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Tamoxifen

US Brand Name Nolvadex
Generic Name Tamoxifen, Nolvadex
Other Brand NameCytotam
ManufacturerCipla, LYKA, Biochem Pharmaceutical
Packing 10
Form Pill
Strength 10 mg, 20 mg

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Details

Introduction

Tamoxifen belongs to a class of medication known as anti-estrogens. It is used to treat certain forms of breast cancer, which have spread to other parts of the body, both in men and women.

Use

It is used to treat certain breast cancers, which have spread to other parts of the body (metastatic cancer), those which have already been treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. It is also used to reduce the risk of the development of breast cancer in women who are at high risk due to their family history and age. Its mechanism is that it blocks the effect of a female hormone, estrogen, thereby stopping the growth of cancer cells in the breast, which require estrogen to grow.

Dosage and administration

Tamoxifen is available as tablets of 10 mg or 20 mg concentrations, to be given orally with water. The recommended daily dose of this medicine is 20 mg to 40 mg by oral route. Doses of 20 mg can be given once a day while doses more than 20 mg needs to be divided and given two times a day. Always follow the doctor’s instructions while taking this drug. Do not take more than the prescribed dose. Take the tablet as a whole and do not break or crush it.

Warning

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to this drug or to any other substances. Also, tell your doctor about all the drugs you are kept on.
  • Inform your doctor if you have any history of strokes since this drug is known to cause Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism.
  • Conditions like high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure levels, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or alcohol dependency must be informed to the doctor before starting treatment.
  • The medication has teratogenic effects on the fetus hence do not get pregnant while taking the medicine and for 2 months after the treatment gets completed. Breast feeding, till then, is also not recommended.
  • This drug may increase the risks of developing other types of cancers or conditions, especially liver cancer and cataracts. Consult your doctor about such risks.
  • Although rare, but in case of any allergic reactions such as extreme muscle pain, vision problems, yellowing of the eyes or skin, rashes or blisters on the skin, swelling of the mouth or any part of the face, etc. discontinue the use of this drug and seek medical care immediately.
  • Side effects

  • Hot flashes
  • Pain around the tumor site
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Leg cramps
  • Loss of apetite
  • Muscular pain
  • Thinning of hair
  • Stomach pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of sexual desire in men