Generic Name: tamoxifen (ta-MOX-i-fen)
Brand Name: Soltamox
Women taking tamoxifen solution to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer have developed cancer of the uterus, stroke, and blood clots in the lung. Some of these events have been fatal. Contact your doctor right away if you develop symptoms such as unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge; abnormal menstrual period; groin pressure or pain; chest pain; shortness of breath; coughing up blood; confusion; one-sided weakness; vision problems; or slurred speech.
Women at high risk of breast cancer or with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) should discuss the use of tamoxifen solution with their doctor. Decide if the possible benefits (reducing the risk of breast cancer) outweigh the risk of these events. The benefits of tamoxifen solution outweigh the risks in women who already have breast cancer.
Tamoxifen solution is used for:
Treating breast cancer that has spread to other sites in the body. It is also used along with other medicines to treat other types of breast cancer. It is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer and in women with DCIS (after surgery and radiation) to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Tamoxifen solution is an antiestrogen. It works by blocking the effect of estrogen on certain tumors. This may prevent the growth of tumors that are activated by estrogen.
Do NOT use tamoxifen solution if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in tamoxifen solution
- you are using tamoxifen solution to reduce your risk of breast cancer and you have a history of blood clots in the lung or leg
- you are using tamoxifen solution to reduce your risk of breast cancer and you also take certain anticoagulants (eg, warfarin)
- you are taking anastrozole
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using tamoxifen solution:
Some medical conditions may interact with tamoxifen solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of blood clots in the legs or lungs
- if you have high levels of calcium in your blood, a weakened immune system, or low levels of white blood cells or platelets in your blood
- if you have high cholesterol or lipid levels
- if you have cataracts or other vision problems
- if you are confined to a bed or chair
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with tamoxifen solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
- Cytotoxic cancer medicines (eg, cisplatin) because the risk of developing blood clots may be increased
- Bupropion, cinacalcet, clobazam, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, perphenazine, pimozide, quinidine, rifampin, sertraline, terbinafine, thioridazine, or ticlopidine because they may decrease tamoxifen solution's effectiveness
- Fluorouracil or mitomycin C because they may increase the risk of tamoxifen solution's side effects
- Aromatase inhibitors (eg, anastrozole, letrozole) because their effectiveness may be decreased by tamoxifen solution
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if tamoxifen solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use tamoxifen solution:
Use tamoxifen solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Tamoxifen solution comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get tamoxifen solution refilled.
- Tamoxifen solution may be taken by mouth with or without food.
- Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
- Continue to take tamoxifen solution even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses. Taking tamoxifen solution at the same time each day will help you to remember to take it.
- If you miss a dose of tamoxifen solution, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use tamoxifen solution.
Important safety information:
- Tamoxifen solution may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use tamoxifen solution with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Tamoxifen solution may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Tamoxifen solution may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- New tumors have occurred in body sites other than the uterus in patients taking tamoxifen solution. It is unknown if tamoxifen solution may be the cause. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Women who take tamoxifen solution to reduce the risk of breast cancer should have a breast exam, mammogram, and gynecological exam before starting and during treatment with tamoxifen solution.
- Women who may become pregnant should begin taking tamoxifen solution during a menstrual period. Women who have irregular menstrual periods should have a pregnancy test immediately before starting tamoxifen solution. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about how to begin taking tamoxifen solution.
- Women who may become pregnant must use effective nonhormonal birth control (eg, condoms, diaphragm) during sexual intercourse while they are taking tamoxifen solution and for 2 months after they stop taking it. Do not use hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills); it may not work as well while you are taking tamoxifen solution. Discuss any questions about effective nonhormonal birth control with your doctor.
- Tamoxifen solution will not prevent you from becoming pregnant, even if your menstrual periods become irregular.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take tamoxifen solution before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including breast exams, mammograms, gynecologic exams, complete blood counts, and liver function tests, may be performed while you use tamoxifen solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Tamoxifen solution should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Tamoxifen solution may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it and for 2 months after you stop using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using tamoxifen solution while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking tamoxifen solution.
Possible side effects of tamoxifen solution:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Bone pain; cough; dizziness; hot flashes; muscle pain; nausea; tiredness; vaginal discharge; weight loss.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); abnormal menstrual periods; calf or leg pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness; chest pain; confusion; coughing up blood; dark urine; decreased sexual desire or ability; depression; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; groin or pelvic pain or pressure; increased or painful urination; loss of balance or coordination; missed menstrual period; new or unusual breast lumps or pain; one-sided weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent loss of appetite, nausea, or stomach pain; severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; skin changes; slurred speech; sudden severe headache; swelling of the arms or the legs; symptoms of high blood calcium levels (eg, change in the amount of urine produced; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; muscle aches or weakness; severe or persistent constipation or vomiting); unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual vaginal bleeding or bloody discharge; vision problems; yellowing of the eyes or skin.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include exaggerated reflexes; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness; tremor; trouble breathing; trouble walking.Proper storage of tamoxifen solution:
Store tamoxifen solution at room temperature, below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C), in the original container. Do NOT refrigerate or freeze. Store away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Throw away any unused medicine 3 months after the bottle is opened. Keep tamoxifen solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about tamoxifen solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Tamoxifen solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take tamoxifen solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about tamoxifen solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to tamoxifen solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using tamoxifen solution.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.