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The drug Tamoxifen is taken to prevent and cure breast cancer. The medicine can be prescribed to both men and women. This drug is taken for the prevention within people, who are predisposed to the disease.
The Tamoxifen medicine is prescribed to the patients, who have estrogen receptors in the breast cancer cells. Tamoxifen binds estrogen receptors so that estrogen could not be formed in these cells, and thus the division and growth of cancer cells begin to slow down or stop.
It is taken at low stages of the disease, as a prevention of returning disease after surgery, as well as to control the disease in severe stages.
The drug is available in the form of tablets and as a liquid drug.
Dosage and Application
The medication Tamoxifen, like any other medications, should be taken according to the instructions, which come with the medication package, as well as following the doctor's recommendations. The whole tablets should be swallowed without chewing them, drank with water. The drug in the form of a liquid is taken according to the prescribed dosage. Take the drug daily at the same time.
In order to prevent the disease, the Tamoxifen medication is taken during up to 5 years. Usually, if a patient suffers from breast cancer, then the treatment with this medicine is long-term and can last from 5 to 10 years.
The patient must strictly comply with the prescribed dosage and not change it by himself.
If you decide to stop taking the medication, then you should firstly consult with your doctor.
Common side effects usually occur within 10% of patients, and they include: changes in the menstrual cycles; swelling of the legs and arms; weakness and pain; severe tiredness; skin rash; vaginal bleeding and vaginal discharge. Sometimes the following may reactions occur: thin hair and hair loss; legs cramps; depression; allergy; vision problems; headache; anemia.
Very rare adverse reactions: liver problems; pneumonia; uterine cancer.
The patient should tell the doctor about all the medicines, vitamins and supplements that he or she is taking at the period, as Tamoxifen may badly interact with certain drugs and foods. Consult a doctor about your daily diet.
You should ask the doctor about the full list of possible risks.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It is necessary to tell the doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Taking Tamoxifen during pregnancy can be dangerous for an unborn baby and for the pregnancy in general.
In fact, pregnancy is not recommended during the treatment, as well as within 2 months after the therapy completion. Therefore, before starting therapy, you should consult your doctor about effective types of contraception.
The fact that the drug can penetrate into the breast milk wasn’t proved. It is not recommended to breastfeed a baby when taking Tamoxifen in order to avoid any risks for the baby.
If you are having the treatment against breast cancer and have received any other health problems at that time, then you should tell another doctor (for example, a dentist, an oculist or any other doctor) that you are currently taking Tamoxifen. It is very important, because you will be prescribed medications that do not interact with this drug and will not affect your further treatment.
Tamoxifen in a liquid form has a small amount of alcohol as its component, which can be a problem for people, who suffer from alcoholism. For other people, the presence of alcohol in the medication is not harmful.