Generic Name: Tamoxifen
Nolvadex, officially known as Tamoxifen Nitrate, is a popular and powerfully effective Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) that is often referred to as an anti-estrogen. It works by blocking the effect of estrogen in the breast tissue. This may prevent the growth of tumors that are activated by estrogen.
The SERM was developed to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic breast cancer), specifically hormone-responsive breast cancer. However, it is also used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer and in women with DCIS (after surgery and radiation) to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. Tamoxifen also treats breast cancer in certain patients after surgery and radiation therapy.
How to use Nolvadex
Use Nolvadex as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily for 5 years, or as directed by your doctor. Daily dosages greater than 20 milligrams are usually divided in half and taken twice a day, in the morning and evening, or as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
If you have breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, you may experience increased bone/cancer pain and/or disease flare-up as you start taking tamoxifen. In some cases, this may be a sign of a good response to the medication. Symptoms include increased bone pain, increased tumor size, or even new tumors. These symptoms usually disappear quickly. In any case, report these symptoms right away to your doctor.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.
Inform your doctor right away if your condition worsens (e.g., you get new breast lumps).
There are possible side effects of Nolvadex use, but we will find this is a very well-tolerated SERM for most men and women. The possible side effects of Nolvadex use include: Hot flashes, nausea, leg cramps, muscle aches, hair thinning, headache, and numb/tingling skin. A loss of sexual ability/interest may occur in men. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: vision changes (e.g., blurred vision), eye pain, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes, swelling of ankles/feet, unusual tiredness.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Some medical conditions may interact with Nolvadex. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
if you have a history of blood clots in the legs or lungs
if you have high levels of calcium in your blood, a weakened immune system, or low levels of white blood cells or platelets in your blood
if you have high cholesterol or lipid levels
if you have cataracts or other vision problems
if you are confined to a bed or chair
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Nolvadex. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
Cytotoxic cancer medicines (eg, cisplatin) because the risk of developing blood clots may be increased
Bupropion, cinacalcet, clobazam, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, perphenazine, pimozide, quinidine, rifampin, sertraline, terbinafine, thioridazine, or ticlopidine because they may decrease Nolvadexâ€™s effectiveness
Fluorouracil or mitomycin C because they may increase the risk of Nolvadexâ€™s side effects
Aromatase inhibitors (eg, anastrozole, letrozole) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Nolvadex
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: anastrozole, letrozole.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), estrogens, hormonal forms of birth control (e.g., birth control pills, patches, implants), phenobarbital, rifamycins (e.g., rifampin), St Johnâ€™s wort.
Other medications can affect the removal of tamoxifen from your body, which may affect how tamoxifen works. Examples include cimetidine, SSRI antidepressants such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, among others.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including thyroid tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. Symptoms of overdose may include: dizziness; tremor; trouble breathing; trouble walking.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood counts, liver function tests, pelvic exams, mammogram, eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store Nolvadex between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) in a tightly closed, light-resistant container. Store away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not take tablets after the expiration date printed on the label. Keep Nolvadex out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Nolvadex or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Nolvadex. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Nolvadex. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Nolvadex.