Tamoxifen or Zoladex


I was diagnosed with bc in 2006 and after treatment put on Tamoxifen. In April 2007 I was treated for bc again in the other breast.

My question is, since being on Tamoxifen I have suffered no side-efects or symptons whatsoever - is this unusual and if so should I be on Zoladex which I believe is the alternative for Tamoxien before the menopause, and possibly more effective in my case?

Has anyone had a similar experience?

Many thanks.


Hi Lesley,

as I understand it Zoladex works alongside Tamoxifen for us pre-meno women, not in place of. I have been on Tamoxifen since Nov 1st and my onc said he would start me on 3 monthly Zoladex implants if I continued to have periods. Well, I didn’t have a period for a couple of months but now they have returned so I am starting on Zoladex to temporarily shut down my ovaries. I will be on this for 2 years, although on Tamox for 5.

I was a bit worried to be honest as I thought that if I was still having periods then the Tamoxifen is obviously not doing what its supposed to do! I have only had side effects on one type of Tamoxifen, other than that I wouldn’t know I was on it, especially as it hasn’t even stopped my periods. I suppose we should be grateful that we are side-effect free but then again the odd side-effect would at least reassure us thats its doing its job!

Take care,


My daughter aged 33 started on Zoladex implants … one each month for 2 years … since she was diagnosed last May … she has since had chemo and mastectomy and is now on Tamoxifen for 5 years as well. I believe this is quite normal for pre menopausal women. The onc said that she may be on Zoladex for longer than 2 years and he will make this decision later.
Sue x

Thank you both for your comments. My onc hasn’t even mentioned Zoladex at all, but I will certainly ask her about it.

Thanks once again.


Hi Lesley

The Breast Cancer Care factsheet on Zoladex may be helpful for you to read, you can do so via the following link:


Please also feel free to call our helpline if you find that you have any further queries on 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

I am 100% ER and PR positive - pre-menopausal. I am on both Tamoxifen and Zoladex. Tamoxifen stops the oestrogen and cancer cells ‘hooking up together’, so to speak, and the Zoladex injections (or implants) temporarily switches off the ovaries.

I hate the Zoladex injections as they have made me fat, my joints hurt, feel depressed, and have hot flushes. Between them and the Tamoxifen, I’m pretty miserable, but, hey, only another 4 years to go!!

Best of luck :slight_smile:

Jacki x

I am also on both Zoladex and Tamoxifen, the Zoladex is to be for for 2 years and Tamoxifen for 5. My Zoladex injections are monthly. Men with prostate cancer also get Zoladex injections