tamoxifen - what time of day to take it?

Hi - I’ve jumped through all the hoops; surgery, chemo & now doing rads. I have just been put on tamoxifen (20mg) too! I remember reading somewhere that it was better to take it either in the morning, or at night, but I can’t remember WHICH and I can’t find it. The idea is that you get a full night’s sleep - not that I’ve had one of those for ages. I’m already getting hot flushes just with four months without a period!

Any advice would be appreciated.
Westie xxx

Hi there

I’ve been on tamoxifen since October 2006 and started off taking it in the mornings. I had REALLY bad hot flushes, which were mainly at night and horrible leg cramps too. Discussed this with onc who advised me to take it at night instead. Although the leg cramps have all but gone, the hot flushes are much better than they were - they happen during the day as well now tho. I would recommend taking it at night but i suppose everyone reacts differently so its whatever suits you.

Hope this helps

Take care

Hi Sue

I take mine at night and sleep OKish, weird thing is my hot flushes are bad in the afternoon and early evening which is ages after I take it but thats what makes me special ha ha!!

Remember to dress in layers so you don’t flash too much when you have to rip something off right quick and you’ll be amazed at what you can turn into an emergency make-shift fan when you need to.


Many thanks to both of you - I did read a recommended time of day - but blowed if I could remember what I read! Looks like evening is the best time. I’m already getting hot flushes in bed anyway because my periods have stopped for the moment, but I wouldn’t like to make them worse.

Thanks for taking the time to answer
Westie xx

Hi Sue
Started mine the end of July and so far have had no side effects. I take it in the morning.

Oooh Margaret - wish I was you!

I took it at 6pm and by 10pm had great pain in pelvis and could barely get off the sofa, so stiff and sore. By 5am the pain in pelvis had spread to lower back and I was quite upset. I had thought I was on the home straight with the rads, and now I’m in pain again, just like on tax (well, not that bad, I didn’t have to reach for the morphine!)

Have read this may last two or three days - I’m giving it a week before making a song and dance. I will NOT put up with this pain for months/years.

Hope you and yours are well Margaret
Sue xxx

I take mine at night as I found it much easier to remember than in the morning when I am rushing about. I tried both and it didn’t seem to make any difference in terms of side effects/sleeping etc.


mmm - thanks for this thread… I too was taking mine in the morning - but sleep was poor and cramps in my feet at night. I have swopped to night time (about a week ago)- round bed time, and now alot better. Only one thing tho - and that is waking with dreadful anxiety attacks - has happened 5 mornings during the last week, and can only think that it has to be the tablets as nothing else has changed. Has anybody else a similar experience?

I’ve ended up splitting mine in half and taking half in the morning and half at night. You can get 10mg tablets, but I haven’t bothered to do that so far. My hot flushes, which were making my life a misery, lessened considerably when I did this. I had tried taking the full tablet both at night and in the morning, but was having hot flushes round the clock either way. I still have hot flushes round the clock, but they are less intense and more bearable.

Hi there,
My onc recommended taking Tamoxifen at night which I did (just before I went to sleep. No problems. No hot flashes ,only during chemo and the time I was on Zoladex, and then my periods returned. Also slept very well.
RoadRunner - unless a pill has a line down the middle, it is NOT recommended to break it in half.


Hi Sue

I am so sorry that the tamoxifen has caused you so much trouble especially because I know how much you suffered with your chemo. I do hope that the side effects die down for you. You are right you can not be expected to endure this for five years. My thinking was that should the side effects be bad for me I would stop taking it. I went throught the menopause
fifteen years ago and realise now that I was youngish for this to happen. Perhaps this is what has helped me now.

I hope so much that this sorts out for you.


On a lighter note I took my grandson to the Emergency Unit last week as he had trapped his finger in a heavy door at school. It was horrible. We were ushered into the x ray unit and then three technicians were trying to work out if he had broken it or not.

As he sat with his hand stretched out he layed his head on the table, looked up at me and said in a VERY loud voice “Nanny one IS bigger than the other”.

Hope this raised a smile.

Hi all,

Take mine in the morning, started 4 weeks ago. Pain in left leg only!? not sure if it is connected.
Anyone know what effect it has on endometriosis?
Also read on Dr.Susan Love that in the USA when you are on Tamoxifen you have yearly pelvic exams, do we get those here?

OC x

I take mine last thing at night just as I am going to bed … no hot flushes to report, but I think this is due to active ovary status.

Well ladies, thanks for your icomments.

I took last night’s tamoxifen immediately before going to bed, rather than in the evening. I also took a tramadol as insurance! I’m pleased to report, whilst stiff, I’m not sore. I’m only up because I appear to have been cuddling OH whilst sleeping - and was woken by an elbow in the face! You think I’d know after 18 years marriage to face away from him at night!

Margaret - thanks particularly for your good wishes - and your story about your grandson!


Iused to take it at night but kept forgetting, trying the mornings now but forgot this morning. Had 4 weeks off due to recon and am back into side effects. To get to the original point I was told to take it in the morning at first but due to my early starts thought he evening would be beter.

I cut them in two and take at roughly 9am and 9pm. I often forget but have never forgotten a whole days worth. My BC nurse said this was fine. I still get hot flushes and other “nasties” but I feel this works best for me. Hot flushes are definately worse if I get stressed or worried so I carry my knitting everywhere with me to keep my mind occupied.

Love to all

Thats interesting Debbie, I was speifically told to take them whole. Its amazing how different oncs have varying advice about this and other things, I suppose if it works its ok.


I have been on tamox for over 2 yrs now used to take it at night but i found i had so many flushes in the day.
I now take it in the morning and the flushes are less. I do think the weather has a definate affect on my flushes. Hot weather they are awful colder weather they improve. Other triggers which set of flushes are alchol, coffee and tea and situations where i feel anxious or nervous.

I always insist on the same brand of tamoxifen too APS for me.

I do have some joint pain and the weight gain is ‘awful’ but its not too bad and i often think i have a lot to be grateful for.


I take mine at night before I go to bed, I did orignally take it in the morning but the hot flushes were dreadful.

Good luck

Claire x