Okay to abruptly stop tamoxifen?


Question from Gazal Belgium: I'm a 5-year breast cancer survivor and have taken Nolvadex during these 5 years. I've had menopausal symptoms but still menstruate. Now it's time to stop the Nolvadex. What's better, to stop the medication gradually or to stop abruptly? What will/can be the effect of stopping the Nolvadex?
Answers - Charles Loprinzi Nolvadex is the brand name for the medication most well-known as tamoxifen. This can be stopped abruptly, as it takes weeks for this medication to get out of the body. Most oncologists, especially in the United States, stop this medication after 5 years of treatment, although there are some studies still ongoing with using this for up to 10 years. The menopausal symptoms that you are having may improve once this medication is stopped, although this cannot be said for certain. In fact, there are rare patients in whom the menopausal symptoms are worse when they're off this medication. Again, this is rare.

On Wednesday, August 20, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Managing Menopausal Symptoms. Charles Loprinzi, M.D. and Mindy Goldman, M.D. answered your questions about how you can manage menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, and more.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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