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Tamoxifen (ta MOKS i fen)

Brand Names: U.S.

Soltamox

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Tamox®; Mylan-Tamoxifen; Nolvadex®-D; PMS-Tamoxifen; Teva-Tamoxifen

Warning

  • This drug may raise the chance of very bad and sometimes deadly side effects like stroke, blood clots, or endometrial or uterine cancer.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat breast cancer.
  • It is used to lower the chance of breast cancer in women with a higher chance of getting it. It may lower the chance of getting cancer in the other breast after one has cancer.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to tamoxifen or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have blood clots or have had blood clots in the past.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Anastrozole or warfarin.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have a bone density test. Talk with your doctor.
  • Limit your drinking of wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
  • Be sure to have regular breast exams and gynecology check-ups. Your doctor will tell you how often to have these. You will also need to do breast self-exams as your doctor has told you. Talk with your doctor.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Cataracts may rarely happen.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Use birth control that does not have hormones in it like a condom. Do this for as long as you take this drug and for 2 months after you stop taking it.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • High calcium level. Signs include weakness, confusion, feeling tired, headache, upset stomach and throwing up, hard stools (constipation), or bone pain.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
  • Pelvic pain or pressure.
  • Period (menstrual) changes. These include lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles.
  • Vaginal bleeding that is not normal.
  • Vaginal discharge.
  • Change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Any bruising or bleeding.
  • A lump in the breast or breast soreness.
  • Change in sex ability.
  • Lowered interest in sex.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Change in balance.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Hot flashes.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Weight loss.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Back pain.
  • Bone pain.
  • Cough.
  • Dizziness.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • Take as you have been told, even if you feel well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Take with or without food.

Liquid:

  • Only use the measuring device that comes with this liquid drug.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Tablet:

  • Store at room temperature.

Liquid:

  • Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
  • Store in original container.
  • Throw away any part not used after 3 months.

All products:

  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

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