Toe nails and Tamoxifen???


It may be just a coincidence, but i have been taking tamoxifen since sept, as a hormone therapy.
But have lost 2 toe nails! Not sure how but maybe i bumped them and not realised but 2 pulled strait off, there is another growing back!
Just wondered if anyone else had this happen! and my feet are always freezing and my shoes feel really uncomfortable even my most comfy pair :frowning: x

But it could just be me !!!1

Hi Cathy,

You don’t mention whether or not you had chemo. Taxotere/Doxetaxol (same drug, two names, often abbreviated on here as Tax) can cause nails to fall off, and if you had this drug it is quite possible that already damaged/broken nails have come away as they grew. What you describe is similar to what a lot of poeple who have Tax experience.

I have not heard of Tamoxifen doing this to nails, and given how it works it seems unlikely.

I have just lost a big toe nail that I stubbed badly when doing the BCC Ben Nevis climb back in September, so it can be a while before a damaged toe nail falls off, and we may have long forgotten bumping it when it happens.

Given that your feet are also cold and shoes uncomfy, I would be minded to speak to a GP just incase there is anyhting they can help with.

Hopefully you’ll get a more helpful answer soon.

Hi im on anastrozole and have lost both big toenails recently,cant remember stubbing them at all,but both have grown back.My physio says my hands and feet are unusually cold and suggested reynauds syndrome which I suppose could be to blame,havent really looked into that at all,just concentrating on side effects of anastrazole which are causing very painful bones and joints.Anyone else having the same problems??

I’m losing both my big toe nails too at the mo. I had FEC T late spring, I’m blaming that. Just as happy to blame Tam though, been on that a couple of months. Actually so long as I can pass the blame on to something rather than my clumsiness (and I really don’t remember banging them!) I don’t mind.

yes i started tamaxofen july and lost a couple of toe nails .

Hi Rev Cat

No i haven’t had Chemo/surgery using the Tamoxifen as hormone treatment to stop reacurring cysts.
I.m sure a few missing toe nails and achy bones is nothing compared to what some of you lovely ladies have been through xx


I had Epi/cmf chemo and I didnt lose any toe nails, then about 3 years after starting Tamoxifen I satarted losing my toenails, they kept growing and falling off for a good 6 months. It seems to have settled down. Wondered at the time if it was the Tamoxifen.

Carolyn x

Not noticed anything with my toe nails but my finger nails are horribly ridged and break much more easily than they ever used to. I have one thumb and one little finger nail that have broken off so short they are painful. Also my teeth are suddenly much more sensitive - all of them. I was wondering if these things were Tamoxifen and/or Zoladex related.

I didn’t have chemo so I can’t blame that!

I am pleased to note though, that Relon - so far, 1 week in - doesn’t seem to be causing any more SEs than previous brands. (She says removing fleece for the start of the evening 40 fleeces dance (winter version of 40 cardis)!)

It is possible that I might eventually be put on hormone treatment as my cancer is/was ES+ and PR+ but as I am post menopausal and have RA, I don’t know what to expect. I wouldn’t mind losing a toenail or two tho’ as I can’t cut them and they drive me nuts.!!


I’ve been taking Tamoxifen for about 6-8 months. 

Have had chemo ,radiotherapy and two years on Femara. 

Since going onto Tamoxifen I have had brittle and sensitive nails. 

My toenails become so sore after walking or exercise that I can’t even have a bed sheet touch them in bed. 

The biggest problem is from covered shoes but sometimes even the friction caused with open sandals hurts my toenails and makes them ache.