• How long does tamoxefin stay in your system?

    Asked by cronzoni on Saturday, August 6, 2016

    How long does tamoxefin stay in your system?

    Please I need answers!!! I have stopped tamoxifin for a year now and can't lose the weight that I gained while on the drug! Before I started taking it I successfully lost 60 lbs with Weight Watchers. When I started taking this toxic drug I gained weight-about 20 lbs- while still on the WW program! I stopped after 2 years and now I have been off it for a year and the weight will not budge even though I am faithful to the WW program. I have discussed this with my oncologist and he looks at me like I'm crazy and won't tell me anything but that what I'm doing is not working! Everything was fine until I started this stupid medication. What I'm wondering is if anyone has had a similar experience because I am not happy and want some answers and am getting nowhere with my doctor. I just want some answers. I know I'm not crazy or stupid but there is nothing worse than not getting answers from my doctor. Any one wanna share their story? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for listening but I'm

    19 Answers from the Community

    19 answers
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      I know your frustration, for I too gained 20 pounds around the middle since starting Tamoxifen. :( Because I battled an aggressive cancer, my last oncologist insisted I stay on it for the prescribed 5 years if I didn't want to chance the cancer coming back. Now, I have moved and am seeing a new oncologist who may consider changing my medication since it's been over 3 years since my last cycle. Will know more about that a week from Monday. I sure hope you can get the answers you deserve; it's frustrating when you feel your doctor isn't taking you seriously. HUGS and God bless.

      over 3 years ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but anti-estrogen therapy (whether tamoxifen or an AI) usually lowers metabolism, increases insulin resistance and changes weight-gain-related fat distribution from the brown fat buttocks/hips to the white fat of the ommentum (midsection). Maintaining a pre-treatment weight (especially a newly achieved weight loss) requires further caloric cutbacks and exercise increase--which might still only partially stem the tide. Not sure of tamoxifen’s half-life compared to that of AIs. At least tamox. doesn’t reduce serum estrogen, just prevents it from attaching to the tumor’s estrogen receptors and makes it behave differently. I would kick up your efforts a notch before making the switch to AIs, while you still have some circulating estrogen produced elsewhere in the body (adrenals, white fat cells). You might have to live with those 20 lbs. but it beats regaining the whole shebang.

      over 3 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I wasn't on that drug, but I have gained about 60 lbs since being diagnosed with cancer and they have been VERY dedicated to sticking with me, no matter how much I want to lose them.

      My doctor also ignores my complaints about my weight. I think they see so many patients that are skeletal, that it is refreshing to see a patient with a little weight on them. Plus, they like a little extra padding in case you need it when undergoing treatments. None of which makes those of us with the unwanted pounds feel one bit better.

      I have cut back on how much I eat and have tried to eat (somewhat) healthier. I get lots of exercise several days a week. I will get more when it isn't so awfully hot here in Texas. None of my efforts are working. The lbs persistently hang on, mainly around my belly.

      This fall, after my husband recovers from bypass surgery, I intend to join a gym and start a vigorous exercise program. If THAT doesn't get rid of the unwanted inches, I think I will give up :(

      over 3 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      I didn't have tamoxifen but also gained 30 pounds while on chemo. I lost the weight on the Ideal Protein diet, have gone back on the diet but also can't seem to lose the weight.

      over 3 years ago
    • Sharlie's Avatar
      Sharlie

      I can't answer your question as it specifically relates to weight but I stopped taking it about a year ago and I initially felt that the severe side effects were pretty much gone within about 4-5 months. I still wonder if the brain fog hasn't stuck around longer but that could just be my age. I did gain some weight before my surgery (diagnosis anxiety eating) and then perhaps with the Tamoxifen, which I was only on for three months. I've gotten some of it off, but I seem stuck now. I hope that now that cooler weather is here I can go walking. @ChicagoSandy brings up some interesting points. It would be good to know what all those drugs do to our bodies in various ways. I would think after a year it would be all out of the system but who knows if it might do some permanent damage? Good luck with working on getting the unwanted pounds off.

      over 3 years ago
    • TeacherTracy's Avatar
      TeacherTracy

      I also gained 35 pounds.....very frustrating as I walked a lot during my treatment and continue to walk daily. I feel resigned to the fact that I probably will not get back to where I was when I started.

      over 3 years ago
    • ShortCuts' Avatar
      ShortCuts

      I gained about 20 pounds while on tamoxifen however that didn't really bother me since I was battling a late-stage cancer. It turned out tamoxifen didn't even work as I ended up with Mets to my bones. As far as side effects it took about a good month before I started to not see any of the side effects that I did have with tamoxifen. Right now Staying Alive is more important than my weight for sure. Actually since I started this whole process the weight is the very least of my concerns. But right now it does fluctuate between 5 to 10 pounds here and there. I hate to bust any bubbles here but for anyone who was expecting to just go back to the way you were before your whole cancer process and treatments it's probably not going to happen. I've adapted to the "new normal". I know a lot of people will have a difficult time with this but the sooner you accept how things are the less stressful your journey will be. Life is about moving on, accepting change,s and looking forward to it makes you stronger and more complete

      over 3 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar
      DianaL

      Hi, I have been on tamoxifen for four years ans had gained the extra 20-25 pounds. Last July (2015) I went see an orthopedic dr about a total knee replacement. He would not do it until I lost about 35 pounds. I had my surgery on April 11, 2016, after loosing 30 pounds. I gave up all carbonated beverages and 95% of all sweets and basically went back to my Weight Watchers routine. It is still off and I play between 3-5 pounds right now. I will be having my second knee done in November. If you have a recumbent bike ride at least 20 minutes each day. I was able to do until November of last year and that also helped. Good luck--I definitely know how hard it is to lose weight and then work to keep it off,

      over 3 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Please consider that a good portion of the tines you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty.

      Just drinking water isnt enough. Livewith mentioned she is now flavoring water with fruit and herbs. It enriches the water with needed nutrients, mostly minerals.

      If you are drinking bottled or reverse osmosis water, the problem gets worse.

      Please check out a discussion about water we got into a few days ago:

      https://www.whatnext.com/questions/evista

      The big problem is that your body gets confused, once you are in the slightest bit dehydrated (by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated) and will call for food instead of mineral rich water.

      Best wishes

      over 3 years ago
    • happydyad's Avatar
      happydyad

      My oncologist said the average woman gains 40 pounds after a breast cancer diagnosis. Heaven forbid!! Personally, I gained 20 pounds then lost 5 by going to only 2 meals per day. Now I am trying to decide if I should buy bigger clothes or start fasting. I'm leaning toward the bigger clothes option even though I keep telling myself that a ketogenic diet would be good for me to try. Cancer is a real drag. I'm so thankful for my What Next family. You guys are so great and you always "get it". Judy in Ky

      over 3 years ago
    • Dltmoll's Avatar
      Dltmoll

      I am going through exactly the same thing - initially lost with Weight Watchers, gained about twenty and have had little success taking it off even though I have been following program and exercising. I am on Anastrozole instead of Tamoxifen, but it's all about the fact that estrogen production is being blocked, making this even more difficult that it normally would be.

      over 3 years ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      I lost 50 lbs. and got two new knees on low-carb...and then came the abnormal annual screening mammo. Because I had to go to New Orleans for a couple weeks between the diagnostic imaging and biopsy, I threw myself a pre-diagnosis anxiety pity-party (being in the self-indulgent cuisine capital of America didn’t help). Then came the biopsy and surgery. By the time I first saw the MO, I’d gained back 20; she warned me to try as hard as I could to maintain my weight but didn’t say why other than “fat cells make estrogen.” I think she didn’t want the weight gain to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. After an exploding seroma adventure, and then the end of radiation I took a Mediterranean cruise (up another 7 lbs.). Surprisingly, due to strict low-carb dieting (except during vacations, when I walk like crazy), I have pretty much held the line after 7 mos. on letrozole. I harbor no illusions about actually losing weight; but I don’t want to gain more. I realize that the side effects are cumulative: my metabolism may further slow and the joints I haven’t had replaced may further deteriorate, making exercise more difficult. (I already have aching feet no matter how careful I am with orthopedic footwear). My cataracts have ripened to the point where my vision is impaired (more commonly a SE of tamox., not AIs, but aging due to estrogen deprivation is a common cause). I have an intractable trigger thumb that can be relieved only with surgery. I carry my own “personal summer” with me, but as long as I can sleep with my hair up in an air-conditioned room I can handle it.

      I know how lucky I am: no mastectomy, only sentinel nodes removed, no chemo, no steroids, only short-protocol partial-breast rads. I’m 65, and managed to dodge the aging-bullet far longer than most women. But time catches up to us all, and we can’t stay young forever. So I guess I’ll just have to put up with these SEs until they discover either a better way to ameliorate them, or a more effective test to see which hormone-receptor+ women can safely skip not just chemo but also AI therapy (or at least get a shorter course). Sadly, most research points to extending it from 5 to 10 years, perhaps lifetime. But it beats the alternative.

      over 3 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar
      HearMeRoar

      3 years on Tamoxifen and no side effects and zero weight gain. Sharing this for anyone who needs to hear that not everyone has a bad experience on this drug!!

      over 3 years ago
    • MyahsMom's Avatar
      MyahsMom

      I was on Letrozole (Femara) for five years. Then was put on Tamoxifen and have been on that now for almost 2 yrs. Gained some weight but also had my thyroid removed. So, doctor said some of the weight gain was the thyroid med I must be on the rest of my life, and about 10 lbs. weight gain from Tamoxifen. I eat healthy and exercise. One of my SE's is neuropathy in both feet and legs (oncologist said it was caused from cancer drugs). Don't know if it will disappear if I ever get off the Tamoxifen or not. I just keep trying to put one foot in front of the other and its not so bad when you think of the alternative. We could keep complaining about weight gain but what's the use? We do our best and the drugs have a holiday with our bodies - at least we are alive!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • TeacherTracy's Avatar
      TeacherTracy

      MyahsMom.......I am also on Letrozole and coming up on four and a half years. I have not heard that I might then go on Tamoxifen. What was the reason you went on Tamoxifen?

      over 3 years ago
    • MyahsMom's Avatar
      MyahsMom

      TeacherTracy. I had no idea I would go on Tamoxifen. I thought after five years that would be one less pill to buy and swallow. Went in to see the oncologist and she said they didn't think that five years was the magic number any more. Needless to say I was a little disappointed. I was put on Tamoxifen and it may be for five years. Who knows? I asked if I couldn't go off the med - no reason other than to get rid of the pill taking. She said the Tamoxifen is an anti-cancer drug and not wanting to invite the cancer back I told her I would just swallow the pill. Of course, now I have peripheral neuropathy in both feet and legs. Not sure if it was caused by the cancer drugs, if I had it before and was on so many drugs from pain management that I didn't feel it or what but I sure wish it would go away. Maybe some day the neuropathy will leave. At least I'm here, my husband wasn't as lucky. He was diagnosed 8 months after I was with Stage IV lung cancer and passed away 9 months later. So, to gain a few pounds or have a pain at least we are here. God Bless!

      over 3 years ago
    • Sharlie's Avatar
      Sharlie

      My oncologist told me last summer that 5 years was no longer the magic number of years to stop the drugs...that they now wanted patients to continue for an additional 5 years. It's anyone's guess as to why.

      over 3 years ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      For a postmenopausal woman to switch from a reasonably-well-tolerated AI after 5 yrs to Tamoxifen sounds bass-ackwards to me. Calling Tamox. an “anti-cancer drug” is a non sequitur because AIs have been proven superior to Tamoxifen in preventing mets in postmenopausal women, without causing peripheral neuropathy, uterine cancer (or retroperitoneal cancer in women who’ve had hysterectomies) or potentially fatal blood clots. The only reason I’ve heard of for switching to Tamox. after 5 yrs is if AIs were poorly tolerated and/or bisphosphonates or biologic bone drugs were ineffective in preventing or reversing AI-induced osteoporosis. The “new normal” now for AI therapy is continuing on them (or switching to another AI) for a total of 10 yrs.

      over 3 years ago
    • MyahsMom's Avatar
      MyahsMom

      ChicagoSandy, I'm terribly sorry my oncologist did things 'bass-ackwards' as you call it. She has kept me alive and I believe in what she is doing. May I ask where you got your medical degree? I am now a 7 yr. survivor which is longer than I thought I would be when I heard those dreaded words "you have cancer". But, thanks so much for your kind words. Bless Your Heart!

      over 3 years ago

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