Tamoxifen and Weight Gain

Weight gain has been reported by some people taking tamoxifen, although weight loss appears to be more common. Tips for combating weight gain include eating a heart-healthy diet and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. If gaining weight on tamoxifen continues to be a problem, your healthcare provider may recommend another breast cancer medication.

Does Tamoxifen Cause Weight Gain?

Gaining weight is a common complaint in people taking tamoxifen citrate (Nolvadex®, Soltamox™). The side effect occurs in up to 9 percent of people taking the drug. However, even more people (up to 23 percent) reported experiencing weight loss with tamoxifen.

What If I Gain Weight While Taking Tamoxifen?

If you are noticing an unexplained weight gain with tamoxifen, there are some things that you can do. Suggestions include:
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. This diet should include foods such as:
    • Lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    • Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
  • Limit foods with saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars.
  • Get regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
(Click BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range.)

Final Thoughts

If you are taking tamoxifen and weight gain occurs, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can give you other suggestions for dealing with any weight gain. If the weight gain continues, he or she may recommend adjusting the tamoxifen dosage or switching to another breast cancer medication.
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