Tamoxifen is an anti-cancer medication used to treat certain types of breast cancer in women and men that require estrogen to grow such as metastatic breast cancer, node-positive breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ. Tamoxifen is also used to prevent breast cancer in women belonging to high risk group and reversal of disease and is generally available in form of film coated tablets.
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Tamoxifen Action Mechanism
Tamoxifen belongs to Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) class of drugs and acts through competitively binding to estrogen receptors present on tumors and other tissue targets. As a result, Tamoxifen produces a nuclear complex that decreases viral DNA synthesis and thereby inhibits the effects of estrogen.
Consult your medical professional before taking Tamoxifen, as its dosage depends upon the severity of your medical condition, other medications you might be taking and clinical history, if present. The usual recommended dosage of Tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment is 20 mg to 40 mg taken daily. While, Tamoxifen dosage for treating ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or preventing breast cancer is 20 mg per day for five years.
Do not take Tamoxifen if you
- Are allergic to any of its components or poses any other allergies,
- Suffer from unexplained vaginal bleeding or have a history of stroke or blood clots,
- Are pregnant (or thinking to become pregnant) or breastfeeding.
Tamoxifen Side Effects
Common side effects of Tamoxifen include
- Headache, mild nausea or vomiting,
- Hot flashes, mild hair loss or fatigue,
- Vaginal discharge and impotence (in males).
While serious side effects of Tamoxifen include
- Changes in your menstrual cycle and pelvic pain or pressure,
- Chest pain, new breast lumps and changes in vision,
- Swelling or skin rash and bloody vaginal discharge.