I found this thread as I am considering paying privately for Tamoxifen. I've been using the RelonChem brand for a while now - to reduce the aweful side effects I've been told to split the tablets to get a morning and evening 10mg dose. My GP won't prescribe 10mg tablets due to the cost (and also tell me they don't advocate splitting tablet!). However, like those of you who've been using the Teva brand, my pharmacist finds it hard to source the RelonChem, so every 2 months when my prescription is due I go through the stress of trying to get my tablets. This time I spent hours ringing different pharmacies trying to source the tablets - Sainsburys saved the day!
I find it difficult to understand why, when do many of us use Tamoxifen, there are problems getting it.
Hi, I don't know if Teva comes back, but you can use following brands Actavis and RelonChem which have the most similar ingredients (I have found) and the very important factor that they don't contain lactose. Try one of those instead. At least the pharmacies have a few options now. I am using RelonChem and just restate on my prescription requests that these are the brands I can accept due to having no lactose.
Don't apologize for how you are feeling! We've all been there one way or another and it is just hard work, when we have to take control ourselves. All the best.
My pharmacist has managed to get tamoxifen for me again from last month. They are only making them in 10mg tablets so script has to be for 2 x 10mg
Dont give up. X
Hi, sorry just want to have a moan really. Is there any sign of the Teva brand coming back? I had five years on Teva with very few side effects. Since last September it has been a nightmare trying to find another brand that suits me. Having run out of options i was moved to Letrozole and that is worse, do the side effects get better over time? I now have pain in my hip, hands and feet. The pain in my right hip keeps me awake and if I don't move regularly my feet seize up. I also have dizzy and nausea spells. I am fed up with being in pain all the time and i dont know what to do. Sorry for moaning and it does feel trivial in the scheme of things when you read the news.... xxx
Another thing you need to be aware of is what it says on the prescription - pharmacies will only issue 20mg packets if it says 20mg, so in my case they had changed it to 10mg (take 2), so I had to get an amended prescription - don't throw the old one out though, as you might be lucky to find a pharmacy that still has 10mg packets, even if it's not the full dose; then they will owe you the rest.
Hi, I am so sorry you are feeling so rubbish! The advice in the past (which was in relation to getting pregnant) is that you need to wait 2 months before Tamox is out of the body. So I would say 2 months is a safe period.
However with pharmacies you unfortunately need to ask around - don't stick with one pharmacy or they must at least try to order in what you want. If they can't get what you want, go to a different pharmacy.
If you can get someone to help you, great. But if not make a short list of some of your nearest pharmacies (and late night ones) - call them up to ask what brands they have in store and what they can order in. If you can't get through, then you may need to go to the store. It is worth trying ASDA pharmacies, Sainsburys, Boots, Superdrug and I now use one that's a late night pharmacy locally; they seem to have more in stock (called Olive) but I don't know, if they're a chain.
In the Olive pharmacy we looked through the ingredients.
The ingredients you need to compare are as follows under point 6. in the tablet information leaflet:
ACTAVIS - "The active substance...is tamoxifen (as citrate)... The other ingredients are calcium hydrogen phosphate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, povidone, magnesium stearate and colloidal anhydrous silica" - PLEASE NOTE THE ACTUAL MANUFACTURER SAYS RELON CHEM, so Relon Chem may be similar or the same - ask the pharmacist to compare.
TEVA - "The active ingredient is...Tamoxifen... The other ingredients are mannitol (E421), povidone (E1201), sodium starch glycolate, colloidal silicon dioxide (E551), magnesium stearate (E572), hypromellose (E464), polyethylene glycol and the colour, titanium dioxide (E171)."
You can see from these comparisons that they are similar. Don't use a brand that has lactose in it - I think it was called Tillarem and I'm sure there are others.
I hope this is helpful and that you still have some time, before you run out of dose. Next time I need to plan well in advance for any more hiccups - the pharmacists know that there is often a stock problem with TEVA.
Hello RuthN, I have been having the same problem with Teva. I also called the manufacture who told me 20mg had been discontinued but 10mg was still available. My gp wouldn't prescribe that unless it was a private prescription. So after debating about the cost I thought I would rather stick with it. Only to find they couldn't get 10mg either!! What now? It is so frustrating I could cry. I did find out that it can be made as a syrup form, but as this is made individually couldn't be guaranteed to suit you and only as a private prescription. Thanks for sharing another brand close to Teva I will see if my pharmacy can get that one. At the moment they can only get wockhardt which i cant take. Currently taking a break, but feel worse than when I was taking it. Is this normal? Do you know how long it takes to get out your system? Not sure what normal is anymore. I just know i am fed up of feeling rubbish. Sorry I'm starting to moan now, when i only wanted to say thank you!! Xx
I think it's the fillers they add to the tablets that make a difference to the side effects people experience - some are a lot more sensitive than others to these ingredients.Some people can change brand without even noticing .
You're welcome, don't put up with the pain when it's a long-term drug. I think if it doesn't work for you, there must be something better!
Thanks for the post RuthN. I will ask my pharmacist to try get in that brand.
Ive been on the MAH for a couple of weeks and the aches, sweats etc are coming back. Sorely tempted to stop until teva is available. X
Only tried Teva and Actavis, as I have read so many stories and it's better for the body to stick with the same - it makes common sense. So part of the stress is mentally really! But why they make brands with different side effects is unknown - we should be advised what benefits they have compared with others, if they want us to buy into trying something different. I am known to be stubborn 😉
This has been going on on and off for at least the last 4 years with Teva Tamoxifen - it's stressful when you have found a brand that agrees with you and you to have to deal with the unknowns of another brand .Some people don't seem to be nearly as affected as others by changing brands .Have you tried others ?
I don't know who will see this message. I have had problems today sorting out the next dose of tamox (not the first time), as I insisted on the TEVA brand too.
Another brand close to TEVA is ACTAVIS, so anyone on Teva try and ask the pharmacies to order that until Teva is back (if ever?).
The problem was my doctor had changed the prescription to say 10mg (take 2) because I went on Teva 10mg packets, so today the pharmacies said 'we can't issue 20mg because it doesn't say it'. So I had to call the doctors back and get the duty doctor to give me a new prescription before closing time.
Now I've been calling night pharmacies around and one has a 'split' packet of Actavis, which means it's been opened but the pharmacy said it's all there, so gonna pick that up tomorrow as my saving grace.
It's a pain dealing with this again and again when the industry is not patient focused. I'm too anxious changing brand that I'd rather not take it, until I get the right one! Mentally it's difficult to cope with as much, I don't think they realize...
I had the exact same problem as you and also called TEVA. I’ve been told they have supply issues until March - are you having this issue again in getting TEVA?
ive been given another brand to try (MAH) and am dreading it as most others have caused debilitating side effects.
Everyone seems to react differently to different brands. I came out in a shocking rash almost as soon as I started taking Wockhardt, so I was taken off tamoxifen completely for a month and then told to go and find myself a brand that suited me! I only chose Teva after reading other people's posts. To be fair to Wockhardt I was in the middle of radiotherapy when I started taking them & the rash may have been caused by something else, although it did go when I stopped taking them, and never came back when I was on Teva. Fingers crossed for the next lot! Good luck with yours....
Thanks Julieanne - I’d have been exactly the same if I’d called them! I must try again to persuade my GP to prescribe Teva, I’ve been moved onto Wockhardt. It doesn’t seem too bad, but I just felt better in myself when on Teva. Xx
Julieanne52 - thank you for posting that, that’s really helpful to know. Did Teva tell you why they have stopped making the 20mg?
I also have Teva specified on my tamoxifen prescription (I first took Wockhardt but had a bad reaction to that). I have a very understanding and helpful local pharmacist who has been supplying 10mg tablets for a few months now, but I was told last week that they can't find any more. I have just called Teva UK, who tell me that the 20mg tablets have indeed been discontinued, but that they are continuing to produce the 10mg tablets. Unfortunately they are currently out of stock of these, due to a production issue, but they are hoping to have new supplies available some time in quarter one of this year (Jan to March, in other words). I will have to try something else for a while (I have been given Mylan) but am relieved to know that Teva should be available again soon in case I do have problems with the alternative. Just thought I'd share this in case anyone else out there is having a panic attack at the thought of changing brands!
Just joined up as wanted to reply to your quandary - I was told by the pharmacist at my GP I could no longer have Teva tamoxifen as was no longer available. I did some research and called TEVA who were most helpful and confirmed they still produce 10mg (this was in July) - went back to my surgery and said still being produced and I could take 2 tabs a day instead of one (not difficult!!!!) There was all sorts of huffing and puffing and my prescription would have to go back to the Dr and another one drawn up!!!! can you believe it!! The pharmacist also said it wasn't available through their central supplier. Ah Ha here is the real reason. So back I went to Teva who said if the GP's pharmacist would call them they could get it sent to their distributer no problem. More huffing and puffing and I got a call a few days later to say my prescription had been filled and I picked up my Teva 10 mg !!! The reason I didn't want to change and made such a fuss is that I have been on it for years with no apparent side effects and it was the only dairy free tamoxifen and dairy free is part of my regime. So, dont be told you can't have it and am afraid may mean a call or two to TEVA - let me know how you go -
I have Teva specified on my prescription and still can't get it, my pharmacy and others have said they cannot get hold of it, so after having 1 month of Genesis I am no on another brand, they said its all in short supply and I have to have what I can... great!
I have just been told by Boots that to order Tamoxifen Teva brand they would need a prescription with Teva stated on it. This is because it is a more expensive brand and they can only claim the cost back if it is specified by a doctor.
Seems I spoke to soon.. just been to collect this month's Tamoxifen.... and they can't get hold of Genesis brand now either... said there is a real shortage of Tamoxifen of any type! So now I have ..Relon Chem... eek. I hope they are kind to me... its so frustrating all this chopping and changing!
Sorry for the delay Jenny I live in Suffolk, seems we have Genesis here, well until I get the next lot then who knows what I'll get
not sure which part of country you live in, but the genesis brand is very available here where I live in west Lancs. when I was looking for my own brand this week at least 3 pharmacies told me they only had the genesis brand.
one of the pharmacists told me that supplies of any brand of tamoxifen are very low at moment across the uk....don’t know whether we can blame that on Brexit.!....but who knows why.
every time I pick up a prescription (every 2 months) I end up going to around 4 or 5 pharmacies to find a brand I can tolerate well.
My mum cannot get Genesis tamoxifen any more in her area despite it being stated on her prescription. I am would like to ask you where abouts you live in case we can get it from your area. My mum is 91 and she has reacted to all other brands. Thanks in anticipation.
WiltshireJules - that's brilliant that you are going to write to the paper and anyone else who might help. I've just moved house and am still unpacking, so I don't have time at the moment to do that - but I'm right behind you and will try to write to support you soon if you can keep me posted?
That's a shame that their response is so bad in what brand is given but I do hope that the Genesis brand works for you, I haven't used that one.
I agree re how this has come about at the same time as the HRT problem, again still needed so why give people the unnecessary stress. I am definitely going to write to the paper about this and I think maybe the powers that be too!!
Hi thanks for your responses. I have Teva written on my prescription but they just ignore it and tell me they get what they are given. However,. One month in on Genesis and i think the stiffness is improving so am sticking it out for a while. Theres been a lot in the press recently about shortage of HRT maybe this is going to be the same?
Morning All, hope you're all well.
Since my previous post I have gone back to my GP after checking with pharmacy first and yes they have changed to the 10mg Teva. The pharmacy have said though that this is also on a limited amber list.
None of this situation makes any sense, it's not like Tamoxifen is no longer needed! Am thinking needs to be highlighted in the national press, and am happy to write to them.
Kip - it's not a rant, this is the right place to offload. Can your GP prescribe a specific brand for you? I have Teva written on my prescription.
That said, I am currently trying Wockhardt Tamoxifen and touch wood so far I've found it to be fine. However, when I spoke to the pharmacist at my GP surgery she said that they are moving people onto the 10mg Teva Tamoxifen (taking double dose to make 20mg). I wonder if this is countrywide or localised?
I have been trying to stick to Teva for the last few months after being on various brands for the last 9 months. Now can't get hold of it and have been given Genesis... I've always had joint pain and hot flushes but they are so much worse now... I cannot make my pharmacist understand how I need to keep to one brand.. Even though it was written on my prescription every time... Sorry just so fed up with being told "tamoxifen is tamoxifen"... Rant over
Hi everyone, I was diagnosed 2016 and following mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy, I started tamoxifen. I'm writing because I believe the chopping and changing brands of any drugs causes SE. I take gabapentin and propranolol as well as tamoxifen and most months I am given different makes for each if these. All this change and I'm sure because my body doesn't know what's going on. The chemists don't seem to realise or agree that we react differently to the additives as we are individuals. My mum was taking a drug called nifedipine but the brand called Adalat. She was fine on this for years until the chemist struggled to get that brand; and hey ho they gave her a different brand and her legs/feet started to swell really bad. I didn't connect the two but my 92yr old mum was convinced it's the different brand. GP stopped the nifedipine and legs went down immediately, but it's the same active ingredient, so the additives must work very differently to each other. Why is the severity of these SE from additives not known ? There are so many of us who just want to be given one brand and left to get in with it, not to be fobbed off with the cheapest brand each month (also, in the long term it isn't cost effective; I return the brands that don't suit me, but they can't be used by anyone else so they're disposed of, what a waste. Just needed to get that off my chest (no pun intended) as it frustrates me that the pharmacists aren't doing something about the chopping and changing and consequently, the suffering
Hi Lynn thanks so much for sharing this, that’s so helpful to know. Do you mind me asking roughly what area of the country you are in as different health authorities may be different.
This happened to me today "no more Teva brand".... the chemist told me after being on it for 11 months. I found it to be the best of a bad bunch!!
So straight back to the doctor who was extremely helpful and he changed my prescription to 10mg tablets (2 a day). Chemist didn't look to pleased (not sure why) but just had a phone call off them and they have got them for me
Go back to your doctors ladies and get them to change your prescription
Hi Jules - Thanks for making some enquiries, I'll be really interested to hear what you find out (especially as I'm in the middle of moving house and don't have time at the moment to research it myself). I haven't found anything on BCC yet, their information leaflet mentions that people sometimes suffer different SEs from different brands but I haven't found any more yet. Thanks again, Evie xx
Thank you for your reply. That's what I understood from the responses here too. I'm going to make enquiries with my GP and the breast centre and will report back. Does Breast Cancer Care here have any guidance at all? Thank you
Hi WiltshireJules - I'd also be interested to hear if the 10mg Teva is available anywhere. I'm sure I read somewhere that it cost a lot more than the 20mg for some reason so the NHS may not allow it? I've just had to move to Wockhardt and am keeping my fingers crossed i won't suffer new SEs. My consultant was very dismissive about the various brands causing different SEs. Hmm....
Hello, this is my first contribution to the forum on Tamoxifen, particularly the Teva brand. I was diagnosed 3 years ago, was very lucky they caught early. I have had issues with brands other than Teva too, mine were mainly feeling very tired and sluggish when I took the other ones and headaches too. Teva seems to be the only one that agrees with me. Having read a lot of the responses here they say that the Teva 20mg is being discontinued, does anyone know if the 10mg is still available? Like someone said on the messages it's not like we have a choice in having to take Tamoxifen but would be so helpful to us all if they only listened to what's being said here. Any info anyone? Thank you
Only 1 brand of Tamoxifen and 1 brand of Letrozole is offered in Canada and is free. After TEVA, our government shift to Nolvadex, tamoxifen.
For letrozole, I am offered ACCORD.
Just like to say that I have used Teva for the last 4 years and apart from hot flushes and a few minor niggles have been fine on it. Now it’s been discontinued!!! The chemist gave me another brand to try and after an initial “getting used to it” seemed OK and low and behold they now are in short supply of that. They did however offer me Wockhart, which like one of the other ladies also bought me out in an horrendous and extremely itchy rash. I cannot take any of their products, probably why there is so much of it on offer. What to do now! Honestly, it’s not like we WANT to take tamoxifen we HAVE to.
I was originally on the Teva brand of tamoxifen and took that for 11 months. No major issues just the expected hot flushes. As Teva no longer make the 20 mg tablet I've swapped to the Wockhart version of Tamoxifen. The pharmacy were very helpful and checked the "other ingredients" to see which of the 2 available brands was the closest match to Teva.
I know in theory that their should be no difference. However within 3 days of being on Wockhart an itchy red rash appeared where I'd had the radiotheraphy. I mentioned this at my recent hospital appointment and was made to feel like an idiot because I said it's only since I changed brand that this has happened.
I was asked if I'd been out in the sun, my turn to look at the surgeon like he was an idiot.... I live in North Yorkshire and its not been warm and sunny here since Easter!
Anyway I have an appointment in 3 months to see if the rash has settled and in the mean time I've conducted a rather unscientific experiment by swapping back to some Teva tablets. Hey presto the rash went away. After a week I swapped back to Wockhart and what do you know the rash is back.
It seems to be worse during the gym sessions where I sweat a lot then it goes very red and itchy.
Due to go on an activity holiday soon and slightly concern how my skin will react to some sun as I'll be outside more than normal, but not sun bathing.
Fingers crossed it gets no worse or settles down.
Teva is just one of the brands of tamoxifen. There seem to be a few brands out there and lots of people report differences in the side effects depending on which brand they take, even though the active ingredient is the same. Teva has been better than Wockhardt brand for me but it may be different for other people. But now Teva have stopped making the 20mg tamoxifen tablet - so I need to try a different brand. Which one are you on? Do you have side effects?
Hi there x I'm a year in the clear and on tamoxifen. Just reading this and wandering what is teva? Is it different? Xxx
I tried to get my prescription for Teva brand of tamoxifen filled yesterday but was advised by the pharmacist that Teva have stopped making it. I’ve contacted Teva and they’ve replied as follows:
”Please accept my sincere apologies that this product has been discontinued and is no longer available for sale.
We constantly review our product portfolio and look at the products that sit within it. This is something we do routinely and the decision to discontinue any product is made only where necessary, due to supply and demand. Please accept my apologies once again as we do fully understand the importance of all of our products to patients and this decision is never made lightly.
I apologise that the only advice we are able to give you would be to speak to your GP in relation to alternative products.”
I have some Mylan to try but am worried about what new/different side effects I’ll get!
Hi all although I am not on tamoxifen, I have been taking anastrozole since September last year, was given Accord brand since starting, yes I did get side effects, hot flushes and joint pain but on the whole found it manageable most of the time, then last month I was given wockhardt brand and after a week on these I was experiencing severe joint pain and more hot flushes, carried on taking them for the month but spoke to the pharmacist and asked not to be given wockhardt again, luckily I have been given Accord this month and although still having joint pain it has reduced to be manageable again. I am not saying I would not try a different brand but wockhardt is horrendous for me, best wishes to you all Eileen x
Hi I've just been told about Teva 20mg tamoxifen being discontinued. I've been on tamoxifen since Sept and suffered badly with hot flushes/night sweats at first. Think I was on Wockhardt then. When I went on Teva everything settled down (after a while) and I thought it was just my body getting used to tamoxifen, so I tried Wockhardt again (it seems to be the one my local pharmacy can easily get). But no, hot flushes returned quickly and so I went searching for Teva. Again it took a while for side effects to improve, but in the end they did.
So I'm not at all keen on taking Wockhardt, but I would value any advice as to other brands which might be manageable for me. I've been offered Mylan and will probably give it a try. Any others which anyone has tried?
Hi Yorkshire Tyke
Yes fingers crossed Wockhardt works for you - I’d be really interested to hear how you get on with that brand if you don’t mind coming back on here? I think that’s another of the big brands.
I'm in the same position as you. I've been on Teva for 1 year now and had no major issues with it. Called in to collect my prescription last weekend only to find I'd been given a different brand which really upset me.
Contacted Teva and got the same bland corporate response.
Spoke to the Pharmacy and they've given me Wockhardt to try. Decided to try it before I completely run out of the Teva to see how I get on.
Fingers crossed that my side effects stays as they are (hot flushes) which I can cope with.
If not I will ask GP for the 10mg tablets
I have been on teva tamoxifen now for 6 & 1/2 years, these are the only ones that agree with me, I have emailed teva, told me that they had been discontinued but 10mg are available for now, don’t know how long, waiting on doctor ring me tomorrow about this, the pharmacist said eventually there will be no teva in any medication, I said it’s a big company, but my opinion is it’s all due to cost, I got put on another brand been on it 5 days been getting really bad cramps and bloating in my stomach and the joint pain is much worse, I know I am lucky enough at having been on them for a few years, but the way I feel if can’t even get the 10mg I’m thinking of stopping.