In 2006, the large STAR clinical study concluded that raloxifene is equally effective in reducing the incidence of breast cancer, but after an average 4-year follow-up, although the difference was not statistically significant, there were 36% fewer uterine cancers and 29% fewer blood clots in women taking raloxifene than in women taking tamoxifen. Tamoxifen improves fertility in males with infertility by disinhibiting the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis (HPG axis) via ER antagonism and thereby increasing the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and increasing testicular testosterone production. It is taken as a preventative measure in small doses, or used at the onset of any symptoms such as nipple soreness or sensitivity. Other drugs are taken for similar purposes such as clomifene and the anti-aromatase drugs which are used in order to try to avoid the hormone-related adverse effects. Occasionally tamoxifen is used in treatment of the rare conditions of retroperitoneal fibrosis A report in September 2009 from Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggests that tamoxifen, raloxifene, and tibolone used to treat breast cancer significantly reduce invasive breast cancer in midlife and older women, but also increase the risk of adverse side effects. Some cases of lower-limb lymphedema have been associated with the use of tamoxifen, due to the blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that can be caused by this medication. Resolution of the blood clots or DVT is needed before lymphedema treatment can be initiated. Tamoxifen is a hormone therapy drug taken by many premenopausal women after completing their initial treatments for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. To treat the side effects of tamoxifen (such as hot flashes) and to help with depression, doctors often prescribe antidepressants. Yet many antidepressants can interfere, or completely cancel out, the benefits of tamoxifen. Once a woman is finished with the primary treatment of breast cancer, with therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, she may need to take tamoxifen. For women who have estrogen receptor positive tumors, hormone therapy can reduce the risk of the cancer coming back (recurrence) by around 50 percent. The choice of medication depends on menopausal status. If a woman is premenopausal, tamoxifen is usually the drug of choice. (For those who are postmenopausal, or who are premenopausal but have received ovarian suppression therapy, an aromatase inhibitor is usually used instead).
Tamoxifen, sold under the brand name Nolvadex among others, is a medication that is used to prevent breast cancer in women and treat breast cancer in women and men. Find patient medical information for Tamoxifen Oral on WebMD including its uses, side effects and safety, interactions, pictures, warnings and user ratings.