tamoxifen

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tamoxifen

(təmŏk`sĭfĕn'), synthetic hormone used in the treatment of breast cancerbreast cancer,
cancer that originates in the breast. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (following lung cancer). Although the vast majority of the cases occur in women, some men also get breast cancer.
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. Introduced in 1978, tamoxifen is used to prevent recurrences of cancer in women who have already undergone surgery to remove their tumors and to control metastatic breast cancer. In breast tissue, tamoxifen blocks the effect of estrogen on cancerous cells that need estrogen to grow; not all breast cancers are affected by tamoxifen and other selective estrogen receptor modulators. In postmenopausal women with breast cancer, aromatase inhibitors, which block the production of estrogen outside the ovaries, are typically used instead of tamoxifen. In 1998, a large study of healthy women at high risk for breast cancer showed that tamoxifen can also prevent first occurrence of the disease; women who took the drug had a 45% lower incidence of cancer that those who received a placebo, and tamoxifen is now also used to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high risk patients. Adverse effects include and increased risk of uterine and endometrial cancer, blood clots, stroke, and cataracts.
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AstraZeneca has seen its Zestril drug hit by generic competition since July while Prilosec was affected from early December and Nolvadex will be hit from February.
Zeneca's tamoxifen -- labeled as either Nolvadex or the generic sold by Barr -- is the only tamoxifen available.
The same Nolvadex tamoxifen tablet that costs nearly $1.
Other drugs under the same threat next year include Zestril (to combat blood pressure) and Nolvadex (breast cancer treatment).
A nonsteroidal anti-estrogenic agent for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) following breast surgery and radiation therapy Nolvadex is indicated to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer.
The ads, which were created and paid for by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which sells the drug tamoxifen under the brand-name Nolvadex, seem to echo messages and sentiments long expressed by the women's health movement.
The products range consists of Tenormin, Inderal, Zestril and Etizem (cardiovascular; Nolvadex and Zoladex (anti-cancer), Fluothane and Diprivan (anaesthesia); Hibiscrub and Hibicet (antiseptics); Proxen and Synflex (NSAIDs) and Meronem (antibiotic).
AstraZeneca added the sales performance from these growth products was expected to continue in 2003, enabling it to absorb 'most of the impact' of generic competition to three drugs - ulcer treatment Prilosec, gastrointestinal drug Nolvadex and heart drug Zestril.
Special Considerations: In the study that led to approval, the side effects of Nolvadex in women with DCIS were similar to those in other trials of Nolvadex and included hot flashes and vaginal discharge.
The makers of tamoxifen, marketed under the brand name Nolvadex, acknowledge several side effects: increased fertility (but warn against using oral contraceptives because they can change the effects of the drug), blurred vision, confusion, pain or swelling in legs, shortness of breath, vaginal bleeding, insomnia, hot flashes, headaches, itching in genital area, nausea, vomitting, weight gain and skin rash.
Drug resistance: There remains a significant need to improve current therapies where drug resistance develops against cytotoxic and hormonal therapies; for example, between 25-35% of patients develop resistance to Nolvadex (tamoxifen).
He believed the expected cost savings could offset the shorfalls in profit over the years 2001-2002 as patents expire on Losec and on Zeneca's Zestril and Nolvadex.