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Tamoxifen has caused very serious (possibly fatal) blood clots, strokes, and uterine cancer, but this is rare. If you take tamoxifen for reducing the risk of breast cancer or if your cancer is in the milk ducts, then discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor. If you take tamoxifen to treat breast cancer the benefits outweigh the risk of side effects. If you develop roke or blood clot symptoms such as slurred speech, weakness in one side of the body, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden vision changes or calf swelling/pain, seek medical attention immediately. If you develop symptoms of cancer of the uterus such as unusual vaginal discharge, unusual changes in your monthly period, or pain/pressure below your navel talk to your doctor.
Tamoxifen is used in the treatment of breast cancer that’s spread to other parts of the body, in the treatment of certain breast cancer patients after surgery and radiation therapy, and to mitigate the risk of breast cancer in high-risk patients.
Take this medication as directed by your doctor. If you use the liquid form measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Using a household spoon may give an incorrect dosage. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. If your breast cancer has spread to other body parts you may experience increased cancer/bone pain and/or a disease flare up as you start taking tamoxifen.
This can be a sign of good response to the medication. Symptoms include new tumors, increased tumor signs or increased bone pain. Report these symptoms to your doctor promptly. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not take this medication as it can be absorbed through the skin or lungs. If your condition worsens inform your doctor promptly.
See the warning section. Nausea, hot flashes, muscle aches, leg cramps, headache, numb/tingling sensation in the skin, or hair thinning can occur. If these effects get worse or last tell your doctor. Loss of sexual interest/ability may occur in men. Your doctor has considered the benefits and risks of side effects and has prescribed this medication as they believe the benefits outweigh the risks. Most people who take tamoxifen do not experience serious side effects.
If you notice any of the following symptoms contact your doctor immediately: eye pain, vision changes, swelling of the ankles/feet, unusual tiredness. Tell your doctor immediately if these rare but serious side effects occur: persistent vomiting/nausea, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain, signs of infection. Serious allergic reactions to tamoxifen are rare but if you notice any of these symptoms seek immediate medical attention: itching/swelling (of the tongue/face/throat), rash, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This list of side effects is not exhaustive, contact your pharmacist or doctor if you notice side effects not mentioned here.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist of all your allergies before taking tamoxifen as it may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other issues. If your cancer is limited to the milk ducts or if you’re taking this medication for the prevention of breast cancer this medication shouldn’t be used if you have certain medical conditions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have a history of blood clots, or conditions requiring blood thinners, you may not be able to take tamoxifen.
Before you use this medication tell your pharmacist and doctor about your whole medical history. Before you have surgery let your doctor or dentist about all of the products you use. This medication is not recommended for pregnant women as it can harm an unborn baby. Women should use reliable non-hormonal birth controls for 2 months after stopping medication. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk, because of the potential risk to the child, breast-feeding is not recommended during treatment with this drug.
Do not change how you take this medication without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. Do not use this drug with the following medications due to the potential of very serious interaction: letrozole, ribociclib, anastrozole. Tell your pharmacist and doctor about all non prescription, prescription, and herbal products you’re using, especially of: “blood thinners”, hormonal forms of birth control, estrogens, phenobarbital, rifamycins, St John’s wort.
Other medications may affect how tamoxifen is removed from your body which can affect how it works. Some of these include: SSRI antidepressants, cimetidine, fluoxetine/paroxetine and others. This drug can interfere with certain lab tests causing false results, let all lab technicians know that you are using this product.
If one has symptoms such as trouble breathing or passing out, call 911 as they may have overdosed.
Medical and laboratory tests should be performed periodically to monitor side effects and progress.
If you miss your dose take it when you remember. If it is close to the time of your next dose skip the missed dose and take your next one at the regular time, do not try to catch up by doubling the dose.
Store away from moisture and light at room temperature, keep out of the bathroom. If you are taking the liquid form of the medication do not freeze or refrigerate it. After opening the bottle discard the liquid after 3 months. Keep medications away from pets and children. Only dispose of this medication as advised by a pharmacist or waste disposal company.
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TAMOXIFEN – ORAL