Cancer Home > Nolvadex Side Effects

Commonly reported side effects of Nolvadex include hot flashes, vaginal discharge, abnormal menstrual periods, and weight loss. These side effects are typically minor, however, and easily treated. Serious side effects, while rare, should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include signs of an allergic reaction, increase in tumor size or appearance, and depression.

An Introduction to Nolvadex Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Nolvadex® (tamoxifen citrate); however, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Nolvadex. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Nolvadex side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Nolvadex

Nolvadex has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which a group of people taking the drug have side effects documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. In these studies, the most common side effects of Nolvadex included:
  • Hot flashes -- in up to 80 percent of people
  • Vaginal discharge -- up to 50 percent
  • Water retention -- up to 32 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 26 percent
  • Irregular menstrual periods -- up to 25 percent
  • Weight loss -- up to 23 percent
  • Vaginal bleeding -- up to 23 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 2 to 19 percent of people taking the drug) included:
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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