Generic name: Tamoxifen
Trade name: Nolvadex®
Type of drug: Tamoxifen is a hormonal therapy. This medication is classified as an “anti estrogen”. (For more details, see below “Does this drug”).
Important to know about tamoxifen
*Tamoxifen inhibits the growth of estrogen sensitive tumors. It also reduces the swelling of breast glands in women and men.
*In breast cancer or breast pain during menstruation. Also in men who get breasts as a side effect of a medication. Further at a reduced fertility (PCOS).
*Typically, you use tamoxifen every day. In some conditions, however, once a week, or a few days per cycle.
*Take the tablet in at a set time, for example in the morning at breakfast. Then forget you are less likely to miss a dose. At 1 time per week: choose a fixed day.
*Side effects: menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Women come by tamoxifen artificially in the transition. Furthermore, stomach discomfort, headache, fluid retention, skin rashes, hair loss, blurred vision.
*More prone to thrombosis: notify your doctor if you have a hard red sore in the calf or suddenly gets stuffy.
*There are many interactions with other means. Let your pharmacist check whether you can safely use with your other medications, also that you bought without a prescription.
What does tamoxifen and in which I use it?
*Tamoxifen is an antiestrogen. That is, the operation of the female sex hormone estrogen.
*Doctors prescribe it for breast cancerwith a particular type, namely sensitive to hormones. Doctors prescribe it sometimes in severe breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle.
*In some cases, the doctor can also prescribe at breast swelling in men and reduced fertility.
Cancer is a generic term for over a hundred different disorders, in which body cells multiply infinitely. As a result, tumors (growths) or abnormalities in blood and lymph jobs. It is a serious disease that can be fatal, if we don’t do something about.
Thanks to new research nowadays is good treatment for many types of cancer. At rapid treatment prevents a cancer grows in the surrounding tissue or spread. Cancer arises when metastases in other places in the body.
In each cell is DNA. DNA contains the hereditary characteristics of our body, such as blood type and eye color. By the DNA cells know what they need to do, also, for example, how fast they have to share. At a cell division arose from one cell two daughter cells, with exactly the same DNA as the mother cell. If the piece of DNA that controls cell division becomes damaged, the cell is faster. The daughter cells contain the same damage in the DNA of each cell. These cells are dividing, thereby also go with cancer as a result.
How the damage in the DNA is often unknown. It seems sometimes to come by chemicals such as tar in tobacco smoke, asbestos, or by alcohol, too much or too fat food, radiation or by a hereditary predisposition.
Cancer is an insidious disease. Each type of cancer caused some complaints. In the early stages there are often no symptoms. Only when a cancerous tumor pressing against nerves to go, is to feel pain. Some complaints come in almost all cancer types, such as severe fatigue, lack of appetite and strong slimming (for example more than three kilos per month).
At breast cancer you can feel a lump in the breast, the skin can dent or red and swollen, and there may be moisture from the nipple or the nipple to draw in. If you have these symptoms contact your doctor.
Surgery, radiation therapy, cytostatics-cures and anti-estrogens are the most common methods of treatment in breast cancer.
In an operation removes the tumor in the breast. Then treated with radiation therapy, cytostatics cures or with both. This depends on the nature of the cancer cells and the probability of presence of metastases. If the cancer cells are sensitive to estrogen hormone, the doctor will also prescribe a medication that blocks the action of estrogen on the cancer cells, such as tamoxifen.
Also if there are any metastases, the doctor may prescribe tamoxifen.
In breast cancer tamoxifen blocks the action of the female hormone estrogen. It inhibits the growth of the tumor and thereby prevents breast cancer again. After 5 years of treatment with tamoxifen is the number of returned breast cancer tumors reduced by half. Also, the chance of developing cancer in the other breast reduced.
If you use it in breast cancer with metastases, the growth of the tumor inhibited, which can reduce your symptoms. If treatment is successful, you can continue to use a number of months.
Tamoxifen is sometimes used in very painful or sensitive breasts, where the complaints related to menstruation and monthly return.
Tamoxifen is used as other treatments for breast pain insufficient help. Other treatments include the contraceptive pill or the Painkiller paracetamol.
Breast swelling in men
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer in men. Prostate cancer cells grow under the influence of the male sex hormone testosterone.
In the treatment against prostate cancer one tries the effect of the male hormone testosterone to turn it off. To do this, the doctor may prescribe an anti-androgen. Anti-androgens go against the action of male sex hormones, but can also give certain side effects such as breast swelling (breast development)
Usually takes the breast swelling after discontinue treatment or reducing the dose of the anti-androgen. Sometimes the breasts or will they remain no longer bowled over.
If the breasts stay or go away, no longer can you doctor prescribe tamoxifen. Sometimes you write doctor tamoxifen for breast swelling. Tamoxifen is the action of the female sex hormone estrogen.
For a pregnancy is a matured ovum. The egg matures in the ovaries. If the egg has been sufficiently developed, he comes free for fertilization. This is called ovulation. A male sperm can fertilize the released egg.
Tamoxifen is used in women who do not have children as clomiphene not work well enough.
A common cause of reduced fertility as the eggs develop is not sufficient or if there is no ovulation occurs. That is the case, for example, in a fusion of the ovaries (polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS). Tamoxifen is used to eirijping and to promote ovulation.
What are possible side effects?
Apart from the desired side effects can this medication also.
*The main side effects are as follows.
*Menopausal symptomssuch as hot flashes, sweating, irregular menstrual periods, stopping of menstruation, vaginal discharge and itching of the vagina. This is because this drug blocks the female hormone estrogen, which makes you artificially in the transition. If you are already in transition are before using this medication, are less affected. Do you suffer from menopausal symptoms, contact your doctor.
*In the beginning of the treatment increased pain especially with metastases in the bones, swelling and redness at the site of the breast cancer. These are transient phenomena and go without saying.
Headache and dizziness.
*Stomach discomfort, such as nausea and vomiting.
*Fluid retention in places where this is normally not the case, for example in the ankles and feet. This is called edema. If you suffer from, consult your doctor.
A bloedstolseltje a blood vessel thrombosis, which can shut down. This is usually done in a leg, sometimes the blood clot in the lungs. You can recognize a thrombosis thick, hard, red and sore on the leg, sometimes pain in the calf and a heavy feeling in the leg, rarely to sudden shortness of breath, sometimes with pain or coughing up blood. Warn in these cases a doctor immediately or go to the first-aid service.
*Skin rash and hair loss. Consult your doctor if skin rash or at many hair loss. The dosage may be lower.
Low vision by eye diseasessuch as cataract (cataracts) or deviations to retina or cornea. Consult your doctor in case of problems with.
Changes of the uterine lining, such as polyps, or very rarely uterine cancer. Notify your doctor if you already have a time no longer would menstruate and suddenly vaginal bleeding again. In women who have or have had uterine cancer , the tumor grow or come back through the use of this resource. This means you can therefore better not use. Talk to your doctor about a possible alternative. If this is not there, you can in some cases, under regular control, use this resource.
*Depression, drowsiness and fatigue.
*Pain in the joints and bones.
*Blood abnormalities, namely a lack of red or white blood cells and platelets. Unexplained fever, throat pain or blisters in mouth and throat, sudden bruising or extreme fatigue, may indicate blood abnormalities. Notify your doctor.
*Hypersensitivity to this drug. That can manifest itself in ‘ angioedema ‘: a swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat. You can be very stuffy. If it occurs, you should immediately look up a doctor or go to the First-Aid Service. You may not be able to use this drug in the future. Give therefore to the pharmacy by that you are allergic to this medication. The pharmacy team can ensure that you get. A single time creates a serious hypersensitivity of the skin with high fever, red spots on the skin, joint pain or eye inflammation. Notify immediately a doctor.
Liver disease, such as liver inflammation or a fatty liver. Very rarely can an inflammation of the pancreas . With pain in the upper abdomen, a yellowing of the eyes, decolorized stool or very dark urine you must warn the doctor. People who have already had a liver condition should be checked extra good.
*An increased risk of heart arrhythmias. You may experience sudden dizzy spells or short out. This is especially important for people with certain heart rhythm disorder, namely the innate prolonged QT interval. This means if you use this heart rhythm disorder. Talk to your doctor. You may be able to change to another agent.
If you have endometriosis , you can here more bothered by. At endometriosis grows the lining that normally holds the inside of the uterus in places outside of the uterus. Contact your doctor if you have more or longer-lasting endometriosis symptoms, such as abdominal pain and menstrual cramps. Possible is another means more convenient.
Increase of the concentration cholesterol and fats in the blood. A certain kind of fats, triglycerides, can build up in the blood vessels. If you already have a high cholesterol and/or fat content in your blood, your doctor will extra on check.
*Consult your doctor if you have too many suffer from any of the above side effects or any other side effects where you are worried about.
How do I use this medicine?
Look for the correct dosage on the label of the pharmacy.
You may take the drug at any time of the day. Choose a set time, so taking this medication regularly. In addition, less likely to forget a dose.
If you used this drug once a day : preferably in the morning.
If you used this drug twice a day : preferably morning and evening.
If you used this drug once a week : preferably on a hard day.
Usually, you must use this medium from the third day after the start of menstruation up to and including day seven.
Typically, you use this medication for 2 to 5 years. This depends on your personal circumstances and what other medications you are using.
In breast cancer with metastases use it mostly for a few months.
You must use this means usually several days. If after 6 cycles no pregnancy occurred, has further use of this medium in General makes no sense.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
It is important that you swallow this drug remains consistently. If you do miss a dose of forgotten:
If you used this drug once a day : it takes more than 8 hours for the following dose normally occupies? Take the missed dose. It still takes less than 8 hours? Skip the missed dose.
If you used this drug twice a day : it takes more than 4 hours for the following dose normally occupies? Take the missed dose. It still takes less than 4 hours? Skip the missed dose.
If you used this means once a week : it still takes more than 3 days (72 hours) before the next dose normally occupies? Take the missed dose. It still takes less than 3 days (72 hours)? Skip the missed dose.
Can I drink alcohol with this drug driving, and eat anything or drink?
Dizziness and eye symptoms sometimes come across in this medication. Do not take part in the traffic.
drink alcohol and eat anything?
At this drug are no restrictions.
Can I use tamoxifen with other medications?
This drug has interactions with other medications. In the text below are only the active substances of these medications, so not the brand names. Your medicine or one of those active substances, you can check in your leaflet under ‘ composition ‘.
The medications with which the main interactions occur, the following.
The blood thinners phenprocoumon and acenocoumarol. Tamoxifen enhances the effects of these medications. Contact the thrombosis service if you start or if you stop taking tamoxifen or if dosage changes.
Rifampicin, a drug against tuberculosis. Rifampicin can reduce the amount of tamoxifen in the blood. Consult your doctor if you have this combination prescribed.
The means against depression bupropion, fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline. These resources may reduce the effect of tamoxifen. Talk to your doctor. You may be able to change to another remedy against depression.
The medication at heart rhythm disorders quinidine. This drug may reduce the effect of tamoxifen. Talk to your doctor.
The female sex hormones, estriol, estradiol and conjugated estrogens. These hormones and tamoxifen can go against each other’s operation. Talk to your doctor.
Some medications against hiv. Check with your pharmacist which medicines this is going.
Do you doubt it or the above interactions will be of interest to you? Please contact your pharmacist or doctor.
It is important that your doctor knows what medications you used even more. Therefore, take your medication list with you to the hospital. This is an overview stating which medications you use, for example, but also whether you are allergic to certain medications. You can read this review at your own pharmacy. You get in the hospital new medications, or change something to your drug use? Please indicate this again by to your own pharmacy. Then your medication overview current.
May I use this medication if I am pregnant, wants to be or breastfeeding?
DO NOT use this medication if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There is a high probability that the birth defects in the child.
If you have more than one year has had no menstrual periods, you are in the transition and you can use this drug. If you are not in the transition, you must take measures to prevent pregnancy. The contraceptive method with estrogen hormones, such as birth control pills, is usually not suitable. Consult with your doctor.
Do not use this if you are breast-feeding or stop breastfeeding. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. The drug can be harmful to the baby.
Can I just stop with this medication?
For the effect, it is necessary to use this drug for several years. So don’t stop with this drug, but talk to your doctor first.
At reduced fertility
You can at any time at one time with the use of this means stop. Keep in mind that if you prematurely stops with this drug, the treatment may fail.