Breast cancer cases have been on the rise; men and women die daily. There are many medications available to curb the nightmare, for example, Tamoxifen. The medication to use will depend on the extent of cancer, that is, how far it has spread in your body and your overall health. Tamoxifen is prescribed by the doctor to manage or prevent breast cancer in both men and women. Using it can cause side effects. Don’t be scared of using this medication because any other drug, even over the counter drugs, can lead to unwanted effects and Tamoxifen is not exceptional. What you have to bear in mind are the benefits vs side effects. The benefits are countless, thus you are better off using the drug rather than avoiding it. What Are The Side Effects? The following will answer your query.
Breast Cancer and Tamoxifen in Men and Women
The medication is available in the form of:
- Oral tablet
- Oral solution- it is available in the brand name Soltamox
The drug falls under the category of medicines termed as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM). The main dose prescribed by the physician is 10 mg to 40 mg. The dose is different from one person to another. Follow the doctor’s prescription to the letter, don’t take an overdose nor an under dose as this can trigger unwanted effects. An under dose can’t manage your condition and overdose may worsen side effects. The tablet is swallowed whole with water. During the use of this drug with women with breast cancer, it can increase fertility. However, the fertility effects are temporal, since it’s used for 5 years in management of cancer. Fertility treatments are used for 5 days. Women must use birth control to avoid conception since undesired effects of this medication can cause birth defects in case you become pregnant. However, in case you become pregnant, inform your doctor.
Men are also at risk of developing breast cancer and that’s why these tablets are also used in men; and can result side effects in men. Men have some small breast tissues. A male is diagnosed with breast cancer by a presence of a lump in the chest. Once you detect a lump in your chest, schedule a meeting immediately. Many men delay visiting a health facility till the symptoms become severe and unbearable like bleeding nipples. Bleeding nipples are an indication that the cancer has advanced. Don’t wait for such moments, see a doctor early enough and commence Tamoxifen although you may face negative effects in male. The good thing is you will keep breast cancer in control. To minimize negative effects from this drug, inform your doctor of the following:
- History of blood clot and stroke
- Have liver disease
- Have high cholesterol
- You are currently on chemotherapy or radiation or have undergone the two in the past
- Have a history of cataracts
The side effects of Tamoxifen treatment vary from one person to another. Your medical history and any medical conditions you might have are a determinant. Remember to inform the doctor of allergies that you might have since this medication has inactive ingredients; you can react to them or or the drug unwanted effects may deteriorate..
- Leg pain and leg cramps
- Skin rash
- Mood swings
- Weight loss
- Loss of libido
The drug brings about innumerable side effects. Some are common, occasional, severe and rare unwanted effects. The effects listed above can be severe to one individual and mild to another. The information is to guide you on the possible negative effects so that you can seek medical help. Below, are additional unwanted effects in men and women which may happen occasionally, but can be severe:
- Bone pain
- Bleeding and bruising problems
- Joint pain
- Eyesight problems
- Liver problems
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
Negative effects in bodybuilding
The drug has gained popularity in the bodybuilding community. These pills are used by bodybuilders to deal with undesirable effects as a result of anabolic steroids. Steroids lower the level of androgens and the body reacts by increasing production of estrogens. Eventually, the body builder will have accumulated fats in certain parts of their body and gynecomastia can occur. To handle these effects of steroids, Tamoxifen is beneficial to bodybuilders. Take note, you can encounter Tamoxifen bodybuilding side effects. This medication shrinks the breast back to the size it was before gynecomastia took place. It is important to sit with your doctor and discuss the possible undesired effects in bodybuilding like joint pains, bone pains and a decrease in sexual desires. Thus, you will make a conscious decision and the side effects won’t surprise you.
Interactions with Alcohol and Its Withdrawal Effects
Alcohol can be in the form of liquor, wine or beer; whichever the form, none is better or worse than the other, the bottom line is, it is alcohol! Drinking alcohol while taking the medication leads to Tamoxifen and alcohol side effects. Consumption of alcohol alone increases chances of breast cancer. If you have cancer and consume alcohol, it reduces your survival. Your genetic makeup can deteriorate cancer. If you metabolize alcohol faster, the occurrence of breast cancer increases, on the other hand, if you metabolize alcohol slowly, chances of getting cancer are very low. If alcohol can cause such effects alone, what if it is combined with alcohol?
Negative effects with alcohol
- At risk of getting heart attacks and strokes
Alcohol makes the drug ineffective. Menopausal symptoms can be aggravated by alcohol. If you consume alcohol and take Tamoxifen together for long, you endanger your life and you will be faced with long-term side effects such as liver problems and heart diseases. Alcohol interacts with nearly all medications and Tamoxifen is not left out of the list. Even moderate alcohol levels compromise the effectiveness of these tablets. If you are an alcoholic, inform the doctor before he prescribes this medication. The closing remark is, avoid alcohol when on Tamoxifen at all cost, otherwise, you will be left to deal with fatal and uncontrollable unwanted effects.
The normal duration for Tamoxifen is five years. Your body had become used to the drug. Stopping taking it will trigger, stopping Tamoxifen side effects. You may have to withdraw from taking the drug due to severe negative effects upon direction from the doctor. Whichever the case, you will face
Withdrawal negative effects such as
- Hot flashes
- Body aches
- Joint pains
The good thing is that you can tackle the side effects Tamoxifen withdrawal symptoms by natural remedies like:
- Frequent warm baths
- Massage therapy
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Taking supplements
- Rubbing essential oils to relieve body aches and joint pain
Discuss in detail the side effects of Tamoxifen with your doctor. At least you have an overview of the negative effects. Remember, Tamoxifen is a medication that has a lot of benefits, it’s worth using it.