Does tamoxifen affect thyroid?

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Question from Lam: I would like to know how much tamoxifen interferes with thyroid function. After starting tamoxifen I started having hypothyroid symptoms and now take meds to manage them. Thank you for your consideration of my question and any responses that may follow.
Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. This is a good question, and one that we don't have systematic clinical information about. But we do know that the proteins in the blood that transport tamoxifen are also involved in transporting thyroid hormone, and there may be changes in the blood levels of thyroid as a result of taking a drug like tamoxifen or almost any other hormone. The other observation from my own clinical practice is many women may have sub-clinical hypothyroidism and they haven't been going to the doctor for any medical problem. But when they come under our care for breast cancer and we start to do routine blood work, it will more likely be diagnosed. So there are some advantages to having breast cancer; there are more doctors looking after you, and more attention is paid to how you're feeling. Whereas if you're a middle-aged woman who goes to the doctor just once a year, you may not be diagnosed as quickly.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Managing Ongoing Medications featured Patricia Ganz, M.D. and moderator Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answering your questions about staying on track with breast cancer medications you have to take on a regular basis.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of 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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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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