Tamoxifen treats breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic breast cancer), in certain patients after surgery and radiation therapy, and reduce the chances of breast cancer in high-risk patients. This medication blocks the growth of breast cancer by interfering with the effects of estrogen in the breast tissue.
How to use tamoxifen
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using tamoxifen and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily for 5 years, or as directed by your doctor. Daily dosages greater than 20 milligrams are usually divided in half and taken twice a day, in the morning and evening, or as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
If you have breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, you may experience increased bone/cancer pain and/or disease flare-up as you start taking tamoxifen. In some cases, this may be a sign of a good response to the medication. Symptoms include increased bone pain, increased tumor size, or even new tumors. These symptoms usually disappear quickly. In any case, report these symptoms immediately to your doctor.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnantor who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets. (See also Precautions section.)
Inform your doctor immediately if your condition worsens (e.g., you get new breast lumps).