Tamoxifen (Nolvadex), is a well known anti-estrogen medication commonly used to treat breast cancer. It is known as a selective estrogen receptor modulator, or SERM. This hormone interferes with the activity of estrogen, which can stimulate the growth of breast cancer. Tomoxifen is also recommended by many physicians to women whom are at high risk for breast cancer (breast cancer genes BRCA1 or 2, women who have precancerous lesions, and women with a significant family history of breast cancer).
Depression is a common medicated condition is this country. About 11% of women and 5% of men take antidepressants. When women use Tamoxifen to treat or prevent breast cancer, they often have side effects such as hot flushes, irritability and other mood changes. They are often prescribed antidepressants to alleviate these side effects. Now some studies are cautioning patients (and doctors) to be careful of which antidepressants to use when taking Tamoxifen. Paxil and Prozac may actually do more harm than good.
Other research indicates Tamoxifen can also cause more cognitive dysfunction than other cancer treatment drugs. After a year of taking Tamoxifen, women in one study scored lower on tests of verbal memory and other cognitive skills than women taking another breast cancer drug, Exemestane (Aromasin) (Yahoo news, 2/11/10 9:48 PM health).
Breast cancer patients who take the antidepressant Paxil at the same time as tamoxifen face an increased risk of dying from their disease, a new study shows….