Tamoxifen 20 mg
Tamoxifen 20mg is prescribed to a patient suffering from hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. It is also given to patients that have a high risk of developing breast cancer. This drug inhibits the growth of cancer. Its function is to hinder the effects of estrogen in the breast tissue. It is used with other drugs taken as part of endocrine therapy.
Endocrine therapy is a method of treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones. In conditions such as diabetes or menopause, hormones are given to increase the levels of hormones. Hormones help the cancer cells to grow (such as prostate cancer, breast cancer), in these instances synthetic hormones or other drugs are given to block cancer from growing. In certain conditions, surgeries are also performed for the removal of the gland that makes a certain hormone.
Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer
Breast cancer tumors are either hormone receptor-positive or negative. These cancers require estrogen or progesterone, or sometimes both of the hormones to grow. According to studies around 75% of patients suffering from post-menopausal symptoms develop hormone receptor-positive cancer.
Hormone receptor-positive cancers grow slowly compared to hormone receptor-negative cancers. Women with hormone receptor-positive have a better outlook in a shorter period, but these cancers can often come back after years of treatment. The healthcare provider will perform a biopsy and laboratory testing to determine the cancer type and its treatment.
How Tamoxifen works
It is a type of hormonal therapy drug known as selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). The medication links to hormone receptors in breast cancer cells. Once the drug is in the cells, it blocks cancer from using the hormones it needs to grow and multiply.
- · Prevents cancer from spreading
- · Prevents bone loss after menopause
- · Lowers cholesterol levels
How to use
Refer to the guide provided by the pharmacists thoroughly before you start using the medication. For any questions regarding the drug, please consult your doctor.
Tamoxifen should be consumed orally with or without food, once or twice throughout the day every day for the length of time prescribed by your doctor. Dosages that are more than 20g should be divided in half and consumed twice a day, as directed by your healthcare provider. If you are taking the liquid, measure the liquid carefully using a measuring spoon. Avoid using household spoons to prevent measuring errors.
The average duration of treatment ranges from 5 years to 10 years to prevent cancer from coming back. Take the drug regularly to maximize the benefit from it.
Moderate side effects, tell your doctor about them if they persist for a long time.
- · Hot flashes
- · Nausea
- · Leg cramps
- · Thinning of hair
- · Loss of libido in men
Serious Side effects:
- · Vision changes
- · Eye pain
- · Bleeding
- · Mood changes
- · Swelling of ankles/feet
- · Fatigue
- · Infections (such as fever, sore throat)
- · Signs of liver diseases
Severe medical from this drug is rare but do seek immediate medical attention if you notice symptoms of allergic reactions occur.
- · It is unsafe to consume this medication with alcohol.
- · Tamoxifen is unsafe to consume while pregnant.
- · Tamoxifen is probably unsafe to consume while breastfeeding
- · Tamoxifen is safe to take for patients suffering from kidney diseases.
- · IF you are a patient suffering from liver diseases, please tell your healthcare provider and consult them.
Q1. What happens if you miss a dose?
Ans. If you miss dose of the medication, please take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to your next dose, skip it and resume your regular schedule of dosage. Do not consume two doses to cover up for the missed doses.
Q2. What happens if I overdose?
Ans. If you overdose on the medication, then seek immediate medical attention.
Q3. What happens if I stop taking Tamoxifen?
Ans. Do not stop taking this drug until directed by your healthcare provider. Stopping the drug early might increase the chances of the cancer coming back.