GENERIC NAME: tamoxifen
BRAND NAME: Soltamox
DISCONTINUED BRAND: Nolvadex
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
- Tamoxifen is used for the treatment of invasive breast cancer in men and women, the most common type of breast cancer, following surgery and/or radiation and for preventing invasive breast cancer in women at high risk for developing it.
- Tamoxifen also is used for the treatment of women following surgery and radiation for a less common type of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS or intraductal carcinoma). Women who have had DCIS are at high risk for developing invasive breast cancer at a later date, and tamoxifen prevents development of the invasive cancer in almost half of the women during the first five years of treatment.
- Occasionally, tamoxifen is used to stimulate ovulation.
The most common side effects associated with tamoxifen are:
- Hot flashes
- Weight loss
- Abnormal or absence of menstrual periods
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding
- Fluid retention
- Bone pain
Serious side effects and adverse events include:
- Tamoxifen is associated with blood clots leading to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
- Tamoxifen can cause abnormalities of liver tests, reduced white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Reduced platelets can lead to bleeding. Patients should keep appointments for blood work to monitor for these side effects. Patients should report any suspected side effects immediately, especially bleeding and yellowing of the skin.
Quick GuideBreast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
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