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2 Serious Tamoxifen’s Side Effects

8/14/2020

There are two serious side effects of anti-estrogen therapy. We've all heard about the difficult side effects of Tamoxifen. They range from discomforting to life-threatening. But, with all the talk among survivors, there are the most serious side effects and you should be worried.

Most commonly discussed side effects are cataracts and blood clots. But, before we jump into it, just remember that these side effects are considered extremely rare. However, some survivors prefer to know about the warning signs and symptoms, despite their unlikelihood. So, if you find that the fear of breast cancer therapy is affecting your positivity, sometimes getting a handle on facts can help limit your worries.

Cataracts

You might be asking: “What does Tamoxifen have to do with my eyes?” Well, just like other organs, estrogen receptors have been found in the eyes. And since Tamoxifen inhibits estrogen response of your body, it's possible that your eyes may not get the hormones they need to stay healthy.

Tamoxifen has also been found to block certain channels in the eyes, which are necessary to keep them hydrated and healthy. These effects of Tamoxifen in the eyes can lead to cataracts, which develop on the lens tissue of your eye. This is the part that focuses light onto your retina. Think of a cataract as a large smudge on the lens of a film camera that leaves your pictures all blurry.

Symptoms of cataracts include clouded, blurred or dim vision. You may also have difficulty seeing at night. Sensitivity to light, scene halos around lights and double vision in a single eye are also warning signs. However, doctors are realizing that eye issues stemming from Tamoxifen are dose related. They found that after lowering the dosage vision problems were reported to decline. Doctors in a separate research study also concluded that five or more years of Tamoxifen increase cataract risks. And that weapon considering Tamoxifen should be warned about potentially developing cataracts.

So, once you see a doctor, call your physician right away if you notice any change in your eye sight, including sudden vision changes, double vision or blurriness.

Blood-clotting

Women taking Tamoxifen are at a greater risk for blood clots, which commonly form enlarged veins in the legs. This is called deep vein thrombosis. However, a blood clot in itself is not life-threatening. The real danger is when they travel to your brain, heart or lungs, resulting in stroke, heart attack or pulmonary embolism. A stroke occurs on a blood vessel feeding the brain, and it is blocked by a blood line cutting off the brains blood supply. After analyzing studies the researchers found that additional 7 out of 1000 women taking Tamoxifen experienced a stroke.

2 Serious Tamoxifen’s Side Effects

Regardless of the risk, it's important to be mindful of the possible dangers. Call 911 right away, if you experience sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arms or legs.

Sudden confusion, seeing double and trouble speaking or understanding others are possible signs of a stroke. Likewise, a pulmonary embolism is when a blood clot blocks a major artery near lungs. Be mindful of a sudden shortness of breath, racing heart and chest pain that worsens with deep breathing.

How do you lower your risk of blood clots? Follow your doctor's exercise advice, eat healthy food and quit smoking, if you haven't already. Also, be sure to remain active from time to time, even if that's just getting up from your desk to move around. We wanted to face some of the scary side effects of Tamoxifen head-on. Cataracts and blood clots are both serious conditions that require immediate medical attention. But with the right knowledge and doctor supervision they shouldn't leave you worrying.

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