Why is Nolvadex prescribed?
Nolvadex, an anticancer drug, is given to treat breast cancer. It also has proved effective when cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Nolvadex is most effective in stopping the kind of breast cancer that thrives on estrogen.
How should Nolvadex be used?
Take Tamoxifen citrate exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking Tamoxifen citrate without first consulting your doctor. It may be necessary to continue taking the drug for several years.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking tamoxifen,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tamoxifen or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease or high levels of cholesterol.
- you should know that tamoxifen may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking Tamoxifen citrate.
- You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Tamoxifen may harm the fetus.
- tamoxifen has been associated with the development of endometrial changes such as hyperplasia, polyps, and endometrial cancer and with the development of uterine cancer. Talk with your doctor about the potential risk of developing a new cancer.
What side effects can Nolvadex cause?
Although side effects from tamoxifen are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- hot flashes or sudden sweating
- vaginal discharge
- menstrual irregularities
- nausea and vomiting
- rashes or skin irritation
- leg cramps, bone pain, and pain at the tumor site
- swelling of the hands, feet, or lower legs
- thinning of hair
- loss of sexual desire or ability
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
- persistent pain or reddening around the tumor site
- blurred vision or problems seeing
- pelvic pain or pressure
- extreme weakness and sleepiness
- mental confusion
- pain and swelling of the legs
- shortness of breath
Keep tamoxifen in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What storage conditions are needed for Nolvadex?
To store this medicine:
- Keep out of the reach of children.
- Store away from heat and direct light.
- Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
- Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
What other information should I know?
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, tamoxifen is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
- Malignant melanoma (a certain type of skin cancer)
- Cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus)
Other than the above information, there is no additional information relating to proper use, precautions, or side effects for these uses.