Tamoxifen Mechanism

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Tamoxifen is a drug used for prevention of breast cancer and also used to cure breast cancer. The medicine works by blocking the production of estrogen which acts as a catalyst for the growth of cancer cells. Cancer cells are dependent on estrogen to be able to grow as well as spread into the body system. Estrogen aids the cancer cells by getting attached to them. Tamoxifen will inhibit the production of estrogen thereby denying the cancer cells their ability to grow.

How Tamoxifen works

A woman who is at risk of contracting breast cancer can also take Tamoxifen to keep them safe from cancer. Tamoxifen should be taken for a minimum of five years to help in lowering the risk of a cancer attack. The drug will work by:

  • Blocking estrogen from promoting the growth of cancer cells.
  • Blocking estrogen from affecting the non-cancerous cells.
  • Prevents multiplication of breast cells to help reduce the number of cells which have the ability to become cancerous.
  • Tamoxifen also reduces the occurrence of hip fractures as well as spinal fractures as a result of Osteoporosis- a condition resulting from bone thinning.

Photo of Tamoxifen package

Photo of Tamoxifen package

Benefits of Taking Tamoxifen

  • Treating breast cancer following surgery or the process of radiation.
  • While treating cancer in the affected breast, Tamoxifen will protect the other breast from being infected with the disease.
  • To protect those women who are at a high risk of contracting the threatening breast cancer disease.
  • To treat ductal carcinoma in situ- this is the first breast cancer stage after one goes through surgery as well as radiation.
  • Tamoxifen enhances ovulation among women who suffer from infertility.
  • It is also used in the treatment of other cancers like ovarian, uterine and melanoma. Brain tumors are also treated using Tamoxifen.
  • It reduces the risk of recurrence of breast cancer if taken for at least five years.
  • It increases the rate of survival after a cancer attack.
  • Tamoxifen can easily be accessed and one does not have to struggle to get it.

Adverse Effects of Tamoxifen

  • Hot flushes and excess sweating at night.
  • Clotting of blood.
  • The skin develops blisters, peels or becomes loose.
  • Eye problems such as cataracts.
  • Pain in the chest.
  • Dizziness.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Increased heartbeat.
  • Pain in the lower back.
  • Difficulty in passing urine.
  • Feeling light headed.
  • Coughing
  • Swelling in the arms and legs.
  • Itching all over the body.
  • Yellowing of the skin or the eyes.
  • Irregular periods or missing periods altogether.
  • Reduced amount of urine.
  • Gaining or losing weight.
  • Unusual whitish or brown vaginal discharge.

Continuous use of Tamoxifen may lead to cancer of the uterus in selected cases. If any of these side effects become severe, seek medical help as they could be a risk to your life.

Estrogen receptor at work

Estrogen receptor at work

Withdrawal Side Effects of Tamoxifen Uses

After five years of using Tamoxifen, one may experience some of the following withdrawal symptoms after stopping the use of Tamoxifen:

  • Depression and sudden changes in mood.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Pain in the joints and other body pains.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Fragile bones that can easily break.
  • Flu

How to overcome Tamoxifen side effects after withdrawal

Start by skipping the dosage and alternate between the days of the week, and as you progress; you will reduce the intake to fewer days until you finally come off Tamoxifen. The following are specific remedies for some of the withdrawal problems:

  • Eating a well-balanced diet especially food rich in organic vegetables and proteins.
  • Having regular exercises will help lift up the mood and lessen the effects of hot flushes.
  • Use essential oils to massage your body before sleeping will make you feel less depressed.
  • Make use of supplements like vitamin B and Omega 3 will reduce the mood swings and help you overcome the hot flushes.
  • Get a regular massage to alleviate depression and overcome the mood swings.
  • Meditation will aid in calming the nerves and you will no longer feel depressed.
  • Get enough sleep to keep off fatigue and with time your strength will be renewed.
  • If you are suffering from pain in the joints, use Arnica Montana oil and you will experience relief.
  • Use Epson salt in your bath water and soak your body for at least twenty minutes and this will offer relief from pain and also aid in detoxifying your body.
  • Keep your family and friends informed of what you are going through so that you will get the psychological support that you will need to get through this fate. Get someone you can talk to about your innermost feelings, your fears and what you wish to overcome.
  • Remain positive though the situations say otherwise. If you are going through depression, look for something to cheer you up; do not close yourself in a room with no avenue to vent out your innermost feelings. With time, you will get over the situation.


Tamoxifen, though an effective mode of treatment for breast cancer patients, may alter the life of a woman both during treatment and after finishing the five years of treatment. The side effects during are many and instead of getting better after completion of the dose, the side effects become even worse. The hot flushes, weight gain, and the emotional instability get more intense than what one experienced during treatment. However, with the right support around you, and using the remedies mentioned above, you will be able to overcome these side effects and you will have achieved the main goal of taking Tamoxifen- kicking cancer out of your body. There are also medical remedies to cater for the side effects and you can get them at our Top Online Pharmacies at an affordable price.

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