Tamoxifen and constipation!!

Hi All,

Anyone else having problems with constipation as a side effect from Tamoxifen? I have a fissure that simply will not heal because of the constipation. I’ve suffered with it on and off since I had my surgery, but thought I was just about getting things in order when I went onto Tamoxifen. I’ve tried all the usual things - I’m eating about 7-9 portions of fruit and veg a day, plus fibre, friendly-bacteria yogurt and Lactulose every day. What more can I do???

Anyone else had this, please?

hi mec

Yes I’ve had constipation since I started Tamoxifen in December 2007. I use Ortisan cubes from the herbalist. They are the only thing that gives any relief. I had some Lactulose from the doc originally but all that did was give me wind!!!.

Ortisan is quite expensive but worth it to be honest.

I hope you get some relief. It makes you feel so awful.

Jan x

Hi Mec

There are two things i use to ease conspitation - which can be really scarey and painful when you get it. I have a prescription for Dioctyl (which I think you have to get on prescription) and I also use Fibregel which is more gentle. In fact they are both pretty gentle. Also I was told to drink plenty of water.

Hope these help.
Ruby xx

Hi mec,
Sorry you are suffereing with this. I’m on my fifth chemp now and my constipation has got worse and I too have a fissure because of it.

I was feeling terrible ten days ago but went to my GP who has cured me with magic cream! She prescribed something called Rectogesic which improves bloodflow and gives it a chance to heal whilst decreasing pain. You use it twice a day and I went from bleading heavily every time I had to go to no bleeding in two days. She also gave me Movicol which is a laxative (if you haven’t already come across it!) I take one sachet before bed and this helps so much as you just “sit and go”! in about two minutes.

I have also increased the ammount of fibre in my diet to 25 -35g a day. If you check some fibre websites lots of fruit and veg can be much higher in fibre than others and some dried fruits like apricots are better than fresh fruit. You might also want to try fibre bars which are an oaty chocolate cereal bar that give you 20% of your daily fibre and are about 110 calories.

Hopefully I havent overwhelmed you with info! My key message is I was where you are ten days ago and now I am 1000% better.

Good luck

Yes!! I didn’t connect it with the tamoxifen at first as I hadn’t realised it was a side effect. The only other times I’ve ever had constipation in my whole life was in the first couple of months after a bowel resection and then when I was having taxotere.
This week I read that it is a potential side effect of tamoxifen.

I can’t tolerate things like lactulose, movicol or fibrogel. I’ve been using good old fashioned syrup of figs which includes some senna and other oils. You can buy it from Boots, chemists and health food shops and its cheap. It really does work and without all the stomach cramping and wind.

Thank you for putting up this posting as I’d never seen anyone complain of this before.

Elinda x

Hi Elinda

I’d forgotten all about Syrup of Figs. My Mum used to give it to me when I was a child. I’ll give it a try see if it still works for me as well as it did 60 years ago. Blimey is it that long!!!

Thanks for reminding me :slight_smile:

J xx

Cut out bread and have 1-2 handfuls of nuts instead daily? Works for me although I haven’t started tamoxifen yet.

Thanks all, I appreciate your comments. I’m going to the GP this evening, so I’ll see what she says.


Hi Mec,

I’ve had real problems with this since stopping treatment and starting Tamoxifen…I have a fissure too and piles which aren’t healing at all…I have been taking a sachet of movicol every day since last July and it’s the only thing that sort of keeps it at bay…well it’s preventing it from getting any worse…there are also suppositories with steroid cream in them available from your doctor which will help heal the fissure. I was at the doctors yesterday and I was discussing what to do now and basically she told me to carry on what I’m doing…only other option is back to hospital for things like anal stretches and banding for piles!!! well as you can imagine I’m keeping with the movicol and suppositories!!! I’m just hoping that through time it will all get a bit better…

Best wishes
Fiona xxxx

I have found the syrup of figs much more effective than movical plus much more palatable. You just take one or two teaspoons before bed. My husband has real problems with constipation and was prescribed movical and lactulose both of which didn’t work. He took some of the good old syrup of figs last night and we’ll see if it works.

Elinda x

me too!! What seems to help me is to eat prunes- about half a tin, to a tin a day. And lots of water.

hope your dr can help you find something that works for you.

i also have a fissure and suffered from constipation since starting tamoxifen 4 years ago… well all types of drying out effects… dry mouth, dry scalp, dry skin, dry poop! more recently dry eyes.

i use
biotene oral gel for my dry mouth
alphosyl shampoo for dry scalp
aqueos cream for dry skin
dioctyl tablets for dry poo
lumecare eye gel for dry eyes.

also have lactulose, senna and movicol for poo emergencies.


Hi All, glad to hear I am not alone! I take golden linseeds 3 times a day as well as Dulcoease, use germoloid suppositories when I forget, take hairvit to stop my hair breaking, use miracle moist aussie shampoo and conditioner and the hot flushes/ night sweats have greatly improved since we changed the duvet to summer weight! One thing I don’t want to change is how wonderfully randy I feel on Tamoxifen!!!

Hello Ladies,
Try dried prunes and apricots, put them in a bowl with hot water and a couple of tablespoons of honey, microwave for about 4 or 5 mins, you can eat them just like a dessert,even try them with custard, works well if you eat them regularly, doesn’t taste too bad either!
Good luck hope it works for you as it does for me and mine, my daughter laughs and calls it mothers recipe, it has worked for her too in the past!!!

Best Wishes,

Isabelle xxx

You are not alone, I have been taking tamox for 5 months now and suffer with the constipation on and off. I also have piles from chemo. Like Lulu and Fee I use movicol, try to drink lots of water and use supposotries from GP all seems to keep it at bay, but at times, extremely painful. Never had any issues in the underpant region before chemo :(. I also have ground linseed twice a day and you do need to drink quite a bit of fluid with it as that bung you up. Best of luck

Ground linseed is excellent - you need to take water with it though as it bulks up in the stomach. It is also a very good source of Omega 3, which is important for fighting cancer.

I have been on Tamoxifen for 5 weeks just over, and am extremely constipated, so much so that every few days i vomit, but the vomit comes up in big clumps, and its worrying me a lot. Can anyone tell me if they suffer from anything like this? Sorry to be so specific, but didnt know how else to express it.


Mave the Rave


Not experienced that Mave or heard of that with others .Think you def need to get it checked out with BC or G.P ASAP as you shouldn’t be having such serious side effects with no input.

All sorted now thanks, bowels doing great on Laxido every night. Off for my last 2 radiotherapy treatments at Aintree. Hope everyone has a good Christmas and heres to a very Happy New Year.




My doctor put me on tamoxifen and I became more constipated than I have ever have been. I was constipated then I started using probiotics and that worked. But once I was put on tamoxifen I was very clogged.

So trust me when I say this
I bought castor oil in the pharmacy section at walmart about 2.80
I put a cap full in a glass of milk. If that doesn’t work I do it again. I use a whole cap full.
Trust me it helps.
With the milk it doesn’t taste terrible. Just chug it down quickly make sure you do this on a empty stomach.