Natural Remedies For Tamoxifen Withdrawal Side Effects

http://MarnieClark.com/Natural-Remedies-For-Tamoxifen-Withdrawal-Side-EffectsNatural Remedies For Tamoxifen Withdrawal Side Effects

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 1998 that when a woman stops taking the drug, she can experience estrogen withdrawal.  Dr Selacek stated “Perhaps the longer a woman takes tamoxifen, the more likely it will be metabolized as an
estrogen and therefore stimulate some of these cancers to recur.”

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.  I can’t tell you how many women I have personally spoken with who have told me that they took tamoxifen for the recommended five years, only to have breast cancer come back later.

Tamoxifen Is Toxic To The Body

Tamoxifen is toxic to the body, especially to the liver.  Even the US Government website http://livertox.nih.gov advises “Long term tamoxifen therapy has been associated with development of fatty liver, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and rare instances of clinically apparent acute liver injury.” 1

California has a law called Proposition 65 that requires the state to publish and maintain a list of known carcinogens. In May 1995, California’s Carcinogen Identification Committee voted unanimously to add tamoxifen to that list, and in 1996 the World Health Organization designated tamoxifen a human carcinogen.

As you can see, there is ample reason to stop taking it.

To Wean Yourself Off Tamoxifen

There is no need to taper off the use of Tamoxifen, you can just stop taking it.  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:

1.  Rather than taking your usual daily dose, take a dose every other day and do this for two weeks.  For instance, take it on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday the first week and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday the next week.
2.  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.

Natural Remedies To Help With Tamoxifen Withdrawal Side Effects

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. These side effects do not occur with everyone, but just be aware that they can happen, it’s not out of the ordinary.

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!)
Exercise:  Also helps to elevate the mood. 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 sensitive), rub them onto the bottoms of your feet before you go to bed.
Supplements: B vitamins assist a proper functioning nervous system, St John’s Wort, Transfer Factors (strengthening the immune system is known to help reduce depression), Panax Ginseng
Massage therapy: Research indicates massage therapy is excellent for depression, and being a massage therapist I can highly recommend it. I see a marked change in my clients that have depression after receiving a massage. You can’t beat a pair of highly trained hands for nurture-ability and easing your burdens.
Meditation: Helps to calm and balance the nervous system in ways we haven’t even learned yet. 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. Also 1 tbsp of Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar has been used successfully by some to help with hot flashes. 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 indole-3-carbinol which naturally helps to balance estrogen levels.
Exercise: Recent studies indicate exercise does not really help hot flashes, but I beg to disagree, they obviously didn’t use yoga in their studies. 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.
Essential Oils: Essential oils can have a positive effect on the endocrine system by stimulating particular neurotransmitters that help to relieve hot flashes.  Clary sage, peppermint, spearmint, lavender and thyme all have a positive effect on hot flashes. If you are in the midst of a hot flash, a single drop of peppermint on the back of your neck will soon have you feeling much better.
Supplements: Omega-3 fats, black cohosh, vitex or chasteberry, American ginseng, maca – all appear to alleviate the frequency and incidence of hot flashes.
Meditation: Helps to calm and balance the nervous system, even 5-10 minutes of meditation can be very beneficial for hot flashes.
Acupuncture: Studies indicate that acupuncture does indeed help with frequency and severity of hot flashes and my clients who have tried it confirm this. 2

For Joint Pains and Body Aches:
Food: Eating lots of fresh produce definitely helps with joint pains and body aches.  Please avoid food known to be inflammatory such as caffeine, white flour and sugars.  Fresh ginger and turmeric (curcumin) are extremely good for joint pain, as are freshly ground flaxseed and other omega-3 fats.
Essential Oils:  Can be very helpful for joint pain and body aches. My favorites are wintergreen, peppermint, ginger, and a blend called Deep Relief. Rub into affected area.
Supplements: Glucosamine sulphate, omega-3 fats, MSM, ginger, turmeric
Hot Epsom Salt Baths: Use 1 cup of Epsom salts in bathtub, soak for 20 minutes (careful, not too hot as this will exacerbate hot flashes). The magnesium is a wonderful pain reliever and helps draw toxins out of the body.
Arnica Montana ointment: Very helpful for joint pain.

For Fatigue:
Food: The same list of foods as those mentioned for Depressed Mood or Mood Swings can help with fatigue as well.  Especially good quality protein (organic), legumes, vegetables (especially cruciferous), spinach and kale (high in magnesium), avocados, bananas. Drink plenty of filtered water too because dehydration can cause fatigue.
Sleep: If you are feeling especially fatigued, don’t try to fight through it.  Nurture yourself and get to bed early.  Rise later if you can, take naps, and know that this won’t last forever.
Supplements: B complex vitamins, Transfer Factors, Siberian ginseng, Coenzyme Q10.
Massage therapy: A healing massage session can definitely help with fatigue, it helps to unblock your energy channels.

Bone Density Problems After Withdrawal of Tamoxifen

Estrogen is necessary for good bone health, our bones rely upon it.  When taking tamoxifen, premenopausal women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, and while postmenopausal women have been told that tamoxifen strengthens bone and reduces the risk of osteoporosis, its other side effects make that one particular benefit not worth risking, in my opinion.

According to Professor David S Goodsell, tamoxifen is “serendipitously specific. It is chemically very similar to estrogen, and binds in the same site on the estrogen receptor as the normal hormone. Tamoxifen is not a typical inhibitor, blocking action completely. It is found to have a range of effects, sometimes blocking the action of the receptor, but other times actually activating it…” Professor Goodsell goes on to state that tamoxifen “appears to act like estrogen in bone cells, actually providing the proper signals for bone maintenance.” 3

Maybe so, but still not worth the risk, there are many other, less toxic ways of building good bones and they don’t have the toxicity of this drug.

When withdrawing from tamoxifen, it is important to find out what state your bones are in. Research indicates that withdrawal from tamoxifen does put women at a higher risk of osteoporosis. 4

To help you find out which tests are the best ones to monitor your bone health, go to www.betterbones.com, run by Dr Susan E Brown, a bone specialist and nutritionist.  She has a very good article discussing which bone assessment techniques she feels are most advantageous: Bone Density Tests Are Not Enough.  Highly recommended reading.

Final Note:

If you have decided you wish to discontinue the use of tamoxifen, first of all I would suggest you discuss it with your oncologist or primary care physician.  You should always do this.  Some will be supportive, others may not be, so just be aware of that.  This is your body, however, and your quality of life and you have every right to do what you feel is right for you.

References:

1.  http://livertox.nih.gov/Tamoxifen.htm

2.  The effect of acupuncture on postmenopausal symptoms and reproductive hormones: a sham controlled clinical trial – http://aim.bmj.com/content/29/1/27.abstract

3.  The Molecular Perspective: Tamoxifen and the Estrogen Receptor – http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/7/2/163.full

4.  Prevention of Bone Loss After Withdrawal Of Tamoxifen – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140137/

xxx FOR HELENA xxx

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64 thoughts on “Natural Remedies For Tamoxifen Withdrawal Side Effects

  1. Thank you for a brilliant article with some great advice. However I found something alarming! It stated that many woman take tamoxifen for 5 years only to have it return once they stop. I have been told to take it for ten years , I assume because of this.
    I have chosen not to take it at all but living with this decision is hard.
    Is the article saying that Tamoxifen works? If when you stop it reappears. Do we live with its toxic effects just so that we keep the cancer at bay and hope that our liver and bones cope with the onslaught?
    Please don’t take this as criticism as there really is some great advice . Just feeling a little confused and lacking confidence on my own decision making!! Xx

    1. Hi Nicola,
      To answer your questions:
      1. Some women are now being told to take tamoxifen for ten years, that is true. Keep in mind that the drug companies making it are alarmed that people are opting out of taking it and their profits are slumping. So of course they would do research indicating taking it for longer has a benefit for women.
      2. You have made the right decision. Stick by it.
      3. Tamoxifen appears to work for women initially but if you will read the part where I say I have met plenty of women who took it for the recommended period of time, only to be suffering recurrences later. Also, it is listed as a human carcinogen by WHO and the state of California (just to name a few). This drug is toxic to the liver.
      4. There are much better ways to combat breast cancer than this toxic drug. Let me know if you need help with this.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie

  2. Hi Marnie, thank you for this article. I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 her2 positive breast cancer. I had a mastectomy but declined chemo and radiation. Instead I have altered my diet and reading all the books I can find on curing cancers naturally. The next stage of my treatment plan shoukd be tamoxifen for 5 years, which I will also be declining. Can you please recommend any natural alternatives? I am based in the Uk. Many thanks for your help in advance.

    1. Hi Tina,
      Thanks for your comment. I wish I could tell you that there was one particular thing you could take instead of tamoxifen, but what I have discovered is that there are a few things a person needs to do to stay well. I have your email address and will email you some information.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie

      1. Many thanks, and please keep up the fantastic work. Your website really helped me make informed decisions about my cancer treatment, decisions that I never thought I would be making at 33.
        Kind regards

        1. Hi Tina,
          Thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate that and I’m so glad to know that I have been of benefit to you. I wish you much health and healing.
          Warmest wishes,
          Marnie

      2. Please send me your suggestions to Tina as well. I just stopped taking tamoxifine yesterday after 5 years, the side effects from taking it are worse than the benefits. I would like to learn more about natural ways to fight cancer reoccuring. Thank you for your time and God Bless you for your help to all these people. Theresa Lockhart

          1. Hi! Thx so much for your article. Can I please have the info as well. I just came off tamoxifen at 38 yrs of age after 1 year cause I can’t take it anymore:(
            Please forward that info soo greatly appreciated.

      3. Could you also email me with information regarding what I can do to help myself as I have also decided not to take tamoxifen. I have just stopped taking an aromatase hormone because I have been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis and it is very detrimental to the bones. I really don’t want to take tamoxifen but feel very worried by my decision.

          1. Hi Marnie

            I just stopped taking Tamoxifen I was on it for 5 years and then put on Letrozole I lasted 4 months and was so depressed. I told to stop and put back on Tamoifen for the last 7 months. I saw my Oncologist yesterday and told her I wanted to stop and she gave me her okay.
            Could you email me the info on fighting it the natural way.
            After 6 years I saw my doctor yesterday because of 3 small lumps in my breast. She is positive that it is nothing but sending me for an MRI.
            Thank you for your article.

  3. Dear marnie, hi.your findings are absolutely right. I took tamoxifen for five years, never missing aday, as I had thought this would keep the cancer away forever. I was wrong, it returned one and half year later. I was adviced to take it again the second time and I m so glad that I decided not to. I suffered so much joint pains and fatigue during and after tamoxifen. Thank u so much for your research.I wish I found u earlier.

    1. Dear Tasneem,
      Thanks for sharing that with me. I’m sorry to hear that you are in the category of women who have not had a good response with tamoxifen. I can’t believe they offered it to you again! It failed once already, what makes them think it will work the second time? Unbelievable. You made a good decision. If you need my help putting together a wellness program, please let me know. I would be glad to assist you.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie

      1. Hi marnie,
        Thanks so much for ur reply.I just wanted to sharewith u , that I ‘ve been taking ground flaxseed and turmeric powder very regularly. I make a drink of hot milk with 2 tsp of ground flaxseed , quarter tsp of turmeric and apinch of black pepper, and have it once a day, usually in the morning. Its a very comforting drink and very beneficial too.turmeric had very good effects on my joint pains ,especially knee joint.flaxseed has been very good for hotflushes, and there are loads of other benefits.its nearly 2 years since I ‘ve been using them, so its tried and tested. And one other thing I use a lot is coconut. Fresh coconut water was very soothing during chemotherapy.

        1. Tasneem,
          Thanks for sharing that wonderful healing drink recipe with us. I hope you are using organic milk? Depending upon where you are in the world, this could be a very important thing. In some parts of the world, growth hormones and antibiotics are given to cattle and these get passed into their milk, putting us at a higher risk for breast cancer. So just be aware and be cautious of that. But your hot drink with flaxseed, turmeric and black pepper is wonderfully healing and will be doing you lots of good! Thanks for sharing it.
          Warmest regards,
          Marnie

  4. Marnie,

    Are these effects similar to withdrawing from Anastrozole? I’ve been on the drug for 2 1/2 years and am considering stopping. I’ve discussed this with my oncologist – he said it’s my decision.
    I would appreciate any information you might offer to help with my decision. Thank you.

    1. Hi Loraine!
      Yes the effects of withdrawing from Anastrozole are similar to tamoxifen. It’s a difficult decision but I believe there are much better options that do not have the toxicity or side effects that these drugs carry. If I can help you with your wellness program moving forward, please do not hesitate to contact me.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie

  5. Thank you so much for this post. I have recently stopped Tamoxifen after 4 years, mostly because, after years of severe nausea, insomnia, brain fog, pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight gain and a host of other side effects, I was told I would be taking it for 6 more years.

    I had a 2mm DCIS stage 0 lump, no chemo, radiation only. Even the nurse practitioner felt that 10 years of Tamoxifen was excessive. I went off the meds for a month while I got an emergency hysterectomy because pre-cancer cells were found. Thanks, Tamoxifen. After four weeks off the med, I was clear headed again, and I felt so much better. I cried when I had to start taking it again.

    I don’t want to wait 6 years for my quality of life to improve for minimal beneficial impact from this horrible medication. I can’t wait to hear my doctor scream when I see her next, but this is my life, not hers.

    1. Hi Sassy,
      Thanks for your comment! That list of side effects from the Tamoxifen is a long one, no one would blame you for not wanting to take it anymore. It does seem like overkill for DCIS stage 0, I agree. There are so many other things you can do to help yourself stay well, without those toxic side effects. Have you signed up for my free newsletters and e-books? They are full of my best information on healing from breast cancer and avoiding recurrences. You can sign up from any page on my site, if you haven’t already done so, here’s my page explaining: http://marnieclark.com/8-reasons-to-subscribe-to-my-newsletters/ I look forward to helping you again, just let me know how I can best assist you.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

    2. Hello Sassy,

      I really can relate to your situation. I’m taking Tamo a 3/4 y. and it changed EVERYTHING to the worse. As you say: brain fog, weight gain (12 kg ), hot flushes and here: massive problems with my bones, eyes, etc. The list is so long! A few weeks ago pre-cancer cells where found in my breast too and that only after a few months I did the complete therapy (op, chemo, radiation, tamo, herceptin ..) I’m really tired of being (a) patient.
      IYesterday was my first day without Tamo.
      My oncologist and my gyn are going to scream too, but yeah, it’s my / our life.

  6. Trying to determine what I may face after breast surgery and chemo. The pros and cons. This was my second cancer (colon cancer) was first seven years ago. I really don’t want to think of a third cancer. My breast cancer was stage 2. It was 2.2 cm. Any info will be appreciated. Thanks

  7. Thank you for this article , it’s helping me understand what’s happening with my body physically as well as mentally.

  8. Hello Marnie,

    I’ve all these side effects and I’m going to stop it the way you recommend. Thank you for your support and fantastic research and information!

    I don’t know where to ask this question (Tamoxifen side effects): Did you meet woman who had massive problems with their eyes? Since a few months I’m experiencing different ocular disturbances – even “floaters” and very bad nightsight (?).

    Greetigs
    E.

    1. Hey E,

      I’m from the UK and neither my doctor or my oncologist warned me about eye problems. When I was last at the opticians I was asked if I had any problems as Tamoxifen can cause issues with the eyes. I, like you experience very bad night vision and I also have floaters which were explained away as PVD (Posterior Viscose Detachment). My eyes are always sore and itchy and quite often my vision is blurry. Having read Marnie’s article and the posts re Tamoxifen I am seriously considering withdrawal. I have been taking it for four and a half years so I don’t reckon it would make much difference to cancer recurrence if I withdraw now.
      I would be interested to hear if many others have experienced these problems.

      Another serious side effect of my breast cancer treatment (radiotherapy and Tamoxifen) has been atrial fibrillation, pericardial effusion and ME/CFS. I felt fine when my tumour was discovered but I can honestly say that I have not felt well since the treatment started. Is it worth it?

      IM

    2. I just stopped seven days ago tamoxifen after 5 years taking it. I had DCIS stage 0 and the doctor recommended to take it as I had another area that they needed to evaluate closely after a biopsy. During the 5 years my eyes were affected, and my bones, some gain weight, lost my period, got hot flushes and fatty liver. My onc ordered a hormonal test and liver tests, and found out that I am now in early premenopause and that also she found again a slightly higher fatty liver. She never told me that i could get withdrawal side effects and today has been the worse day of the seven since I stopped taking it. I feel lots of nausea, stomach pain, lower back pain, weakness, dizzy, dry mouth, joint pain, and lots of fatigue. I just sent an email to my oncologist to talk about this. I am very concerned about these side effects, wondering for how long they will last and if i need to take something to feel better. They come and go, but today has been the worst.
      Thanks,
      Mariela

    3. Eva,
      I apologize for the delay in responding, I only just saw your comment. Yes, I have met other women who had loads of problems with visual disturbances whilst on Tamoxifen. The good thing is that once you quit taking it, all such problems generally ease off. There are plenty of natural supplements and foods you can take to help with your vision, goji berries and goji juice being one of the best! Hope this helps,
      Marnie

  9. Hi marine lve been taking tamoxifen for 5yrs and6 month they told me l had to take for 10 yrs but lm tired of this toxic in my body now I’ve stopped it and l have lot of side effect very low tired l guess it will get better l had grade one of cancer was lucky l had part of breast remove my nipple and had radio now I have to go to gynae as I had a bit of discharge l hope is nothing thanks for listening my story xx

  10. Trying to get off Tamoxifen after 4 1/2 years. Radiation from 30 years ago caused breast cancer. Had a double mastectomy. Now just want some energy and want to feel good. I’ve not had terrible side effects but my “gut” is telling me to get off of it. I drink lemon/ginger water every morning. Turmeric pills. Mistletoe injections. Cannabis oil. Vegetarian. No sugar in my diet. Exercise regularly. Taking pills to support my immune system. What else should I be doing? Thanks!

  11. Th ankyou for your information.Ihave a problem though .I stopped taking Tamoxifen about 6 months ago.The side effects were bearable up until recently when I developed lower abdominal pain and started to bleed very heavily. I went to my gp and he prescribed something to stop the bleeding.But the pain is still very bad at times.I don’t really know what else to do.Any ideas?Thankyou from Liz x

    1. Elizabeth,
      I apologize for the lengthy delay in responding to you. I’m trying to catch up with all of the emails and messages I receive! Hopefully by now the abdominal pain has eased off and you are feeling better. I would not feel comfortable in recommending something to you without a detailed health history. Have you access to a naturopath in your area? I would recommend seeing one if this is still a problem for you.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

  12. Thank u so much for ur article. Can u advice me on what I should use to avoid recurrence. I had chamo, radiotherapy and I have been on tamoxifen for 5 yrs. my fear is when ever I tried to stop u would feel a lamp and if u take it again it disappears. Help me please.

    1. Anna,
      Yes I know exactly how you feel, I felt that way too, only I chose to get and stay healthy without the use of Tamoxifen. I would suggest becoming a subscriber to my newsletters and e-books, given freely to share with people the best ways to heal from breast cancer and keep away recurrences using natural medicine. I wish you well in your quest to be healthy and if I can assist you, please do let me know.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

  13. Hi Marnie
    I went off the tamoxifen after 4-1/2 years. I couldnt wait because the side affects were horrible, and I have gained 30 LBs over 4 years. However, now my side affects are worse. It has been three months. I had stage zero/1 invasive cancer on both sides and a full masectomy. Along with all the side affects that are listed from other cancer patients, fatigue, flu like symptoms, serious joint pain, muscle aches, bloating and extreme weight gain, I am also having pain in my arm pits. It worsens during my cycle. I am only 45 and I feel 90. Do you think that this is a side affect? My primary doctor has requested an ultra sound of my arm pits. Can you give me some advice?
    Thank you
    Bridget

    1. Hi Bridget,
      Yes it frequently occurs that the side effects from Tamoxifen worsen when you stop taking it, especially if you’ve been on it for awhile. It normally doesn’t last much longer than 8-12 weeks, but everyone is different. I’m not sure about the pain in your armpits, I’ve never heard of this being a side effect. It is a good idea to have the ultrasound, get yourself checked out. It could be a lymphatic problem – did you have any lymph nodes removed?
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie

  14. Hello I am having alot of side effects depression I took it for 5 year I stop 9/2016 now I going through the side effects long do they last…..

    1. Hi Sapphira,
      I’m sorry you are having so much trouble from the Tamoxifen side effects. How long they might last depends a lot on your system and how toxic your liver might be. You were on it for 5 years, so your body grew quite accustomed to it. Try some of the natural remedies listed on this page, they will help you through this stage. Wishing you much healing,
      Marnie Clark
      http://MarnieClark.com

  15. Hello, just found this site by acident so appologise if my question been asked before ladies. I have taken Tamoxifen for 4 1/2 years with tolerable aches and pains. After a spate of serious head aches,, suspecting it after tests to be a lunar infarct stroke, put me on Letrozole. These really enhanced my pains. Two months later after Ct and mri (and changed their minds that it wasnt a stroke) i went back on the Tamoxifen still aching. I have been off all meds of my own choice for a month and am so so confused as to what is the best option. Knowing now that doctors advise 10 years. Help! does anybody have any good views on taking no meds versus cancer return rates. thanks for reading look after yourselves .

  16. So glad I found your site. I came off of Anasrozole after 5 year use. Personnaly, I feel it was of benefit to me. However, I wanted to know about withdrawal. Glad I researched and read all these comments. I usually have high energy level but since I went off meds, I feel as though I have a slight case of the flu, and tire more easily. This to will pass I hope. I am 88. Thank you for the enlightment.

  17. Hi, really pleased to have found your website. I am trying to decide whether or not to come off tamoxofin two months earlier than the 2 years advised, because of side effects and wanting to take control over having children. My cancer was her2 positive and weakly eostrogen positive and my oncologist always said tamoxofin was a tiny part of my treatment. I get married in 2 1/2 months and wouldn’t want to gain weight or my emotions be all over the place- which is why I’m not sure about coming off it sooner than after the wedding. The reason I want to come off it now is vaginal atrophy which is somedays quite painful and also I can conceive sooner. (My life has been on hold for long enough!). Many thanks, Rosie

  18. Hi next yr i will have had been taking tamoxifen for 5yrs and i see stuff that say taking it a extra 5 yrs is much better. I have been very blessed to have NO bad signs that i know of. I am just very worried about what is the best choice should i take the extra 5 or go off and hope for best.

  19. Hi Marnie
    I have just had my annual review of medication with the Onc.
    I have been on Tamoxifen for 5 years with some side effects but not awful like some people who have commented here. Ihad a hysteroscopy to check the lining of my womb about a month ago and that knocked me sideways. Had a uti for which I had antibiotics followed by thrush. The thrush went but 2 weeks later it is back.
    The Onc has given me the choice of coming off the meds altogether, staying on Tamoxifen for another 5 years or going on to Letrozole for 5 years. He has left the decision to me. He gave me some statistics about the percentages of life expectancy but now I don’t know what to do. I would love to come off but am scared of that too because of the side effects. Help !!!

  20. So glad I found this sight quite by accident. I just stopped tamoxifen after being on for almost five years. I have had eye problems during my time on this drug. I had two retinal tears and now have dry eye. I am also having unbareable vaginal dryness just about as bad as when I began tamoxifen. Thank you for your help.

    1. Deborah,
      I hope the remedies mentioned on this page have been proving helpful to you. Thanks for sharing your side effects, so sorry you went through all of that. One day perhaps we’ll get targeted therapies instead of toxic drugs.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

  21. Have just stopped taking tamoxifen after 7.5 years. Can you give me any advice on how I can keep counter the side effects. Thankyou

    1. Hi Rachel,
      The suggestions in this article will all help you with some of the side effects from going off this drug. In addition, you might like to sign up for my newsletters (the sign-up form is over on the far right-hand side of this page) to help you learn how to stay well and reduce risk of recurrence.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie

  22. Great read and article. Thank you so much for sharing. And Marnie, this is so informative.

    I’m 2 weeks post stopping tamoxifen after nearly 2 years. My onc is not happy. I had triple positive, her 2, fec-t, trastuzumab and pertruzumab, double mastectomy. Tamoxifen side effects have been hideous-flushes, bone pains, cramps, visual problems, tiredness. I wear acupuncture studs to try and combat some of these symptoms. I have terrible thirsts. I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and take duloxetine, another drug I’m trying to stop. The withdrawal from this is far worse though so I’ve had to start the duloxetine again.
    Keep on keeping on I guess….

    1. Hi there –
      Not at all surprised to hear about your side effects, just sorry you had to go through them! I’m sending some info via email to you today.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie

      1. Thank you so much for sharing this and replying to me personally. It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one feeling like this.

  23. I have only been on Tamoxifen for 3 1/2 months and I have broke out with hives. They officially took me off it yesterday. It gave me headaches, liver pain, joint stiffness, blurred vision, dry mouth, etc. I was getting all of the less common side effects.

    Any additional suggestions to detox and heal my hives?

  24. Hi Marnie, glad to chance upon ur pg. I had mastectomy earlier in the year. Stage 2 bc. Opted against chemo cos my husband said that’s poison. That’s when i started to do some research on cancer n treatments. So glad i didn’t do chemo. But went on to take tamoxifen cos the docs insisted i needed the ‘extra’ insurance against recurrence. I’m 41. 6 mths aft tamox i went for a hysterectomy cos my fibroids were growing out of control. Shd be due to tamox. I’m seriously considering stopping tamox esp aft reading what you hv shared. Really appreciate the info.

    Regards,
    LC

    1. Hi LC,
      Goodness. I’m sorry to hear of your problems with Tamoxifen. The fibroids are more than likely attributable to the Tamoxifen. I don’t blame you for not wanting to take it anymore – especially when there are so many other things you can do – non-toxic therapies – to help yourself keep well. If I can assist you, please let me know.
      All the best,
      Marnie Clark

  25. I have been taking Tamoxifen for 5 years. My oncologist originally prescribed this for me for 5 years. Then about a year ago she told me that staying on it for an additional 5 years would be more beneficial. My breast cancer was stage 1 IDC and I had a lumpectomy and 4 sentinel lymph nodes removed. I had a few cancer cells in one lymph node. My Oncotype DX test results showed that I would not need chemo, but I had radiation to eradicate any cancer cells in my breast.

    I am now considering stopping the Tamoxifen. I would love to receive the information you have for the natural alternatives that will help to prevent the cancer from recurring. I’m ready to be free from the side effects and to have a better quality of life moving forward. Thanks!

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