen, a female hormone. Certain types of breast cancer require estrogen to grow. Tamoxifen works by blocking the effect of estrogen on certain tumors. This may prevent the growth of tumors that are activated by estrogen. Tamoxifen is used to treat and prevent some types of breast cancer. It is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer and in women with DCIS (after surgery and radiation). Before using tamoxifen, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver disease, high triglycerides (fatty acids) in your blood, a history of cataract, or a history of stroke or blood clot. Also tell your doctor if you if you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment. If you are taking tamoxifen to reduce your risk of breast cancer, you may need to take your first dose while you are having a menstrual period. You may also need to have a pregnancy test before you start taking this medicine, to make sure you are not pregnant. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Possible Side effects:
Tamoxifen may cause cancer of the uterus (womb), strokes, and blood clots in the lungs. These conditions may be serious or fatal. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a blood clot in the lungs or legs, a stroke, or a heart attack. Also tell your doctor if you smoke, if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, if your ability to move around during your waking hours is limited, or if you are taking anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin). If you experience any of the following symptoms during or after your treatment, call your doctor immediately: abnormal vaginal bleeding; irregular menstrual periods; changes in vaginal discharge, especially if the discharge becomes bloody, brown, or rusty; pain or pressure in the pelvis (the stomach area below the belly button); leg swelling or tenderness; chest pain; shortness of breath; coughing up blood; sudden weakness, tingling, or numbness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; sudden confusion; difficulty speaking or understanding; sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes; sudden difficulty walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache.
Effective dose: 10 – 80 mg per day
Use for: 2 – 16 weeks