Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer and lower the chance of developing breast cancer, are for oral administration.
How Nolvadex works
Tamoxifen works by blocking estrogen receptors in breast tissue. While estrogen may not actually cause breast cancer, it is necessary for the cancer to grow in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers.
NOLVADEX therapy to reduce the risk of breast cancer may not be appropriate for all women at increased risk for breast cancer. An assessment with your healthcare professional of the potential benefits and risks prior to starting therapy for reduction in breast cancer risk is essential. You should understand that NOLVADEX reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of breast cancer. NOLVADEX blocks the actions of oestrogen. Oestrogen is a natural female sex hormone. In some types of breast cancer, oestrogen can help cancer cells to grow.
Tamoxifen may be given as adjuvant therapy (treatment after successful surgery) in women or men with lymph node negative or lymph node positive breast cancer. Cancers with positive estrogen and progesterone receptors are more likely to benefit from tamoxifen.
In women to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic breast cancer)
- Treatment of Breast Cancer
- Metastatic Breast Cancer
- Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)
- Reduction in Breast Cancer Incidence in High Risk Women
Tamoxifen is also used sometimes to induce ovulation (egg production) in women who do not produce eggs but wish to become pregnant.
Tamoxifen is used to treat “McCune-Albright” syndrome; a condition that may cause bone disease, early sexual development, and dark colored spots on the skin in children.
Nolvadex for athletes and bodybuilders
Tamoxifen citrate also offers another great benefit to bodybuilders due to the fact that it can greatly increase the amount of testosterone that the body makes by stimulating LH production.
The primary worry among the athletes and bodybuilders is gynecomastia, or the very unsightly development of female breast tissue in men. This drug has to be prescribed by a doctor since its cure to this condition may vary.
How to take the drug
Your doctor will have explained why you are being treated with NOLVADEX and told you what dose to take. Follow all directions given to you by your doctor. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for another use.
The recommended dose is Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate) 20 mg daily. It should be taken around the same time every day. Tamoxifen should be taken at about the same time each day with a full glass of water.
Do not crush, chew or break the tablets. If you miss a dose, do not take a double dose the next day.
If you are taking tamoxifen to reduce your risk of cancer, need to take your first dose while you are having a menstrual period.
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.
Symptoms of overdose
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
How to buy Nolvadex
Tamoxifen is available through retail and mail order pharmacies. Your doctor will give you a prescription, which you can fill at your local pharmacy.
Medicines to avoid while taking tamoxifen
When tamoxifen is used in combination with cytotoxic agents, there is increased risk of thromboembolic events occurring, in combination with coumarin-type anticoagulants, a significant increase in anticoagulant effect may occur.
Medicines with which you should not combine tamoxifen: Anastrozole, letrozole, or warfarin. сarbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin.
To make sure you can safely take tamoxifen, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
- Liver disease
- A history of cataract
- High cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood)
- A history of stroke or blood clot
- If you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation
You should not take tamoxifen if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or if there is any chance that you could be pregnant.
- Hot flashes (see sexuality)
- Vaginal discharge (see sexuality)
- Swelling (fluid retention in feet, ankles, or hands)
- Loss of libido (particularly in men) (see sexuality)
These side effects are less common in about 10-29%) of patients.
- Liver Toxicity
- Weight loss
- Menstrual irregularities
- Vaginal bleeding
- Weight loss
- Bone Metastases
- Mood changes
NOLVADEX therapy may be uncommonly associated with serious side effects such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT – blood clots in veins of your leg), pulmonary embolus (blood clots in your lungs) In some women, these events were fatal. Less serious side effects such as hot flushes, vaginal discharge, menstrual irregularities and gynaecological conditions may also occur. Whether the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks depends on your age, health history, your level of breast cancer risk and on your personal judgement.