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Monday, April 11, 2011 RunnerMo, Community Member, asks

Q: Tamoxifen & Supplements

I'm taking Tamoxifen.  Are there any supplements (herbal or other) that I should avoid while taking Tamoxifen?  thank you. 

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
4/11/11 4:03pm

Hi - We're not doctors here, just breast cancer survivors. You should definitely ask your oncologist this question; there may be some OTC supplements (for instance, soy extracts) that shouldn't be taken as they may either interact with the tamoxifen, or raise your risk of recurrence. So speak with your doctor before taking anything beyond what's been prescribed, OK? Good luck - PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
4/11/11 5:26pm

As PJ says, it is important to check with your doctor about any supplements.  S/he will probably want you to avoid any herbs or supplements that have estrogen in them.  There are a surprisingly large number that have estrogen, so research carefully.  A good tip off that a plant might have estrogen is that it is recommended for hormonal problems, premenstrual syndrome, and menopause.    In general, any supplement that is strong enough to help you can also be strong enough to harm you depending on your health history, so do check with the doctor.

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By RunnerMo, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/11/11, First Published: 04/11/11