Tamoxifen and Sage tablets

Hi lovely ladies, I’ve been through the surgery and managed to get away with radiotherapy only and have been taking Tamoxifen for 6 months. Have been fortunate as no major problems in taking this medication except for the hot flushes and dreaded night sweats. I am already taking antidepressants (Mirtazapine 45mg per night) which is supposed to help but doesn’t seem to! Have spoken to my GP as heard Sage tablets may help with the flushes/night sweats and he has said there is no problem in taking Sage, anyone already tried it please and did it help? Many thanks KAREN (eddyclan) xx

having to put up a new comment to bump my earlier posting up, gosh the site is busy tonight! Karen (eddyclan)

I personally think you would be better asking your oncologist or breast care nurse about this before you try it.

Jean x

Have you tried ringing the Helpline 0808 800 6000 , I think they have a ref. book with nearly every herbal treatment and side effects plus interactions in it.

Hey Karen
You sound a little like me - 1 mx in March and been on Tamoxifen since April. I’m 48 (as of yesterday!!) and was menopausal about 6 weeks after starting the tabs. The hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia were the pits!! About 3 or 4 months later… yeah I know I’m slow I went looking and discovered evening primrose oil. I don’t take it every day but am a lot saner and happier and normal (what ever that means!!) with it. Also struggled with weight gain (was about 15lbs heavier 7 months after the op) and have gone back onto Weigth Watchers. My group leader is an angel and I am so incredibly grateful for her support. Am celebrating 6.5lbs weight loss in 5 weeks with an extra glass of wine tonight!!
Not sure about sage tablets certainly worth asking your breast care nurse, your oncologist or failing them your pharmacist - mine has been v helpful. And of course there’s the Help line and I am rabbiting on… must be that second glass of wine… :slight_smile:

Hi Cyara,

Did your Onc ok EPO as mine said a definite no no in an er + Bc although I do know advice on this does seem to vary.


Hi Karen,

I am on tamoxifen and have been taking sage for the last 6 months. It has been a God send re: the hot flushes and night sweats. I have sage in the garden and have been making sage tea or just chewing a handful of leaves through the summer! It’s dying back now so have just been out to buy sage tablets - hope they work as well. Evening primrose did nothing for me.
Hope this help

I would try the evening primrose…works for me and my onc says ok and I’m er+

Hi Karen,

I’ve been on Tamoxifen for 5 years, I tried Sage early on to lessen the sweats, and it worked, BUT when I chatted to the MacMillan nurse she said to stop taking it as it was a plant oestrogen and would conflict with the Tam.
Jan x

I was told by my breast care nurse not to take sage tablets as they would conflict with the tamoxifen

I was told by my oncologist not to take sage tablets because of the plant oestrogen but he was happy for me to take oil of evening primrose. I would be very hesitant to take anything without first checking with the oncologist.

I have total sympathy for anyone having hot flushes they’re a nightmare!

There is new evidence to show that fresh sage is highly effective in treating hot flushes albeit on a small sample (71 women):

BUT, I can’t find anything that clarifies whether it is safe for those who have had breast cancer. Because it is unclear how it works, on the Food for Breast Cancer site (in their opinion) it is not recommended:

In terms of interactions I found this on the internet but I’m not an expert and don’t know if this is accurate or a full list. It does though interact with a few drugs so worth a check:

Personally I don’t take anything for hot flushes because there is a lack of clarity on how these things work and for most there is no strong evidence to show they even work.

Evening primrose oil - I’m not sure there is any research evidence to show it works. I’ve also put in the link for interactions for that too:

I’ve been given a lot of conflicting advice. One Onc told me that while I was on tamoxifen I could work my way through the shelves of Holland and Barratt and take anything I wanted. Another told me not to take anything.

I do find my hot flushes come and go. I’ve just had about 4 months without any (bliss) and now they’ve returned with a vengeance. It is totally unrelated to anything I’m doing and my sister in law has found the same.

Elinda x

Hello all,
I have just done alot of research into this. And this is what i found out.
Sage works so well by mimickin oestrogen, and can/does encourage this hormone, whilst the tamoxifen is tryin to hide the oestrogen so your cancer, should it return, wont feed off it.
hope this helps