Tamoxifen-smoxifen . . .

1 Aug

Well, I just upped my 1/2 dose of Tamoxifen to the “full” dose (I did this on Saturday). It was not so great . . . I was nauseous pretty much all day and evening and even felt a bit that way this morning (Sunday). I am supposed to now be taking 20 milligrams per day (I started by taking 10 milligrams per day . . . after having a bad experience taking the full dose of 20). My oncologist recommended that I re-start the Tamoxifen by taking 20 milligrams every other day. I opted for taking 10 milligrams every day.

I haven’t taken it every single day . . . there have been some breaks due to taking an antibiotic, for example . . . I didn’t want to combine the antibiotic with Tamoxifen. Also, had a few week break of the Tamoxifen after I was in a car accident . . . was prescribed a muscle relaxant . . . didn’t want to combine that with Tamoxifen either . . . so, I haven’t been taking the 10 milligrams every day, but, getting there.

So far, I have had very few side effects with the 10 milligram dose. No hot flashes really, maybe an occasional one, but, not very intense. And, the nausea is only for a brief period of time, about an hour or hour and a half into taking the medication (this was the 10 milligram dose). AND, what I found was that if I took the 10 milligram dose before bed, I would not experience any noticeable side effects.

However, as soon as I upped the dose to 20 milligrams, I really felt unwell. I am splitting the dose up over the day (one before bed and one in the am). But, it doesn’t seem to make a difference, I just feel sick with that dose.

I have done some research and there really isn’t a lot of certainty about what the appropriate dose should be . . . . while most all sources state that the appropriate dose is 20 milligrams, there really has not been research on what the proper dose should be . . . there is, however, currently a clinical trial on this very aspect – the proper dose.

There have been some small studies that seem to indicate that taking 10 milligrams is just as effective as taking 20 milligrams. But, these studies were small and do not seem to be conclusive. Studies were done on the effectiveness of 20 and 40 milligram doses of Tamoxifen and the results indicated that there was no difference in the effectiveness of Tamoxifen whether it was taken in a 20 or 40 milligram dose each day. However, with the 40 milligram dose there were some toxicity issues. Hence, the recommended dose of 20 milligrams.

Unfortunately, as of yet, there have not been extensive studies on the effectiveness of 10 versus 20 milligram doses. This is currently underway, which is good. But, it doesn’t really help me with my dosage right now.

I am somewhat inclined to think that the 10 milligrams is enough for me . . . but, I am not sure that I want to diverge from what my oncologist wants me to do.

Well, I am rambling on here . . .

I guess what i am going to try to do is to do the 20 milligrams dose for a bit and see how it goes. So far, I experienced nausea and some pretty intense hot flashes. I didn’t take any Tamoxifen yet today (it is now Sunday evening) and I have felt much better since about mid day. We shall see how it goes. I just wonder though, if it makes more sense to stick with taking 10 milligrams . . . maybe the fact that I am not having significant side effects with the 10 milligram dose means that it is the right dose? Or, maybe it means that it is the wrong dose . . . that I need to have those side effects . . . as that is what evidences that the drug is working?

You see how crazy making this all is? That is, if you allow it to be . . . πŸ™‚

Well, enough of Tamoxifen talk.

I had a busy weekend. I am tired, but, in a good way. Tired from playing music and spending time with wonderful friends . . . new and old.

I will post pictures up here soon from our gigs this weekend (two, count ’em, TWO gigs this weekend . . . PHEW, so tired)!

Well, wish me luck with the Tamoxifen. I was going to take another 10 milligram pill tonight, but, I think not. I am already in bed. I think I will take 10 in the morning tomorrow and then another 10 before bed, like I did yesterday. Hopefully it will not be as bad as Saturday’s 20 milligram attempt. πŸ™‚

Love and peace,


2 Responses to “Tamoxifen-smoxifen . . .”

  1. lisa July 17, 2014 at 8:33 PM #

    I am in your same boat. 20mg gives me bad SE real bad depression. Exercise helps! However, SE make it difficult to exercise.. Vicious cycle.

    Usually for me & meds, less is more. My onc gave me a script for 10mg once a day. When I skip a 20mg dose I typically feel better. I know its the meds & its SE.

    I can make myself sick with indecision on this topic. Try to tough it out on 20mg & try to exercise to manage OR try 10mg & see if I do better with less SE, but will it be as effective? If I tough it out quality of life stinks, but would it improve as I adjust? I’ve been on 20mg for 4 mos. now.


    Wondering how you are doing?

  2. Sylvie Grayson March 7, 2016 at 10:28 AM #

    I read your post with great interest. I have had bad reactions to other anit-cancer meds, tamoxifen is my 3rd attempt. However they tell me you can’t cut the pill so I’m taking 20 mg every other day. Not too much pain, not too bad in the hot flash deparment. But what I notice is when I take the pill (in the morning) I don’t sleep that night and wake full of aches and pains not to mention tired.

    I think I’ll try at night to see if that makes a difference. Thank you for all your information and good luck with the attempt to work with the system. Exhausting, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

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