Tamoxifen and Zoladex

Hi Everyone. I’m new to this forum and have been looking for information on taking Tamoxifen and Zoladex at the same time, but couldn’t find anything. Is anyone out there on this combination, and if so how are you getting on with it? I started taking the Tamoxifen last week, due to start the Zoladex in a few weeks, and I’m worried about how I’m likely to cope with both.

Hi I’m on both, was on tamoxifen alone for a few weeks and didn’t notice anything additional when on zoladex. Additionally when I came off tamox for a few weeks before surgery I only noticed less hot flushes and better sleep. So I see it that tamoxifen is the reason for side effects. Def no periods either.

You’ll be fine. I had to go to my docs get prescription for zoladex, get it made up, get another appt with doc to have it done. My surgery insist on a doctor not a nurse as it’s an implant not just an injection.



I was on both for 15 months and just had a few mild flushes. Had to go to breast unit at hosp every 4 weeks to be done by my bcn. Stings a bit for a few mins when done but not too bad.

All the best x

Thanks for your replies, that calms some of my fears. I’ve been really worried about starting both these hormone therapies together, with everything I’ve read about possible side effects. Perhaps you can help with one supplementary question - how long did it take after starting on Tamoxifen for the side effects to show up? I’ve been taking it for 8 days now.

Hi Sarah

I was on both drugs for 3 months before my periods stopped and i got my flushes.


For me it was a few weeks I think.


Thanks fairyem & lolly73, that gives me something to look forward to!

Hi everyone

I have recently had my last of six Chemo and am due to start tamoxifen in a few weeks. I am 36. Just wondered what zoladex is meant to be for? Nobody has mentioned it to me so maybe it won’t apply but just like to know these things.


Hi Vickie
I was advise to have the Zoladex in addition to tamoxifen instead of doing chemo, since I didn’t want the chemo as I was only borderline on needing it. The chemo was “offered” rather than recommended because although my BC was grade 2 and sentinel nodes were clear, it was 3cm size. Hope that makes sense!

It’s interesting how the treatment differs from place to place. Mine is Grade 2, no nodes, 2cm. But I didn’t have a choice. I don’t know what percentage chemo offers me, but there was never any doubt I was getting it! I’m on Zoladex and tamoxifen too. Does your age make a difference, i’m 36?

mine was grade 3, 17mm, no nodes. After biopsy, they thought it was grade 2, but then was actually grade 3 after the operation. But from the outset i was told to prepare for chemo as i am 36 so “young” ( feel about 200 today…!). So thats a different variation i suppose as zoladex not even mentioned.

I was 34 at dx (37 now) grade 3 2.1cm no nodes. I was told chemo would only give me a 2-3% benefit of it not coming back within the first 2 years, and that the risks outweighed this benefit. As i was 8/8 for both hormones, i was told that zoladex and tamox together would do the same as chemo for me (zoladex to switch off ovaries and tamox to stop oestrogen sticking to stray cells). I am now 2.5 years from dx and still ned.

I know that a lot of this depends on onc/areas.

ah, so when me onc said we will have a discussion if my periods come back, he prob means going on zoladex or something? Lolly, did you come off the tamoxifen and zoladex after 15 months or are you still on it? How has it been? I have started having some hot flushes and mildish night sweats over the last few weeks as i have just finished my chemo, but am quite worried about what will happen with the tamoxifen and whether i will get a quality of life back. It feels a long time since march when i was dx and just hope i get to a kind of normal that means i can enjoy life.

I stopped the zoladex after 15 months as my onc had offered me to have my ovaries removed instead, so thats what i did. This was july 09. I am still on tamoxifen (halfway through my 5 years). I have no different side effects from no ovaries compared to zoladex.

I know that my onc plugged my details into a programme called Adjuvant, which gives them a numerical assessment of the level of risk with various types of treatments applied. The output from that put me in what he called a “grey area” where it wasn’t clear cut that I should have chemo or not, which is why it was left up to me decide (thanks a bunch!). Presumably the factors that they put into the programme include age and whether your cancer has receptors for oestrogen, progesterone and HER2. From what I’ve read, if your BC is HER2 positive, you get chemo, no question about it. If it is ER+ then hormone therapy will help so you get a go at that too!

I was her2 2plus and then fish positive but onc said chemo/herceptin together still only benefits 2-3%. Dont know if her2 2plus fish pos is not as aggressive as her 3 plus?

Oh crikey, it’s just so complicated isn’t it! I wish someone could just produce a nice easy to follow flow chart so that we could follow the logic of what the oncs are saying to us and why they are recommending a particular form of treatment.