Nolvadex (Tamoxifen)

What is Nolvadex?

Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate) is a prescription anti-cancer medication. It can be used to treat breast cancer, including cases when it managed to spread to other parts of the body. This drugs is also highly efficient in preventing the development of breast cancer in women from the high risk group if taken regularly for a long period of time (usually several years).


How this med is to be taken

You will be prescribed a dosage from 20 to 40 mg a day. The drugs itself comes in tablets containing 10 and 20 mg of the active ingredient. Make sure you take Nolvadex regularly for as long as recommended. Nolvadex is intended for long-term treatment of breast cancer, so you may be required to take this medication for up to 5 years. This is why it's so important that you decide from the very beginning how you will be dealing with all the contraindications, limitations, drug interactions and other aspects of such long-term treatment.

Things to discuss with your health care provider before using Nolvadex

Although this drug is supposed to be taken by women at risk of developing breast cancer or those that already have breast cancer, taking it can increase the risk of developing endometrial (uterine) cancer. Women taking Nolvadex should be examined by their gynecologist regularly. If you ever had problems with blood clots in your veins, you are not supposed to be taking Nolvadex. Call your health care provider as soon as possible if you have developed vision problems when taking this medication. You will be required to have regular blood tests done to make sure taking Nolvadex is effective and you are benefitting from the treatment.

Mild side effects

Side effects are very mild and never have to be reported to your doctor, as they are likely to go away on their own without any need for your doctor's interference. However, if you ever had an allergic reaction to any ingredients Nolvadex contains, you may not be able to take it, as the same reaction is likely to happen again. The following mild side effects can occur in patients taking this medication regularly: hot flashes, nausea, and vomiting. In most cases, however, these side effects simply mean that your body needs some time to adjust to the dosage prescribed. You will need to wait for some time for these side effects to go away. If they do not go away and change in intensity – discuss the options you have with the doctor. You may need a dose adjustment – and in most cases this helps the patients to get rid of side effects and enjoy efficient and safe treatment with Nolvadex.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from taking Nolvadex have not been reported so far. If you develop any symptoms that appear to be bothersome – make sure you repot them to your health care provider for your treatment to go just as planned. In some rare cases this drug can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. The signs of an increase in cholesterol levels include kidney failure, muscle pain, muscle weakness, and loss of appetite.

Nolvadex drug interactions

Check with your health care provider before you combine this medication with any of the following: other cancer drugs, letrozole, phenobarbital, rifampin, aminoglutethimide, blood-thinning drugs, or bromocriptine. In general, Nolvadex does not interfere with too many medications, so it's suitable for long-term treatment of breast cancer. However, any medications you are taking, even if it's a single dose – are supposed to be reported directly to your health care provider before you start the treatment. This is necessary for you to benefit the most from the treatment and make sure you do not get unpleasant or severe side effects.

If you happen to take too much of Nolvadex

Although an overdose of Nolvadex is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms, make sure you take this drug just as recommended without exceeding the dosage prescribed. Taking too much of Nolvadex is not going to make your treatment more effective and can lead to unwanted symptoms and health effects.

Nolvadex and pregnancy

This drug can harm an unborn baby if taken by the mother during pregnancy, it can also pass into breast milk. Since this medicine can affect the efficiency of your oral contraceptives, you will be probably recommended an alternative method of treatment to make sure you do not get pregnant. You are not supposed to get pregnant within 2 months from the moment you took the last dose of Nolvadex. You can talk to your doctor if you are not sure which contraception method is the best one in your situation. Women that are already pregnant must not start taking Nolvadex for breast cancer or any other condition. Talking to your health care provider if you are pregnant, going to get pregnant, breastfeeding or have such plans is the first thing you need to do to rule out potential risks for your baby.