Nolvadex, also known as tamoxifen, allows blocking the effects of estrogen (a naturally developed female hormone) in order to treat certain types of breast cancer. This is because some categories of breast cancer are associated with high levels of this hormone, which, in their turn, encourage cancer cells to grow and spread inside the female body. As such, Nolvadex is commonly utilized to manage and prevent such conditions as breast cancer of different types. Sometimes, it is also used for other purposes not mentioned above. As a rule, it is applied to mitigate the threat of breast cancer development in case a patient is vulnerable to this disease. However, this medication is associated with a number of severe side effects and, therefore, should be used for prevention purposes only if the risk of cancer development outweighs the possible damage caused by the intake of medication. Before initiating the therapy, it is advisable to consult a professional physician in order to assess possible benefits and threats in relation to the use of Nolvadex for the purpose of cancer prevention.
How to Take Nolvadex?
It is advisable to follow the instructions provided in the leaflet together with this medication. Consult the doctor before taking Nolvadex in order to find out the desirable duration and course of treatment. Follow the recommendations when taking Nolvadex:
- Nolvadex can be taken with food, before a meal or on an empty stomach;
- It is advisable to take Nolvadex approximately at the same time day after day;
- The duration of treatment may vary depending on your condition and recommendations of your physician or pharmacist;
- In case you forget to take the medication, take it immediately after you remember if only a 12-hour period has passed before the next dose is administered;
- Do not increase the dosage in order to compensate the one you have forgotten to take previously. In order to ensure maximum efficiency during the treatment, try not to miss doses or follow some hints in case you find it hard to remember when the next dose needs to be taken;
- Swallow the medication whole together with a cup of water or some other drink;
- Even if you start feeling better, continue the treatment process up until it comes to an end, as long as your doctor does not tell you otherwise.
What Are the Most Common Side Effects?
Even though the side effects associated with the treatment with Nolvadex are quite rare, certain patients sometimes experience severe complications after taking this medication. Tell your doctor immediately or seek medical attention right away if any of the following undesirable conditions are observed in your particular case:
- Allergic reactions, including skin rash, itching, swelling of body parts, reddening of skin, blistering, unpleasant feelings in one’s chest or throat, breathing problems, difficulty talking and signs of fever;
- Symptoms associated with high levels of calcium, such as a confused state of mind, tiredness, severe headache, feeling weak, diarrhea, constipation and pain in bones;
- Symptoms of urinary tract infection, including bloody urine, painful and frequent urination, feverish condition, stomach ache, etc;
- Blurred vision and feeling weak;
- Difficulty thinking and intense confusion;
- Breast pain;
- Depressed state of mind;
- Swelling of body parts, including legs and arms;
- Changes in skin condition;
- Severe and intense headache;
- Sexual problems in men and vaginal bleeding as well as menstrual changes in women;
- Liver problems (sometimes lethal) revealed in such signs as darkened urine, unexplained tiredness, the absence of appetite, diarrhea, stomach ache, yellowish skin, etc;
- Other signs of abnormal health condition, such as unexplainable numbness.
Warnings: When Not to Use Nolvadex
It is prohibited to use this medication if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant in the nearest future. Besides, breastfeeding women should avoid taking Nolvadex to avoid possible complications in newborn babies. It is advisable to make a pregnancy test before taking this medication to be sure that it is safe to take. This is because Nolvadex may affect the baby in case it is taken during pregnancy.
It is not recommended to use Nolvadex in case you have an allergic reaction to any components of this medication, such as tamoxifen among other ingredients. It is also inadvisable to combine this medication with some other drugs that you might be using for the treatment of other conditions. In particular, it is not recommended to use Nolvadex in case you are taking medicines to prevent clots of blood in veins such as warfarin. This refers to cases of severe vein thrombosis or blood clots in the lungs. The symptoms of blood clots include pain in one’s chest as well as a feeling of pressure in lungs, coughing blood, having difficulty breathing, feeling numb, experiencing pain in body parts and having difficulty swallowing. In case you experience any of these conditions, seek immediate medical help.
It is necessary to conduct frequent blood tests in order to monitor the functioning of your blood system. Sometimes, the intake of Nolvadex can lead to a low amount of blood cells, which may cause severe bleeding and blood infections. Stop taking the medication in case you have any symptoms of infection such as feverish condition, sore throat or intense bleeding.
Nolvadex should not be given to children, because little data is available on the effects of this medication on young children.
Do not forget to conduct a breast examination on a regular basis according to the instructions of your physician. You will also have to conduct frequent self-exams in order to ensure that the course of treatment is running smoothly and without extra trouble. It is also advisable to undergo frequent gynecology exams to prevent any health-related complications. This is because this medication may postpone your menstrual period and affect your overall health condition.