Brand Names

Nolvadex® (There may be other brand names for this medication).

How is it Administered?

Tamoxifen is taken orally, as a tablet.

What is it Used For?

It is used to treat breast cancer may be used to treat other kinds of cancer. Tamoxifen also may be given to women who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer.

How Does it Work?

Your body makes hormones to carry messages to certain “target” organs and tissues. Hormones are made in one gland, and then travel through the blood to their targets.

The main female hormone is estrogen. There are many cells in your body that have estrogen receptors on them. The estrogen attaches to these receptors, and those cells will act a particular way.

Estrogen has been shown to cause the growth or spread of some types of cancers.

Tamoxifen is an anti-estrogen; it binds to the estrogen receptors on the cancer cells and stops estrogen from going into the cell. This eventually causes the cell to die.

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