tamoxifen, Soltamox, Nolvadex (Discontinued)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: tamoxifen

BRAND NAME: Soltamox

DISCONTINUED BRAND: Nolvadex

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

USES:

  • 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.

SIDE EFFECTS:

The most common side effects associated with tamoxifen are:

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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/24/2016

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