Tamoxifen (Tamoxifen Citrate)
Tamoxifen is a medicine used to lower the risk of developing breast cancer in high-risk women and in women who had surgery and radiation for cancer inside the milk ducts. Tamoxifen is also used to treat breast cancer in women after they have finished early treatment (such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy). In addition, tamoxifen is used to treat breast cancer in women and men that has spread to other parts of the body.
Tamoxifen can cause changes in the lining or body of your uterus. These changes may be serious, including cancer of the uterus. Tell your doctor right away if you develop vaginal bleeding or bloody discharge that could be a rusty or brown color, changes in your monthly period (such as the amount or timing of bleeding or increased clotting), or pain or pressure in your pelvis (below your belly button).
Tamoxifen can also cause noncancerous changes to your uterus. These include endometriosis, fibroids in the uterus, menstrual cycle irregularities, or the absence of menstrual periods.
Tamoxifen can cause blood clots in your veins or lungs. You may get blood clots up to 2-3 months after you stop taking tamoxifen. Tell your doctor right away if you experience sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, or pain, tenderness, or swelling in one or both of your legs.
Tamoxifen can cause a stroke. Tell your doctor right away if you develop sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, severe headaches with no known cause, or weakness, tingling, or numbness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body.
Tamoxifen can cause cataracts or increase the risk of needing cataract surgery. Tell your doctor right away if you experience blurred vision.
Tamoxifen can cause liver problems, including liver cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you experience a lack of appetite, or yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes.
Tamoxifen can harm your unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy. Do not take tamoxifen if you are pregnant. Do not become pregnant for 2 months after you stop taking tamoxifen. If you have not gone through menopause and are sexually active, use an effective non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, diaphragms with spermicide, or plain intrauterine devices [IUDs]) while you are taking tamoxifen and for 2 months after you stop taking it.
Have regular gynecology checkups, breast exams, and mammograms. Your doctor will tell you how often. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new breast lumps. Also, tell all of your doctors that you are taking tamoxifen.