The Tamoxifen is a drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer, not only in women but also in men. It reduces the incidence of breast cancer and prevents its appearance in people who have a high probability of developing it.
The Tamoxifen is an adjuvant (used to prevent the possibility of recurrence of breast cancer after performing the surgical procedure or chemotherapy). The Tamoxifen is also a palliative treatment that acts specifically on control of symptoms).
It also works by blocking the actions of estrogen, very useful in some types of cancer that need the hormone for their development and growth. Thus, therefore, Tamoxifen has an antiestrogenic effect.
The Tamoxifen is in the form of tablets of 10 and 20 mg and each tablet of this medicine comprises c itrato Tamoxifen, which is its main component .
What do you need to know about tamoxifen?
Before starting treatment with Tamoxifen, it is essential that a medical professional advises the patient, who will use the drug according to their physical conditions, adapting the treatment to the stage of the disease, ensuring that the appropriate dose is used. In addition, you will have to determine a specific treatment time according to your case.
It is important to inform your doctor if any of these conditions occur:
- Liver disease
- If you have a history of blood clots or stroke.
- If you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
- If you have high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides (it is a type of fat in the blood).
- Cataract history.
Before starting a treatment with tamoxifen , it is essential that a medical professional advises the patient, that the drug will be administered according to their conditions. This is important, since the aim of carrying out an adequate treatment for each case will always be sought, defining the doses, the dose and the treatment time that most correspond.
The benefits of Tamoxifen
The Tamoxifen can:
- Slow the risk of breast cancer (metastatic) in premenopausal or postmenopausal women. The Tamoxifen reduces the risk of developing breast cancer between 40% and 50% in postmenopausal patients and 30% in premenopausal patients.
- Reduces the risk of breast cancer in women prone to developing cancerous tumors.
- It reduces the risk of the cancerous tumor affecting the other healthy breast.
- Reduces the amount of cholesterol.
- Helps minimize the loss of bone tissue that occurs during menopause .
Possible Side Effects When Using Tamoxifen
It is essential to seek urgent medical attention if an allergic reaction occurs: swelling of the face, throat, lips … or if there are difficulties in breathing.
You should call your doctor immediately and stop using tamoxifen if you experience any of these incidents:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Lump in the breast.
- Unusual changes in the menstrual period.
- Eye pain, accompanied by blurred vision or tunnel vision.
- Nausea, upper stomach pain, dark urine, loss of appetite, and clay-colored stools.
- Vomiting, a significant increase in the urge to urinate and drink water, frequent tiredness, muscle pain or pain in the bones.
- Other possible side effects can be:
- Vaginal itching or dryness.
- Hair thinning
- Dizziness and depression
- Decreased sex drive and impotence and erection problems (in the case of men).
Side effects when they occur with a certain degree of intensity can be controlled simply by reducing the dose of the drug , without affecting the control and treatment of the disease. This action must always be carried out and recommended by a doctor.
Tamoxifen and pregnancy
It is very important not to use tamoxifen if you are pregnant, because there is the possibility of miscarriage. You can also suffer birth defects or death of the fetus after using this medicine .
Another important factor is the recommendation to use a barrier contraceptive method (condoms, vaginal spermicides, diaphragm, vaginal sponges or vaginal rings) while being treated with this drug and it is advisable to continue using the chosen contraceptive method for up to two months after termination. treatment with tamoxifen .
Preventing pregnancy using hormonal contraceptives (vaginal ring, intrauterine device, subcutaneous implant, contraceptive injections, contraceptive patches or combined contraceptive pills) may not be totally effective while using tamoxifen . Naturally, the use of this medicine in menopausal women should be examined in order to warn and exclude any possibility of pregnancy.
Lactation and tamoxifen
The Tamoxifen is not recommended to women who are in nursing period, although it is not known whether the drug is excreted in human milk. Some studies report, however, that its use during lactation can decrease breast milk production.
The decision to stop breastfeeding to use tamoxifen must be taken in conjunction with medical advice, always taking into account the health of the mother.
Drugs that may interact with tamoxifen:
It is necessary to inform the doctor if you are using any of these drugs:
- In addition to these drugs, prescription antimalarial drugs, which are chloroquine, peritamin, or quinine, may also be contraindicated.
- Antidepressants, such as cromipramine, imipramine, paroxetine, sertraline, tranylcypromine, bupropion, or fluoxetine.
- Antibiotics, such as terbinafine.
- Medicines that treat AIDS or HIV, such as ritonavir or delarvidin.
- Drugs for psychiatric treatments, such as chlorpramazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, thioridazine, haloperidol, and aripiprazole.
- Or if drugs are used to control heart rhythms, such as amiodarone or quinidine.
Recommendations for the correct intake of tamoxifen
It is essential to take this medicine as prescribed by the doctor and not take inappropriate doses or in greater or lesser amounts than indicated by the specialized professional. Also, do not take it for longer than recommended.
It is necessary to protect the drug by storing it at room temperature, away from moisture, heat and cold. You also have to avoid freezing it. As for how to take it, it can be done with and without food.
If tamoxifen is started with the aim of reducing the risk of developing breast cancer, it is necessary to take the first dose during the menstrual period. It is essential to make sure you are not pregnant to use this medicine , so it is advisable to take a pregnancy test before taking it.
Make sure you have the necessary amount of drug always available. You may need to continue using this medicine for up to 5 years.
What to do in case of Tamoxifen overdose?
In case of accidental overdose of any medication , it is necessary to call the local poison control office or the 112 emergency service.
Symptoms of drug overdose:
- Uncontrollable shaking in any part of the body.
Tamoxifen, indications and dosage
- Breast cancer in women or men. Take orally 20 to 40 mg. If the dose is greater than 20 mg, it should be administered in two doses, one in the evening and one in the morning.
- Adjuvant breast cancer. It is recommended to take 10 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day over a period of 5 years.
- Palliative breast cancer. It is recommended to take orally 10 to 20 mg twice a day. It is possible that a positive response to treatment in this case will emerge after several months.
- Patients with intraductal carcinoma. The dose should be 20 mg orally per day for 5 years.
What care should be taken during treatment with tamoxifen?
The Tamoxifen can pass bodily fluids (urine, feces, vomiting or sweat). Caregivers of people who are being treated with tamoxifen must take special care when handling contaminated clothing or garbage, being essential the use of rubber gloves while cleaning body fluids or when changing diapers. It is important to wash your hands after removing the gloves and special care must be taken with contaminated bedding, being necessary to wash them separately from other garments. Taking this care will guarantee a good treatment.
Does the insurance cover the cost of Tamoxifen?
The drug tamoxifen is generally one of the cheapest aromatase inhibitor drugs because it is a generic drug . It is convenient that, if you have insurance, you find out if the company covers these expenses. If so, you must inquire about the percentage it covers. Information can also be requested from the doctor or hospital team about possible information and financial support programs. There are numerous support programs for people without resources who need to use this type of treatment.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.