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Tamoxifen is the generic form of the brand-name drug Soltamox, which is used to treat some types of breast cancer in men and women.

Tamoxifen is prescribed to treat metastatic breast cancer, or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Tamoxifen is also used to lower the chance of breast cancer in high-risk women (for example, those with a family history of breast cancer).

The drug may also be prescribed for off-label uses, such as treating certain brain cancers and McCune-Albright syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause early puberty in girls.

Tamoxifen belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal antiestrogens, which block the actions of the hormone estrogen.

In 2006, an FDA advisory panel recommended that a more specific warning label about its side effects be added to tamoxifen..

Tamoxifen Warnings

If you are taking tamoxifen to reduce your risk of breast cancer, you may need to take your first dose during your menstrual period. You may also need to have a pregnancy test before you start taking tamoxifen, to make sure you are not pregnant. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Taking tamoxifen may increase your risk of uterine cancer, stroke, or a blood clot in the lung, which can be fatal. Talk with your doctor about your specific risks in taking this medication.

To make sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your doctor may order a mammogram and perform breast exams on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested regularly.

Before taking tamoxifen, you should:

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all medications you are taking (including over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, recreational drugs, and vitamins and herbal supplements).
  • Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of tamoxifen and decide whether the possible benefits are worth the risks of taking the medication.

You should not use tamoxifen if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • A history of blood clots in your veins or your lungs
  • If you are also taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin)

To make sure you can safely take tamoxifen, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:

  • Liver disease
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood)
  • A history of stroke or blood clot
  • A history of cataract
  • If you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation

Pregnancy and Tamoxifen

Do not use tamoxifen if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use a barrier form of birth control (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide) while you are using this medication and for at least two months after your treatment ends.

Hormonal contraception (such as birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings) may not be effective enough to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.

It is not known whether tamoxifen passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. However, this medication may slow breast milk production. You should not breastfeed while taking tamoxifen.

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Source: https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/tamoxifen


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