When and How to Take Tamoxifen

General considerations for when and how to take it include the following:
  • The medication comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth once or twice a day.
  • You can take it with or without food. If tamoxifen bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • The medication should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.

Dosing Information

The dose of tamoxifen that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • The severity of your breast cancer (see Breast Cancer Stages)
  • Whether you are using tamoxifen to treat or prevent breast cancer
  • Other medications you may be taking
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Tamoxifen Dosing for more information.)

Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with tamoxifen. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of tamoxifen include, but are not limited to:
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Fluid retention
  • Nausea
  • Irregular menstrual periods.
(Click Tamoxifen Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
The following eMedTV articles describe specific side effects of tamoxifen:
The Top 17 Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Tamoxifen Citrate Drug Information

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