Category: Coming off tamoxifen after 10 years

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others. Posted on: Jun 8, PM.

Does anyone know about withdrawal symptoms? Jun 6, PM sjp wrote:. I took Tamoxifen for 5 years and just stopped, yesterday was my first day without it. I've also been wondering about withdrawal symptoms.

I asked my Oncologist and he said there aren't any. However, I've read that some women experienced an increase in hot flashes and weight gain, yikes!! I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in My chemo started in November, Tamoxifen started in March Mine was also Estrogen positive which my doctor had told me is the one that tends to "behave", as he put it.

When you say you're not feeling too well, what are your symptoms? I had issues with depression after 3 years of taking it though not sure if that is the cause. I'd heard that depression is one of the side effects of Tamoxifen. I've been taking a very low dose anti depressant since then. I still get bouts of depression now and then but they don't last more than a few hours and I can control them rather than them controlling me.

I elected to stay on the low dose and deal with it rather than increasing the dose. Have you experienced any depression symptoms while on it or after?

I have noticed slight bouts of feeling blue for the past 2 days so I'm wondering if my body will be going through this for a while.

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Also, will I eventually not need the anit depressants anymore. Beyond this though, I haven't noticed anything else. Jul 6, PM ababybaby wrote:. I've been off a week now too and got incredibly thirsty last night. Can't find much info about withdrawal online; possible effects I did find included emotional lability, weight gain and hot flashes.

Jul 7, AM Musical wrote:.

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I temporarily stopped for 2 weeks for the sake of surgery and have just restarted. Ive only been on it for 5 months or so. I didnt really feel that there were any withdrawal symptoms. Jul 7, AM dianna2 wrote:. I too just stopped taking Tamoxifen July 1st to be exactand I'm curious to your side affects. What exactly are your symptoms? I'm also getting a lot of cramps. I'm not sure it either are due to Tamoxifen withdrawals or not.

I was wondering if you have the same symptoms.Looking at a little understood yet common phenomenon—women discontinuing tamoxifen therapy early—French researchers found several factors caused women to interrupt treatment. These factors varied, depending upon when the women stopped therapy.

Tamoxifen is a medicine used to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, often in premenopausal women. It is given after primary treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy. Tamoxifen prevents the return of breast cancer by blocking estrogen from reaching estrogen receptors.

Topic: Coming off Tamoxifen after 10 yrs + anti-depressants

Although tamoxifen is effective, many women stop taking it before they finish the full treatment course. Some may stop because of common side effects, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood swings. Some women might stop in order to become pregnant, since tamoxifen can damage a fetus.

coming off tamoxifen after 10 years

Other factors also might cause women to stop treatment. The researchers wanted to find out how often young women discontinue tamoxifen and to identify the reasons why. The study looked at women from southeastern France who were 18 to 40 years old at diagnosis. The women, diagnosed from towere part of a larger group being studied to learn about their post-treatment lives.

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Using pharmacy refill data, the researchers measured how often women stopped tamoxifen treatment. An interruption was defined as two or more consecutive months without dispensed tamoxifen prescriptions. For the second time period 16 to 28 months after diagnosisinterruptions were associated with:.

The researchers concluded that better communications between women and providers and improved information might help prevent discontinuation of tamoxifen. They also advised healthcare providers to give more attention to women who have little social support.

It can be difficult to think about taking a medicine every day for five or 10 years, especially if you have side effects.

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Yet tamoxifen can be a key part of your continuing care and staying on it helps prevent a breast cancer recurrence. If you are having trouble taking tamoxifen, or are thinking about stopping for any reason, talk with your healthcare team before discontinuing. They can offer ways to lessen or eliminate side effects.

They also understand the emotional concerns you may be facing.

coming off tamoxifen after 10 years

Your oncologist can answer questions you may have about using tamoxifen or wanting to become pregnant. Your oncology nurse may have suggestions for dealing with side effects and ways to stay on medicine important for avoiding a breast cancer return.

You might also find it helpful to talk with an oncology social worker or counselor. For more information about managing side effects, see our Guide to Understanding Hormonal Therapy. Annals of Oncology; 23 4 Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Help us connect more people impacted by breast cancer to trusted information and a community of support. Search form Search this site. Who Gets Breast Cancer?Tamoxifen can reduce the risk of a breast cancer recurrence, but many women complain of side effects like hot flashes and weight gain.

Shah has not treated Goodacre, but does prescribe tamoxifen to many of her own patients. Still, tamoxifen can be lifesaving, says Dr. Shah, and for many women, its benefits outweigh its potential side effects. Tamoxifen is in a class of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs.

The drug—taken as a pill or a liquid—is often prescribed to pre-menopausal women after surgery for early-stage breast cancer. It can also be prescribed to women, pre- or post-menopause who have not been diagnosed with breast cancerif they have a high risk 1. These women are usually 35 or older, and have risk factors such as a family history of cancer or a history of abnormal biopsies. But because the drug affects estrogen receptors in the body, it only works against cancers that are estrogen-receptor-positive or progesterone-receptor positive.

Together, these make up about two-thirds of all breast cancersaccording to BreastCancer. Some people have an abnormal version of an enzyme called CYP2D6, which may make tamoxifen less effective. Certain medications, including diphenhydramine Benadrylcimetidine Tagametand some antidepressants can also block the activity of the CYP2D6 enzyme.

After breast cancer treatment, most women who take tamoxifen take it for five years. To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. Despite its protective effects against cancer, some women stop taking tamoxifen because of side effects like hot flashesmood swings, nausea, vomiting, or weight gain or loss.

The drug can cause menstrual irregularities, and changes in sex drive or sleep patterns as well. Tamoxifen also raises the risk for more serious health issues, like blood clots and uterine cancer; though for most women, the overall risk for these problems is still small. But many women who take tamoxifen are perimenopausaland a recent study found that some women mistake naturally occurring symptoms of menopause with side effects of tamoxifen.

In the study, symptom-related drop-out rates were similar across a nearly five-year period for women who took tamoxifen and for those who took a placebo pill. Tamoxifen can cause some fluid retention, and it could maybe cause a 2- or 3-pound weight gain, but beyond that there are probably other things going on as well. By Amanda MacMillan October 26, Save Pin FB ellipsis More.

Close Share options. All rights reserved. Close View image.If you are in the process of weaning yourself off of tamoxifen and there are many reasons why you might want to do so and need help with the resulting withdrawal side effects, this article shares some tried and true natural remedies to help you out.

The side effects of tamoxifen can be heinous. There are many reasons for these side effects but the major one is that while tamoxifen initially acts as an estrogen-blocker, over time it begins to have estrogen-like activities. When a person has been on tamoxifen for a lengthy period and that time period varies between people they can begin to metabolize the drug as they would estrogen, so withdrawing from it can bring on quite a few menopausal symptoms.

Dr Scott M Sedlacek, an oncologist with Colorado Breast Specialists in Denver stated back in that when a woman stops taking the drug, she can experience estrogen withdrawal. And that is just what we are finding — the very drug that is meant to protect us from breast cancer recurrence CAN also cause it.

Tamoxifen is toxic to the body, especially to the liver. California has a law called Proposition 65 that requires the state to publish and maintain a list of known carcinogens. There is no need to taper off the use of Tamoxifen, you can just stop taking it.

coming off tamoxifen after 10 years

However, some women report that they fared better when tapering the use of it, that tapering off helped to lessen the side effects. To do this:. Rather than taking your usual daily dose, take a dose every other day and do this for two weeks. Then take a dose every third day for one to two weeks.

For instance, if the last dose was on a Saturday, take the next dose on Tuesday and Friday and the following week Sunday and Wednesday. At this point, you can stop altogether. You may experience some side effects from withdrawal of tamoxifen, depending upon how long you have been taking it. Woman speak to me of depression, terrible hot flashes, joint pains, body aches, lethargy, feeling like they have the flu, just an all-over-not-feeling-so-great experience.

For Depressed Mood or Mood Swings: Food : Ensure you are eating well and including plenty of fresh organic vegetables and organic protein in your diet. Protein is especially important because it is necessary for good hormone levels, it has a hormone balancing effect.

Also include legumes, nuts, seeds, roasted soy nuts, freshly ground flaxseed and other omega-3 fats for good brain health and neural connections, raw cruciferous vegetables, lukewarm chamomile tea not too hot as that can usher in a hot flash! Whatever you like to do for exercise, get up and do it even though you may not feel like it — it really does help lift the mood. Essential Oils : Basil, frankincense, lemon, a blend called Clarity — diffuse them in the room where you are sitting, massage them into the sides of your neck dilute first if your skin is sensitiverub them onto the bottoms of your feet before you go to bed.

I see a marked change in my clients that have depression after receiving a massage. Try my guided meditation. For Hot Flashes: Food : Eating well is crucial for healthy hormonal balance.

The same list of foods as those mentioned for Depressed Mood or Mood Swings can help with hot flashes as well. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, white flour, hot drinks and sugar as they are all known to increase incidence of hot flashes.

You can drink herbal tea, just let it cool down a bit first. Cruciferous vegetables are particularly helpful — broccoli, kale and cabbage contain indolecarbinol which naturally helps to balance estrogen levels. I found yoga to be extremely beneficial because it helps on so many levels to calm the nervous system, it plays a part in hormonal balancing, yoga is an amazing resource.Nearly 7, women with early-stage, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer were enrolled in the trial between and After taking tamoxifen for 5 years, participants were randomly assigned to continue taking tamoxifen for another 5 years or to stop taking it.

From 5 to 9 years after the women began tamoxifen therapy, there was little difference in outcomes between the two treatment groups. This finding is consistent with those from other trials of adjuvant tamoxifen therapy, which showed that 5 years of tamoxifen can substantially reduce the risk of the cancer returning and of cancer death in the next few years, what one of the trial investigators, Richard Gray, MSc, of Oxford University, UK, called a "carryover effect.

The improved outcomes with longer tamoxifen use emerged only after the year mark, Gray explained during an SABCS press briefing. Among the women who took tamoxifen for 10 years, the risk of breast cancer returning between 10 and 14 years after starting tamoxifen was 25 percent lower than it was among women who took it for 5 years, and the risk of dying from breast cancer was nearly 30 percent lower.

Overall, from 5 to 14 years after participants began tamoxifen treatment, the risk of the cancer returning and the risk of dying from breast cancer were lower in women who took tamoxifen for 10 years, compared with those who took it for 5 years. See the table. Tamoxifen can have side effects, including hot flashes, fatigue, and an increased risk of blood clots and endometrial cancer. But there was no substantial increase in serious side effects, including endometrial cancer incidence or death, in women who took tamoxifen for the longer period, Gray reported.

The absolute increased risk of death from endometrial cancer in women who took tamoxifen for 10 years versus 5 years was 0. The risk-benefit ratio of any treatment must always be seriously considered, he stressed. But, in the case of extended tamoxifen treatment, he argued, the "risks are far smaller than the benefits. At least one other trial of extended tamoxifen therapy reached the opposite conclusion to the ATLAS trial.

It found that continuing adjuvant treatment with tamoxifen beyond 5 years did not decrease breast cancer recurrences or deaths.

Ten years of tamoxifen help reduce breast cancer recurrence and death

Why the trials had different findings is unclear. However, with its larger size and longer follow-up, the ATLAS results are more definitive, noted several researchers. The ATLAS results will have "a major, immediate impact on premenopausal women" with early-stage, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, said Peter Ravdin, M.

That patient population represents a substantial number of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year, approximately 30, to 35, women. Postmenopausal women with early-stage, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer are often treated with aromatase inhibitors after tamoxifen.

However, aromatase inhibitors are not effective in premenopausal women, Dr. Ravdin explained, so tamoxifen is the standard of care in these patients. Ravdin said.

Women with a higher risk of their cancer returning long after adjuvant therapy ends, such as those whose cancers had infiltrated their lymph nodes or who had larger tumors, "will definitely be strong candidates for continuation of [tamoxifen] therapy," he said.

Ten Years of Tamoxifen Reduces Breast Cancer Recurrences, Improves Survival

But a woman at low risk of recurrence at any point "may very well rationally decide she doesn't want to take tamoxifen beyond 5 years," he added. The findings may have implications for postmenopausal women as well, said Claudine Isaacs, M.

Postmenopausal women are often prescribed 5 years of adjuvant therapy with an aromatase inhibitor. Some women, however, receive tamoxifen followed by an aromatase inhibitor over a 5-year period. But, Dr. Isaacs noted, a fair number of women can't tolerate aromatase inhibitors because of their side effects, so the ATLAS results may lead some clinicians and their postmenopausal patients to consider whether an extended duration of adjuvant tamoxifen may be appropriate.

Powles wrote. In a post on her "Chemobrain" blog, breast cancer survivor and cancer advocate AnneMarie Ciccarella urged women who are candidates for adjuvant tamoxifen, regardless of their menopausal status, to carefully consider their options. Ask questions. Understand how this study impacts your own set of circumstances," she wrote. Menu Contact Dictionary Search. Understanding Cancer.I started Tamoxifen after chemo and radiation in January I was taken off of it for 3 months in June 10, because my hair was coming back in fine, and sparse with huge bald spots ant he docs didn't know why.

They said I could try going off the tamoxifen to see if that was the cause. My hair stayed thin and sparse so I went back on around Dec. I started to feel more and more depressed and was already taking a high does of effexor. My hair never came back, I have gained weight despite all my exercise and healthy eating, I feel fatigued and very depressed.

I am also worried about the side effects of the tamoxifen Is it worth it to take? Anyone refuse tamoxifen? I can't go on this depressed. You can see my scalp and I still can't go out without something covering my head. Anyone else experience this?? Wow, now that's scary.

I will probably start tamoxifen next month, finishing my rads first. Don't like hearing about these kinds of side effects. I got the prescription, but, I still have not taken it. It is my choice, and, for now, I just don't want to. I'm post menopausal so never did the tamoxifen, but I had a similar experience with femera. My hair came back in pretty much same as before, but I had a whole list of other side effects.

I stopped that after 5 or 6 months and went on arimidex. I quit that when I couldn't breathe. Saw my MO about a week ago and he asked me to give the arimidex one more try, since it's not supposed to cause breathing problems.

After he explained again that it was at least if not more important than chemo, I decided to be a grown up and try it again.

Since I've lost some weight, hopefully I won't have problems this time. I remember my MO giving me some sort of follicle something sorry I can't remember what exactly it was during my last few rounds of chemo. You might check with your onc and see if that's a possbility. Ya know, Marge, my onc. I should have gone straight to the tamoxifen. I honestly don't think they know. I feel like these same treatments have been in the works for so long and they don't research to find out new ones that may work better because the drug companies make so much money off of us.

I am just frustrated. Two years out and I am still very angry about all this. I was pre-menopausal going into this and was put into menopause with all those lovely side effects, now I have to choose between a re-bound of the breast cancer or uterine cancer, stroke, blood clots, weight gain, fatigue and depression, etc.

coming off tamoxifen after 10 years

Scream, breathe I am not sure what to do. I just know I feel like crap on the tamoxifen and don't want to take any more drugs!!!!! I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with the decisions and the drugs.Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others. Posted on: Aug 27, PM. Periwinkle2 wrote:.

I have some questions that I have not been able to find good answers to. I'm about to come off of Tamoxifen which I've taken for 10 yrs. Had lumpectomy and radiation, Oncotype score of 8. MO says must come off Tam as no evidence to back up staying on it after the 10 yrs.

I tolerate it pretty well. I had a hysterectomy 8 yrs. Celexa worked very well for me. Before starting Tamoxifen, my then-MO started me on Venlafaxine. I have had more hot flashes on it than not, but have managed more or less.

Since doctor wants me to come off Tamoxifen, my question is should I switch back to Celexa or stick with Venlafaxine? Both are covered by insurance, so I could take either.

Which one has fewer side effects? Has anyone else been through this? Thanks for any insight you can provide. Aug 27, PM Moderators wrote:. People tend to react very individually to these medications.

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