Vitamins and supplements while taking tamoxifen and herceptin

I was diagnosed with invasive DCIS last September and have had chemo (3 rounds EC, 3 rounds Docetaxel and phesgo), ive also had mastectomy surgery. And radiotherapy. Now taking tamoxifen and have a herceptin jab every 3 weeks.
The herceptin is giving me joint pain and the tamoxifen is giving me hot flushes.
Are there any vitamins or supplements i can take to help as ive read some can affect the way the tamoxifen and herceptin work. Which ones should i avoid?

Hi @nicolaclare

Welcome to the forum. I’m sure a BCN nurse will answer your question soon.

I too have had invasive bi lateral cancer with surgery, chemo, Herceptin continues until September, with Zolendronic acid infusions and Letrozole. I too have many side effects but I have taken supplements orally apart from Calcium and VitaminD that is prescribed.

I have Epsom Salt baths 3 times a week as the magnesium can help with aches. I find I’m in more pain and stiff in the morning, after a car journey or if I don’t move much. So movement helps a lot, I walk and do stretches. I started lifting some light weights but I have sore chest wall pain and nerve problems which could be chemo or radiotherapy related. I’m seeing a physio. I have sage, lemon and honey tea, I have a sage plant in the garden. I also have immune shot as a hot tea. See below.

Memorial Sloan is great for looking up contraindications of herbs with your medication. Dr Liz O’ Riordan recommended it.

I would talk to your team about any herbs or supplements you want to take as you don’t want them to reduce absorption your treatment.

There is also a group for HER2 buddies if you would like to join

Take care :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Hi nicolaclare

Thank you for posting.

Joint pain and menopausal symptoms including hot flushes are common side effects of breast cancer treatment and many people ask if vitamin and herb supplements can help these symptoms. There is often the belief that vitamins and herbs are safe as they are considered natural. However, there is much we don’t know about supplements and herbal remedies. Herbal treatments don’t have to comply with the same regulations or rigorous testing that conventional medicines do. For many products there is a lack of research to support their use, and some can interfere with conventional medicines including cancer treatments.

You can search this American website, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, for information about individual herbs and vitamins. Each has sections on existing evidence and what known interaction there is with other medications. You may find that that some herbs have different names in America. You can also search herbal products and supplements on the European website Complementary and Alternative Medicine for cancer and on the American website Medicine Plus

It is also important to speak to your treatment team, GP, or a pharmacist before taking any supplements.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events.

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Breast Care Nurse

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