A Patient's Guide to Tamoxifen Citrate

A Patient's Guide to Tamoxifen Citrate
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Tamoxifen citrate is a medication used to treat certain types of breast cancer. It can cause certain serious health complications, though this is rare. It is also prescribed under two brand names, Soltramox and Nolvadex.


This medication is prescribed to treat breast cancer that has metastasized to other areas of the body. It is also used in combination with radiation therapy and surgery to help treat breast cancer as well as to help prevent breast cancer in high-risk patients. It interferes with estrogen’s effects in the breast tissue to block breast cancer’s growth. This medication can also be used as an infertility to treatment by inducing ovulation.


This medication is taken orally without food or with food if it causes stomach upset. The dosage a patient is prescribed will depend on her response and her overall condition. This medication is most often taken once a day when under 20 milligrams and twice a day if greater than 20 milligrams. Patients who were prescribed the liquid form must measure it carefully and perfectly with a special measuring device to avoid a miscalculated dose.


Certain medical conditions contraindicate this medication. These medical conditions include history of blood clots, liver disease, conditions that require blood thinners, high triglycerides and high cholesterol, cataracts, immobility, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Side Effects

Patients taking tamoxifen citrate are at risk for experiencing side effects. The serious side effects should be immediately reported to a doctor. The common side effects include hot flashes, headache, thinning hair, and nausea. The serious side effects include vision changes, signs of infection, eye pain, persistent nausea and vomiting, bruising or bleeding easily, yellow eyes or skin, mood/mental changes, dark urine, abnormal fatigue, and feet/ankle swelling.

Drug Interactions

This medication may adversely interact with other drugs and medications. These include letrozole, anastrozole, St. John’s Wort, blood thinners, rifamycins, estrogens, phenobarbital, and birth control that contains hormones.

Risks and Warnings

Though rare, this medication may cause blood clots (legs/lungs), strokes and uterine cancer that can be fatal. Pregnant women should use handle or use this medication. Patients should avoid smoking when taking this medication. Patients taking this condition must take all necessary measures to avoid getting pregnant (both men and women). Women should not use this medication when breastfeeding. This medication may cause inaccurate results for certain laboratory tests such as thyroid tests.


RxList (2009). Tamoxifen Citrate. Retrieved on November 4, 2009 from Website: https://www.rxlist.com/soltamox-drug.htm

National Cancer Institute. (2011). Tamoxifen Citrate. Retrieved on April 1, 2011 from the National Cancer Institute: https://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/tamoxifencitrate

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