Tamoxifen, Nettle tea & Hyperactivity

Hello everyone,
Does anyone know if it is OK to drink nettle tea - the bags from Holland & Barratt - I am not yet tramping in the woods picking my own nettles! I have been reading extensively on the Internet and some experts say it increases estrogen and others say it blocks the effects of estrogen. It has so many amazing properties but I don’t want to take something that counteracts the Tamoxifen.
I have been on Tamoxifen for 48 hours and so far I have found that I feel similar to how I felt on the steroids that accompanied my chemo ie. more hungry, more hyper, can’t sleep. I am fine with that, just hope that I don’t get the more difficult side effects as time goes on, and my best wishes go out to those of you that do x
I know there are lots of threads about Tamoxifen and this may have been answered previously but has anyone else got hyper and Euphoric rather than depressed as a result of steroids or Tamoxifen?

Hi Mimi,
Well now, if you get a straight yes/no answer to the one about nettle tea, I’ll be amazed! My guess is you are drinking it to help alleviate menopausal symptoms? If so I would just run it by your onc or your GP. Even among medical professionals opinions will vary, but I was told not to take any ‘herbal’ remedies and specifically not black kohosh, red clover or soy. There are bits and bobs of proper reserach but no definitive answers… yet at any rate. I was told I could take starflowwer oil capsules and eventually gave in and take clonidine (an alpha blocker, at a very low dose) to try to reduce the frequency and intensity of flushes.

I haven’t heard of Tamoxifen making people hyper or hungry, but who knows? We are all unique. Steroids certainly do both of those - and I rechristened them St Eroid as the patron saint of insomnia when I was doing chemo two years ago. A lot of people get disturbed sleep with Tamoxifen, epsecially if they get night sweats too. Hopefully the effects will soon settle down and you will be one of the majority for whom Tamoxifen is no bother at all.

Hi Mimi8, you’ve got me worried! I was diagnosed at the begining of oct and i’ve been taking tamoxifen for 3 weeks, preop because they’re trying to shrink the tumour, so far no side effects which i am hoping will continue. I stopped drinking caffine about 5 years ago and since then nettle tea has been a staple of my diet as the closest thing to real tea I could find. Never occurred to me it could be bad, do you think I should stop drinking it? And if so can anyone suggest alternatives, I find fruit tea too sweet and camomile is fine in the eve but doesn’t work at breakfast with my saturdaybacon sandwich!!

Hi Rev Cat,
Thank you for your great post and information.
Zuzy, I am in the same situation as you, a doctor (who has worked in breast cancer and pathology) told me about the benefits of nettle tea when I was first diagnosed. It certainly helped me when I was on chemo. I had virtually no side effects with AC and was drinking one cup of nettle tea per day. I just thought I would check it out when I started the Tamoxifen to make sure it wasn’t doing anything to compromise the effects and I now I am just confused. As I mentioned, some medics and herbalists (online - so I know you can’t accept everything as truth) say that it blocks estrogen in a similar way to Tamoxifen and That it is a great supplement and others say it can double the amount of estrogen in the system which can’t be good can it?
There is no need to panic as I dont think it can harm you in the short term. I just want to know if I can drink it every day for the next five years or of I should cut it out of my routine?

Zuzy, please don’t panic, any adverse effects would take a deal longer than three weeks anyway. If I were you I’d just give your BCN a ring on Monday to see what she says - if she says OK then put any negative thoughts about it out of your mind. Easy to say I know, but honestly you won’t have done any harm in so short a time, if in deed harm is possible (which is not proven). Keeping hydrated is important. Have you tried either green or white tea, both of which are widely seen as ‘a good thing’? I don’t like green tea but white tea is good (check your supermarket or health food shop)

Hi rev cat mentioned avoiding soy and red clover for it sounds like the same reasons as you would avoid nettle tea. While all of these are really good for you there is some suggestion that they will try to compete with tamoxifen and therefore make it less effective. I think the thinking is that if you were not taking tamoxifen than these herbal remedies would be doing a similar job to the tamoxifen. Do try green tea, it’s very good for you and fine to drink with BC. Yes it tastes disgusting at first but now 9 months on I have got used to it and drink about 4 cups a day. There are some lovely flavours that helps in the early stages. my personal favourites are pineapple and grapefriut and mango which helps disguise the taste that said I know love pure green tea all on its own!

Hi Carrie, thank you for your post. I think I will avoid the nettle tea, in favour of green tea. I quite like all herbal teas and don’t mind green tea at all although I haven’t had it for some time. I was drawn to the nettle tea because it has so many beneficial health properties but green tea probably has a lot too? I find a small teaspoon of Manuka honey is lovely in the teas that don’t taste too good or are a bit bland.