antidepressants + tamoxifen

I recently started taking tamoxifen and havent had any serious SE’s yet .
Was googling andepressants + tamoxifen and came across this link

Im on prozac so queried this with my GP and asked him if he could change my antidepressant to effexor and he asked me to contact my BCN which I did and she said no drugs badly interact with tamoxifen and I will be ok with Prozac .

So wondering if others have experience of taking Prozac and Tamoxifen and if they had the same worries as me.

I googled this as well and found all kinds of different reports. One divided the anti-d s into three groups in terms of how much they interferred with the Tamox. Prozac was in the top (ie. worst) group, citalopram, which I take, was in the middle and Efexor had the least effect. Some others were named as well in each group.
Another report said that in their study there was no evidence that they had any effect at all.
Very confusing isn’t it ?
Is there a way they can check that Tamox is doing what it should?

It’s concerning to me as I have only just started feeling the benefits from my citalapram and am really pleased with it so far. Would hate to have to stop taking it almost straight away.
Anna x

Hi I too read some info about Tamoxifen and Prozac. I live in Spain, so I checked and spoke with my Onc and he said it wasnt a problem. I need to stick with it as I have had too, also go cold turkey off Hrt. so need something to keep my sanity!!
hope this helps best wishes Shirley.

Hi All

Just wanted to remind you, if anyone would like to talk through their concerns on this subject please don’t hesitate to give the BCC helpline a call. Here you can share your thoughts with one of our trained members of staff who will offer you a ‘listening ear’ as well as support and information if required. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm.

I this helps.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

I had to fight with my GP to get Efexor(venlafaxine) instead of Prozac (fluoxetine) as I was not willing to take the risk.I am suspicious that she was reluctant as Efexor is twice the price!
Efexor has worked for me.I am surprised that so many people here are on prozac or citalopram.
The study was small but I have been unable to find any further studies disputing the findings.
To be honest a BCN might only look at the drug book for interactions and it is not listed there.The best people to ask are the Oncs I believe.

Just seen my onc today and got the Tamoxifen. I asked him about taking citalopram/other anti-depressants with it. He said Prozac should definitely not be taken with it, but he had to go and check about citalopram. When he came back, he said it was listed as one of the ones that were ok.He then rushed off so I didn’t really have a chance to ask more. Not totally reassured…
Anna x

I am on duloxetine with tamoxifen. I have had depression for many years and have been on every other antidepressant going so little choice what i can take. If this one does no work i will be left with MAOI’s which means dietary restrictions as well as all the other resrictions I have with this disease (no cheese, marmite, yeast stuff, soya) bit difficult if your vegetarian. Tamoxifen interactions were not mentioned but duloxetine is a bit like venelefaxine.


I think Effexor is venlefaxine, which according to one of the studies is the best one to be on with TAmox.

Are the dietary restrictions re: soya, marmite etc. that you mention to do with BC or something else ? I am a vegetarian as well and I was wondering if soya products etc were actually not a good idea with BC ( ER+) ?

I’ve written a letter to my main GP today (saw one of his partners the other day) and enclosed a print off of that link I put in my first post on this thread and hopefully he will read it and realise I need my antidepressant changed even if it’s just to stop me worrying that Tamox might not be working because of the Prozac. Hopefully he will get back to me soon (so hard to get an appointment with him and that’s why I had to see one of his partners the other day). I did suggest Effexor so will see if he agrees to this.

Yes effexor is venlafaxine but didn’t do any good for me. The dietary restrictions I am talking about are to do with a class of anti depressant called MAOI. They were the first ones introduced in the 50’s and 60’s. They are rarely used nowadays because certain foods taken with them cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure which can be fatal. They are used as a last resort when depression is resistant to all SSRI’s (prozac, citalopram etc),tricyclics (amitriptyline) and venlafaxine and mood stabalisers.I do not want to take them unless i really have to. I do get a bit cross about diet as everything is bad for you. I have even been told sugar gives you cancer !!! I have enough problems without worrying about what i am eating as well. To be honest i don’t think it will make much difference to me and the bc. Mine is ER++ too. I find eating what i fancy is one thing that I enjoy. Sorry to be so blunt but I am struggling mentally and physically nearly a year on from treatment. i just want some quality back into my life.


Thanks for this thread. I’ve been on Fluoxetine for a year, and tamoxifen for nearly two. I have an appt with the psych who prescribed the anti-depressants next week, so have printed this off and will ask. He works at the cancer centre so he jolly well ought to know about it! It’s a good thing we can all talk to each other on here…

hi there everyone

it can be worrying cant it, having to take so many meds, i take citalapram and have had no problems, very occasionally i still feel a little deppressed but just keep taking one day at a time, and i normally come out ok. i was told effexor had been taken off the market, i was on that before, but it couldnt have been cos so many of you are taking it.
i also had to make a lot of changes to my life beside taking the antideppressants, including going to church and enjoying life more, and not worrying about things that dont matter.
the black cloud does lift, but it does take a lot of effort, which i appreciate is difficult if your very deppressed.
i wish you all well x

I was on prozac too before diagnosis etc and read about the possibe interactions so weaned myself off the prozac with help from GP - you can get liquid and it makes it a lot easier to cut down on as I always had problems coming off it. I was going to go without but found that I very quickly got extremely anxious, tearful and terrified about the whole bc thing so started on Efexor XL and never looked back, am on basic dose ie 75mg a day. I didn’t want to take any chances and knew I would worry about it. My onc knew I was on it but wasn’t bothered but my GP was. I recently had routine check up with breast surgeon and she agreed with me it was the right thing and that it wasn’t the best time to come off the antidepressants and I needed to be kind to myself bless her.
Maybe the basic Efexor was replced with the XL version, a longer acting slower release version…mary x

thanks for this comment, i started on Citalapram 2 months ago but have just had to have the dose increased to 20mg, as i have been feeling really bad. It’s good to know that the cloud does eventually lift. i am on 3 rd week of counselling too, but understand it might get worse before it gets better. just hope hubbie can stick around that long as he gets the worst of it from me!!
marg xx

Went to print out the link I gave in the first post and its not availalable now. Wonder why? Was going to show another GP tomorrow.

I think there are other articles out there.However you can get the original by googling “Tamoxifen and antidepressants” then look for the article from cancerbackup (about 3rd page) and then instead of clicking the link ,click on “cached page” and it should bring up the article.
Good luck

Thanks for that Dotchas. Have printed it off now :slight_smile:

Im sure the original link had the macmillan logo on it though. Felt that gave it more credibility if you know what I mean.

Glad you have got it, but yes I am sure it did too.I wonder why it has disappeared?

Phew success at last. Got prescribed Effexor. Now will feel the tamoxifen can do it’s job.

Great news,they certainly work for me!