Tamoxifen is a medicine which has been licensed for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer in the men and women. It has proved to be very effective in the treatment of metastatic cancer, breast cancer which involves the lymph nodes as well, or so called node-positive breast cancer, and in the treatment of the early cancer of the ducts of the breasts. Besides these cases, it is also used in order to prevent the cancer from coming back in women who have had the surgery, and it is also used in women who are at higher risk of getting this serious disease. Since the medicine cannot be used without a prescription of the doctor, the doctor will also decide on the doses, which is why it will be necessary to inform him or her about other medications which are used, and other conditions that a patient may or may not have, including allergies and history of stroke, or blood clot. Besides determining the right dosage, the reason for this is also the possibility of serious side effects, which tamoxifen combined with certain other medicines may cause.
As for the common side effects of tamoxifen, it should be mentioned that more than half of the female patients who used it, experienced hot flashes and vaginal discharge. A significant number of the patients have also experienced irregular menstrual periods, vaginal bleeding, water retention and weight loss. Regarding other side effects, frequently reported have been pain in the bones, muscles and back, increased level of cholesterol, headaches, infections and cough. People complain of either diarrhea of constipation, changes in the skin, problems with sleeping, hair loss and particularly uncomfortable are changes in the mood. Regarding the side effects which require medical attention because they can be life threatening, it should be mentioned that they are extremely rare, but not impossible. Some of them are increased blood pressure, problems with breathing, unexplained vaginal bleeding, signs of the blood clot, pain in the chest, and increase in the size of the tumor. Depression is also a possible side effect, which is why people should not ignore any changes in the mood, but report them to his or her doctor as soon as possible. What is a bit tricky about tamoxifen is the fact that none of these side effects can be predicted in advance, so some patients may experience several, while some may experience none of the mentioned.