Mixing medicine has always been a concern for many. The body may have a negative reaction to the mixture of various chemicals in your system. A recent study confirmed one mixture to be less dangerous than expected. “A large study of patients with breast cancer who took the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen while taking an antidepressant were not found to have an increased risk of recurrence. The Kaiser Permanente study was published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Tamoxifen is a commonly prescribed generic drug taken by women with breast cancer to reduce their chances of developing a recurrence. Tamoxifen is recommended for five years, but has notable side effects including hot flashes, night sweats and depression. Since hormone replacement therapy is not recommended to alleviate these symptoms in breast-cancer survivors, antidepressants have been increasingly prescribed for relief. Almost half of the 2.4 million breast-cancer survivors in the U.S. take antidepressants.
Previous studies have suggested that antidepressants reduce tamoxifen’s effectiveness in lowering subsequent breast-cancer risk.
“Given that thousands of breast-cancer survivors struggle with depression, sleep disturbance, and other side effects while on tamoxifen, our study should help alleviate any concerns physicians have about prescribing antidepressants to their breast-cancer patients to help improve their quality of life,” said Reina Haque, PhD, MPH, research scientist, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Department of Research & Evaluation.”
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