• Tamoxifen

    Asked by Mommom61 on Friday, October 3, 2014


    Hello , mommom 61 here , I just met with my oncologist yesterday , and I start radiaction in 4 weeks , my ? Is he told me I will start tamoxifen after treatment , I know I should b great full and I am that I am cancer free but my friend said this pill is going to make gain a lot of weight , ten yrs ago I lost over 30 lbs and kept it off I walk 5 miles a day and eat right , I am a freak about my weight , does anyone know if this is true

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      First, congratulations on making it to this milestone, and moving on. As for our side effects, while they are somewhat similar for each of us, we are all different. So you may have weight gain, and you may not. I'm sure others that have personal experience will chime in on this. Thanks for posting your question! Wish you the best, and no weight gain!

      over 6 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar

      You will gain weight if you start eating more and exercising less! I was on Tamoxifen and I didn’t gain any weight at all from it, I’ve actually tried about half a dozen different AI’s and none of them have made me gain any weight. And I’m on two now. Arimidex and an injectable AI ( that I can’t spell ) and I haven’t gained weight from them either.
      But because this is a serious concern to you, please talk this over with your oncologist! He is probably far more concerned with saving your life than keeping you thin, but let him know how important this is to you! There are other medications to try and your friend is right that weight gain is a common problem with these meds, however it usually a result of an increased appetite and not a lowered metabolism. And BTW- most side effects do go away after a few months maybe up to 6. But again we all react differently!
      You just have to try it and see, you may not get any side effects at all! And if you do start gaining weight, immediately start monitoring everything that you are consuming and your exercise so you can find out what is sabotaging you. And of course ask your doctor to switch medications. Hey I know how you feel, I fought weight my entire life and I was nervous about these medications but fortunately I didn’t get an increased appetite from them. I did gain weight on antidepressant however, so i changed antidepressants.
      Congratulations on being NED! Keep it that way and listen to your oncologist! Good luck with this ( I’m just as worried about my weight as anyone can be ) I hope that you don’t have any SE at all! God bless!

      over 6 years ago
    • junie1's Avatar

      20 yrs ago, I took Tamoxifen for 5 yrs,, I did gain a little weight, but didn't mind that, they pill saved my life. Even though I have BC now,, totally different than I had before,, and now going thur chemo, then radiation,, and then be put on a pill for the rest of my life,, I won't worry too much about some side effects,, if the pill will let me live a long, long life! no matter what meds the doctor says to take, or even the OTC meds,, have side effects,, But We all take anything that's over the counter,, or did before we got this cancer,, side effects to the side,, I'll take the pill,, to live!!
      Talk all questions over with your doctors,,,
      Good Luck

      over 6 years ago
    • GLW's Avatar

      I will finish chemo in April and will just have follow-up visits with my oncologist. I think we all envision a return to our "normal self"....same hair, weight etc. I am a very young 78 and have kept trim and "blondish".....I have weight gain from the steroids...hair coming in white.....one less boob so I have to be careful with the neckline of my clothes.....but...that being said...I am grateful to be able to say that I am a survivor. So what if I am up a size and white-haired..while .this is easy to say..I hope I can live it... and I am trying to accept all of the changes and live the rest of my life to the fullest.

      over 6 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      My cancer center offers nutrition services to all patients but there is a special group for women on Tamoxifen since so many do gain weight. I would encourage you to find, or get a referral for, a nutritionist familiar with cancer treatments if you find that weight gain is becoming problematic for you at any time. I saw the nutritionist when I gained 20 pounds on Arimidex and have lost 28 pounds in the last 6 months. I just saw my PCP who was ecstatic, as am I !!
      Good luck.

      over 6 years ago
    • Lorijoy812's Avatar

      I started Tamoxifen one year ago. I feared weight gain because I have always controlled my weight. I am more active now that I am done treatments & surgeries and I eat much healthier now too. The change in activity & improvement to eating habits started in March when I was released from my last surgery. I weigh 4 pounds less than I did 6 months ago. Hopefully this will make you feel better. I do get hot flashes & night sweats but I just accept those as part of the next 9 years, I am on Tamoxifen for 10. Also, I did experience soe moodiness when I started but that went away.

      over 6 years ago
    • pmkassab's Avatar

      I have been on Tamoxifen for two years. I have not seen weight gain as a side effect. For me , as someone eelse said, the biggest side effect I have had is with hot flashes. I have been able to reduce those by seeing an acupuncturist. It has reduced them dramatically.
      I would imagine with your commitment to eating properly and exercise you should not have a problem with this. Good luck!

      over 6 years ago
    • VENTURANEWBEE's Avatar

      It's right to be concerned with what we are putting into our body -- meaning foods and/or medications. And I can understand the fear of starting something new (Tamoxifen) perhaps for years...as an RN I know that ANY med can have side effects. A suggestion: study diet more carefully. A ton of research is being done because of our epidemic obesity!! Good place to start: "Fed Up" . This documentary is narrated by Katie Couric--I watched it on Amazon on my TV when my computer whiz son helped my find it. I'm also reading "Pure, White and Deadly" and it's much more technical. Lastly, be gentle with yourself.

      over 6 years ago
    • jad's Avatar

      Hear your friends, but don't necessarily put any faith in their anecdotal experiences. Everyone responds differently.

      Personally, I have had no major weight gain on an AI (similar to tamoxifen in that weight gain is listed as a *possible* side effect.) My weight is generally stable except when I am not being careful. I think exercise and hydration are very important. Someone recently on this forum responded to me that I was suggesting exercise and hydradtion as a cure. I most certainly am not and never said so. I just firmly believe that exercise and water are beneficial in maintaining whatever health we have left.

      over 6 years ago
    • MelanieIIB's Avatar

      I have been on Tamoxifen about 11 months. Gaining weight was also a fear I had. I find that sometimes I get really hungry. If I can't fight off the hunger, I make sure to eat a healthy snack like a piece of fruit, low cal yogurt or pretzels and drink a lot of water with it to help fill me up. To be honest though, before Tamoxifen I went through periods of time when I was really hungry. I think you will do fine because it is so important to you to not gain weight. I recently had diep flap reconstruction and it is a huge motivator for me. I don't want to have gone through all that and to gain weight. So my desire not to gain weight is stronger than my desire to eat more than I should, or to eat fattening food. (At least that's the case now, hopefully it will remain that way.) I also use a program called, "lose it" which helps you to track your food. (it is a free app for your phone. They may have a computer version too, I'm not sure.) You enter the weight you want to be and it tells you the amount of calories you can consume. Then it helps you track what you eat. Also, if you find you are gaining weight, nothing says you have to continue the Tamoxifen.

      over 6 years ago
    • MollyAWelsh's Avatar

      I have been on Tamoxifen for over two years and have not gained weight. I am 100 pounds lighter now than when I started it. I have had no side effects from the Tamoxifen.

      over 6 years ago
    • elaine6s' Avatar

      I have been on all the medications. The first one gave me such awful joint pain I couldn't get up from a chair oneday (this was after being on this pill for 8 months). The second one gave me incredible migraines (which is something I already deal with, this just made it worse) I was then put on Tamoxifen and felt wonderful, no side effects. Thought this was the one I could use for the rest of the treatment until I saw my gyn who did an ultrasound on my stomach (which was getting a bit puffy) and it turned out the tamoxifen had created a ton of fibroids (sp) in my uterine and I had to have surgery to have them removed right away. Now I have not met anyone else who has had this problem but after reading up on it, it is a possible side effect. I was then put on the last medication left which is arimidex. I get the joint pains again but am willing to stick it out until Oct 2105 (original diagnosis June 2008). Last month I was diagnosed again with breast cancer in the other breast. I am having surgery and radiation but will only continue the original arimidex until Oct 2015. I wish you all the best!!!

      over 6 years ago
    • SullyJackson's Avatar

      I took Tamoxifen and then Aremidex 11 years ago for a total of five years. I didn't gain weight and didn't do anything special to keep from doing so, However, as many have pointed out, everyone is different. Good luck on your journey. Hugs

      over 6 years ago

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