Splitting tamoxifen....

I feel a bit nauseous when taking the full 20mg, and have read something somewhere ( but I don’t think it was on here) where a few people said they split their tamoxifen in half. Therefore 10 mg taken morning and evening. Is there anybody here who does it, and have you found it acceptable to your oncologist/ doctor? I know you can be prescribed 10 mg tablets, but at the moment I only have 20 mg tablets, but have managed to chop one quit accurately. :0)


any thoughts ladies ?




Charys x

Hi Charys, probably just stating the obvious, are you taking if after food? I found that taking it after my toast in the morning helps prevent any nauseous feelings.

Charys I take mine in the evening otherwise I feel queazy ??

There are definitely posts on the forum from ladies who take 10 mg twice a day rather than 20mg once a day to help with side effects as advised by doc.

Hi Charys, it was me that posted about splitting the tablet. I was struggling with other symptoms as well as the nausea.


the nausea was sorted immediately after taking the advice of another lady who said take with a main meal. The nausea stopped immediately.


my oncologist was fine with the 20 split over the day but asked try to do it with breakfast and then lunch to see if that worked if not stretch it to early dinner.


he said if I really struggle I could do the tablet every other day. When I asked about just 10mg every day he swiftly said no it has to be the 20mg at once. He didn’t elaborate.  

I still struggled in that I could take the 20mg but after about 4 weeks I couldn’t function - not clear minded, can’t concentrate, can’t sleep, felt disengaged with people, very very tired. This was making it difficult to do my job! He then said research has shown that if women take the tamoxifen for say 4-6 weeks then have a break of 2-4 weeks that was ok.


I have to say I have made the decision to stop the tamoxifen and I haven’t had it since 15 April.  Before stopping I had a long conversation with my surgeon (they seem to be a bit more human than the oncologists) who said he does have some ladies for whom tamoxifen or AI’s just done work and that it is ok to make an informed decision to stop. He said if the team know your decision they will keep a closer clinical eye on me. I still have my tamoxifen in the cupboard and may start it again.


that said I am 2 years post diagnosis and put of taking hormone therapy until this February so only lasted a couple of months. 


Hope this has helped - but please give it a go you won’t know unless you try different dosages 

Hi Charys, you know what it’s like when you are in the room with the oncologist you ask the questions and I didn’t push him as to why he was ok with every other day but not half dose every day. He said they would rather you take something than nothing. They all seem to have different opinions which doesn’t help. My oncologist is a Proffessor of Oncology and into the research. I see him again in November and will ask him so it may help other ladies. 

Hi Charys, I tried the 10 and 10 but still got the same side effects so my go suggested 10mg everyday this helped probably by 50percent but onc said it needed to be 20 every other day and that didn’t work for me so I just had enough so stopped . I do worry don’t get me wrong, but I feel better with my decision. Not to be taken lightly as emotionally imkeep,thinking should I be taking it. You have to do what you think is right for you. But I would suggest trying every combination first then talk to your one or surgeon as I got better info from my surgeon.

OMG Veronica! How hideously arrogant!  Ask to change to a different one immediately.  If there’s a BC support group in your area, go there & get some recommendations from people.  The NHS isn’t perfect, but you don’t often come across that type of dinosaur any more, they sort of died out in the 60s.  I am endlessly asking my onc questions, which I’m sure she isn’t totally thrilled about either, so would probably end up being rather rude to your guy if he gave me the brush off.  


Useful info on on pill splitting ladies, which I do.


Why did you stop? What cancer did you have ? Re op or lumph area also ?

So lucky that my onc is such a lovely lady.When she broke the news that I had kidney as well as breast cancer she was so kind.In fact it was her who set me off when she said how much I had to deal with.