This medication is used to treat breast cancer, which requires estrogen to grow. It is also used to lessen the chances of developing breast cancer if you are at high risk.

IUPAC name: 2-[4-[(Z)-1,2-diphenylbut-1-enyl]phenoxy]-N,N-dimethylethanamine

Drug class: Antiestrogen

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Sub class of drug: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator

Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Tamoxifen works as an antiestrogen and helps to prevent breast cancer by suppressing the harmful effects of estrogen on breast tissues.

Side effects

Common side effects may include nausea, dizziness, hot flashes, hair loss, numbness, and muscle/leg cramps.

Serious side effects may include swelling, depressed mood, blurred vision, swelling in the ankles or feet, feeling of fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, yellowing of skin or eyes, rash/itching, and severe dizziness. 


Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

  • Avoid it if you are allergic to it or have other allergies.
  • If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),
  • If you have a medical history of blood clots, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, hypertension, hepatic disease,
  • If you smoke,
  • This medication should not be given during pregnancy as it may harm the fetus.

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