What NOLVADEX is for
NOLVADEX is used to either treat breast cancer or reduce the risk of breast cancer occurring if you are at increased risk of breast cancer.
If you and your healthcare professional are considering using NOLVADEX for reducing the risk of breast cancer occurring, your knowledge of treatment risks becomes more important because you don’t currently have breast cancer. NOLVADEX therapy may be uncommonly associated with serious side effects such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT – blood clots in veins of your leg), pulmonary embolus (blood clots in your lungs) and uterine cancer. In some women, these events were fatal. Less serious side effects such as hot flushes, vaginal discharge, menstrual irregularities and gynaecological conditions may also occur. Whether the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks depends on your age, health history, your level of breast cancer risk and on your personal judgement. NOLVADEX therapy to reduce the risk of breast cancer may not be appropriate for all women at increased risk for breast cancer. An assessment with your healthcare professional of the potential benefits and risks prior to starting therapy for reduction in breast cancer risk is essential. You should understand that NOLVADEX reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of breast cancer.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how many tablets you will need to take each day.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
Your doctor will decide how much NOLVADEX you need to take.
The usual dose is 20 mg of NOLVADEX each day.
This is two 10 mg Nolvadex tablets taken together or one 20 mg Nolvadex-D tablet taken once a day.
Some people need to take 40 mg once a day. Your doctor will tell you if this is necessary.
Swallow your NOLVADEX whole, with a full glass of water. Do not chew or crush the tablets.
When to take it
Take NOLVADEX at about the same time each day.
It does not matter if you take NOLVADEX before, with or after food.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking NOLVADEX.
NOLVADEX helps most people with breast cancer, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
unusual pain or pressure around your pelvis, in your bones or anywhere in your body
swelling of the hands, ankles and feet
any changes in your vision
pain and reddening around the tumour
lumps anywhere in the body
unusual tiredness, shortness of breath and dizziness when exercising, and looking pale
frequent infection, fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine
disturbances of vision.
Cases of optic nerve diseases have been reported in patients receiving tamoxifen and, in a small number of cases, blindness has occurred.
If you have any unusual vaginal bleeding or other gynaecological symptoms (such as pelvic pain or pressure) when you are taking NOLVADEX or anytime afterwards, tell your doctor. This is because a number of changes to the lining of the womb (endometrium) may occur, some of which may be serious and could include cancer.
NOLVADEX may decrease bone density in premenopausal women. It is not known if this increases the risk of fractures. Ask your doctor for advice about ways to maintain your bone health.