hi i am currently on tamoxifen and haveing a bad time on it the doctor has talked about zolodex i would like to hear from anybody who has been on it and can tell me what side effects to expect i already have the hot flushes they say you can get mood swings are these bad or mild and the headaches are these bad thanks rose

Hi I was on Zoladex for two years the hot flushes are just about the same as tamoxifen. I didn’t get any headaches thank goodness my
Periods stopped while I was on zoladex and I
Only took one last week a year and a half after my last zoladex injection.marykate x

Hi Rose

I’m on Tamoxifen and Zoladex together, and initially it was pretty bad, in particular the sleepless nights. The hot flushes were a nuisance but I could cope with those, it was the lack of sleep that was the killer.

From what I’ve read about other women’s reaction to Zoladex, it seems to depend a lot on your age. If you are younger (particulary if you are many years pre-menopause) and therefore have high oestrogen levels, Zoladex will hit you harder than if you are in your late forties and heading naturally into menopause.

One other thing worth considering is that side effects can vary depending on the brand of Tamoxifen you are taking. I only found that out from this forum and later realised that Wockhardt was awful for me, and APS is OK. Other people find the reverse.

CC x

Hi Roseric,
I too was taking Tamoxifen, and then had zoladex added in to the mix!

For me, it was fine. My chemo ended mid feb, and then the zoladex started in May. I am 42, so well before menopause, but didn’t have a period in between. I don’t think my hormone levels had a chance to pick up after the Tax, before I started on Tamoxifen and the Zoladex.

I am very prone to headaches, but the zoladex did not make that any worse - better if anything, with less oestrogen flying around. I did find I would get a little tearful/moody round the last week of the 28day cycle, and I do know a few ladies on here have felt they were badly affected in terms of mood swings.

The following year I had an oophrectomy (sp??), so I am back to just the tamoxifen at the moment.

The good thing about Zoladex, is it is not permanent, so you can stop at any time if the SE’s are bad. Best of luck with it xx

i have only just had my first zoladex injection just over 2 weeks ago, so at bit early to tell i suppose. i have been on tamoxifen since march time though. as cheshire cheese said i have had sleep problems, since the tamoxifen, either sweats (not really bad soaking the sheets or anything but enough to wake me and be uncomfortably) or just tossing and turning and cannot sleep so have been tired.
a few days after the zoladex i did go extra tired and have had to lay down in afternoon quite a few days. i havent had headaches yet and sweats have been the same as before. i am not sure if my legs have been achey and ankles too when i have been sat a while and get up - nothing major though. i am 40 in a few weeks so was not near menapause yet as far as i know.
like TSR said you can try it and see how you get on.
the actually injection was far better than i was expecting too, hope the next one is and it wasnt a fluke!

I have been on Zoladex for nearly 2 weeks and Tamoxifen for nearly 3 weeks. So far, neither have caused hot flushes or disturbed sleep - other than a problem with indigestion discomfort from the Tamoxifen which makes it difficult to get off to sleep sometimes. I used to get that mid-cycle anyway, before BC!

I have not had any headaches, to speak of, or joint pain YET and my BCN says SEs are usually worst at the beginning. My Zoladex injections are 3-monthly for convennience, but I had a 1-month one to start with in case of side effects. My GP does the injections and he gave me a local anaesthetic so I didn’t feel a thing.

I have been extremely tired, but as I started Tamoxifen the day I finished Rads and Zoladex just a week after, the tiredness is more than likely to due to the Rads.I have felt much more energetic this last week - (such that I have done too much in the last couple of days, and am tired again today!)

If you are close to menopause, Zoladex should initiate it and then you will be able to stop Tamoxifen and go on to an Aromoatase Inhibitor instead.

I was on Zoladex for 8 months before having my ovaries removed. Perhaps if you are finding it hard to cope with Tamoxifen your doctor will want to switch you to Zoladex plus one of the other kinds of medications called aromatase inhibitors which you can only take once you are menopausal. I went onto this combination because I had a recurrence on Tamoxifen.
My experience was that I was fine with Zoladex, not hot flushes to speak of. But the aromatase inhibitor can give you aching joints and I have had this problem. Also, managing the monthly injections, although it sounds no big deal, is actually quite a hassle. I had very dry skin on Tamoxifen and did not have this with the other combination.

So you can always try and see what it does to you, as others say you can always stop it.


thank you so much for your comments the one thing i didn,t ask is do the injections hurt i,m a needle phob and are you guys taken tamox and zolodex because you are far from menopause as i am sort of on the cusp of it so to speak and i hoping to have it instead of tamox as i couldn,t tolerate both thanks rose

Hi roseric

The Zoladex injections don’t hurt me because my GP does them and always applies a dentist’s type local anaesthetic first - fantastic, I don’t feel a thing! But other ladies posting on here say they have the injection without any numbing at all and either it’s OK or it just stings for a very short while. Others apply Emla cream first, which also has a numbing effect.

I was offered Tamoxifen & Zoladex because my test results showed I was in a grey area as to whether I should have chemo or not. I turned down the chemo and was only then offered the Tam + Zol option, which is strictly in accordance with NICE guidelines - the combination is equivalent to some of the more old-fashioned types of chemo, but is only to be offered once the patient has rejected chemo. An approach which stinks, in my opinion. We should be told up front what all the options are.

Basically you will usually be offered Tamoxifen (whether with or without Zoladex) if you are pre-menopausal or will be put on aromatase inhibitors straight away if you are definitely post-menopausal. If you are on the cusp, you will probably be on Tamoxifen until blood tests show that you’re definitely post-m. This is the situation I am in - Dx at age 50, indeterminate menopausal status, so put on the Tam + Zol for 2 years, then due to have blood tests until at least 2 successive ones give a post-m result, then switch to AI’s.

CC x

thanks cc very imformative so it looks like i either stay on the tamox or the zoladex with tamox but i don,t think i can tolerate the tamox i have had a blood test to see if i have gone through the menopause which i very much doubt as i have had a period three months ago so i don,t know whats going to happen its a bxxxxxger isn,t it stuck between a rock and a hard place my onc didn,t seem bothered about me stopping tamox in fact he didn,t seem bothered about anything so whats a girl todo lol it would be good if i have gone through the menopause though as more choices its about time they looked into more of us on the cusp girls
rose x

i think if you are on zoladex then an aromatese inhibitor is then an option, if you cant tolerate tamoxifen. i met a lady other week at a centre i visit, and she had been on tamoxifen for only 3 or 4 months and had a suspected blood clot which they think may be to do with the tamoxifen. apparantly there was a history of blood clots in the family. anyway she was saying about her onc had said about going on zoladex and then one of the other tablets or having ovaries out and one of the tablets.
i had my first zoladex injection just over 2 weeks ago. didnt have any numbing cream or anesthetic (was a bit worried about this!) anyway it was ok and was surprised it didnt hurt much. the nurse was good though.

Wonder if anyone could help me, I started zoladex last week. Didn’t have any pain when nurse did the injection. And so far the only side effect is a pain in my shoulders. But I have had a small period should this be happening, or am I just being silly.
Thanks for any help in advance.

Hi Jane,

While you are waiting for replies from your fellow forum users I have put for you below the link to BCC’s publication of Zolodex (also known as Goserelin) I hope you find this helpful.


Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Thanks jo
I did revive that booklet but I could not have looked at it as well as I should have.
Makes sense now

Hi Roseric,
I was on Tamoxifen for 3 1/2 years. I am now on Zoladex and Letrozole and have no side effects whatsoever. I believe but can’t guarantee that I am premenopausale. The mood swings have been an integral part of my personality since teenage time, so I can’t blame it on medication… ?
Good luck with this.

I am from 2010 on both of them zolodex+tamoxifen. My periods still keep going and ER level sometimes 70, sometimes 200 and sometimes 25. Must be careful with zoladex -Sometimes does not help.If you got mood swings and hot flushes - it is good thats mean zozadex is working. Smetimes even if periods are stoped ER level still is high.

zibzab - does doctor do blood tests on you regularly to check your oestrogen levels? if so why do they do this


thanks again for your replys ive only gone and done another post on the same subject as forgot about this one thats tamoxifen head for you

I do not know realy why… Have to ask doctor. I think they are just doing but never checked properly.