We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Tamoxifen Side Effects?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tamoxifen is a drug that is usually available only by prescription. Generally, it is distributed in the form of tablets for breast cancer treatment or prevention. The National Cancer Institute says the drug may be used in the treatment of other types of cancers as well. Although it has been approved by health authorities such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States (US), there are certain side effects attributed to the drug. These include blood clots, uterine cancer, and impotence.

The tamoxifen side effects which many people are most concerned with is the drug’s connection with the development of cancer. Research on the effects of this drug has not provided conclusive proof that it causes cancer of any sort. However, research does show it increases the risks of both endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. The development of these uterine cancers is not a concern for women who have had a hysterectomy.

There are several commonly reported vaginal tamoxifen side effects. To begin with, many women taking the drug report problems such as vaginal dryness, itching, and discharge. The skin around the vagina may become sensitive or irritated. In addition to this, women’s periods may begin to occur on abnormal schedules, their libido may drop, and they may experience hot flashes. Men may also experience sexual side effects, including impotence and decreased sexual interest.

Increased blood clotting is also on the list of serious tamoxifen side effects. The National Cancer Institute notes that people taking this medication have increased risks of both blood clots and strokes. However, the institute says the number of people in this risk group is fairly small. It is also noted that these risks tend to be highest among those who are taking other cancer treatment drugs with tamoxifen.

There are several reported tamoxifen side effects that pertain to the eyes. Physicians are advised to be aware of the possibility of the drug’s toxic effect on the eyes. Research has revealed that deposits do exist in the eyes of some patients. While conclusions of the exact extent of the drug's effect on the eyes have not been reached, problems such as cataracts, corneal changes, and retinal lesions have been reported and are believed to have resulted from the consumption of tamoxifen.

Other common tamoxifen side effects include nausea and vomiting. Many people, both male and female, tend to experience headaches. Consumption of the drug has also been connected with mood swings.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.