Side Effects of Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen can be used to:
- Treat hormone receptor-positive early and locally advanced breast cancer (learn more)
- Treat hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer (learn more)
- Lower the risk of breast cancer for women at high risk of breast cancer who haven’t been diagnosed (learn more)
Tamoxifen has fewer side effects than chemotherapy. For example, tamoxifen doesn’t cause nausea.
Side effects in women
Menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, are common in women who take tamoxifen .
Although menopausal symptoms may become less frequent and less intense over time, they can still be hard to manage. If you have symptoms, talk with your health care provider about ways to treat them.
The most serious health risks of tamoxifen, such as endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) and blood clots in the lungs, are rare .
Figure 5.10 lists some possible side effects and health risks of tamoxifen in women.
Figure 5.10: Side effects and health risks of tamoxifen in women
Adapted from Rimawi MF and Osborne CK .
Side effects in men
In men, possible side effects of tamoxifen include [102-104]:
- Hot flashes
- Loss of sex drive
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood clots in the large veins (deep vein thrombosis)
- Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary emboli)
- Skin rash
Side effects of tamoxifen versus side effects of aromatase inhibitors
Although both aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen can cause menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, many of their side effects differ.
Learn about how the side effects of these hormone therapies compare.
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