Also known as: Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen is used to treat certain types of breast cancer (eg, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body [metastatic], early stage estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer after surgery and radiation treatment). It is also used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in adult women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) after breast surgery and radiation treatment.
Tamoxifen is also used to reduce the risk for breast cancer in women with a high chance of getting it. The following are risk factors that may increase your risk of developing breast cancer:
If you have close family members (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer. If you have ever had a breast biopsy or if high-risk changes in your breast(s) have been found from a breast biopsy. If you have never been pregnant or if your first pregnancy occurred at a late age. If your first menstrual period occurred at an early age.
Female hormones called estrogen, that occur naturally in the body can increase the growth of some breast cancers. Tamoxifen works by blocking the effects of estrogen in the body.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain tamoxifen. It may not be specific to Nolvadex. Please read with care.
Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before using this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Shake the oral liquid well before each use. Measure the medicine with a marked medicine cup. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.
Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not break, divide, crush, or chew it. You can take the tablets with or without food.
Tamoxifen sometimes causes mild nausea and vomiting. However, it may have to be taken for several weeks or months to be effective. Even if you begin to feel ill, do not stop using this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Ask your health care professional for ways to lessen these effects.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
For oral dosage form (solution, tablets): For breast cancer: Adults—20 to 40 milligrams (mg) per day. Doses greater than 20 mg are given as 2 divided doses per day (morning and evening). Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor. For breast cancer as additional treatment: Adults—20 milligrams (mg) per day for 5 to 10 years. Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor. For reducing the risk of developing breast cancer in high-risk women: Adults—20 milligrams (mg) per day for 5 years. Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor. For reducing the risk of developing invasive breast cancer in women with ductal carcinoma in situ: Adults—20 milligrams (mg) per day for 5 years. Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
If you overdose Nolvadex and you don't feel good you should visit your doctor or health care provider immediately. Symptoms of Nolvadex overdosage: uncontrolled body shaking, unsteadiness, problems with walking, convulsions, lightheadedness, exaggerated reflexes, problems with breathing, tremor.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Do not store the oral liquid in the refrigerator or freezer. Throw away any unused liquid after 3 months of first opening the bottle.
Detailed Nolvadex dosage information