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Tamoxifen and weight gain

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

I think theres been some debate if Tamoxifen causes weight gain...cuz i know some of my docs says it doesnt but yet i blew up like a balloon filled with heilium and want no sharp objects around me cuz i might pop.
I have gained over 15 pounds, i know that doesnt sound like much but to me thats alot and its frustrating to try and put my regular jeans on that use to be kinda loose on me, to now referring to them as my skinny jeans cuz i have to literally squeeze into them and lay on the bed to get them zipped and tuck in my muffin top!
Well my point of all this is that i didnt take my Tamoxifen for almost a week and boy did i get some effects from that ...good and bad. The bad i got very emotional...as if i couldnt make up my mind how i was feeling...one minute i was happy the next cryin or mad...we all know that rollercoaster, but the good was i lost almost 3 pounds...i couldnt believe it, yet depressing i have over 4 years to go on this stuff and 4 more years of who knows how many more pounds!
So i think its safe for me to say that i know for me that Tamoxifen is what is causing my weight gain. Cant wait to get off it! :)

sea60's picture
sea60
Posts: 2601
Joined: May 2010

"Oink!"

Yes Jo Jo, I too have put on about 25 pounds. Ugh...still taking Tamoxifen. Maybe some of the weight is due to menopause and a desk job on top of the Tamoxifen.

But I hear ya, I've never been this heavy! I'm 5 ft 5 inches and my ideal weight is 130. I'm at 155.

There's always the good 'ol New Year's resolution!

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

to gain weight. I gained about 10 pounds, but not in one week. So don't know if the Tamoxifen can do that that fast. It's also extrememly hard to lose weight while on Tamoxifen. I tried so hard and it was just plain not happening.

It's also very common to be up and down emotionally. You're body's hormones are getting all messed up. It does get better over time, but know doubt about it, it's rocking going at first.

Hang in there. Things should level off. And...since I've been done with it (end of Aug.)
my weight has returned to "normal". I haven't had to 'diet' or anything. So, that should be some good news?! :)

Hang in there.

Blessings,
Sally

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5395
Joined: Oct 2010

but at same time as Cancer went through menopause, was on steriods for my ulcertive colits and tamoxifen-so not sure exactly what made me gain so much so quickly. I have always been THIN...now almost 3 yrs later I lost 10 lbs...(dr said slow going off but I did not think 3 yrs)

Jean 0609's picture
Jean 0609
Posts: 2329
Joined: Jun 2010

I had lost about 30 lbs. before I was diagnosed early last year. Once I stared chemo in June, I had gained back about 25 lbs. It's not fun trying to get it back off again, especially this time of year. Hugs, Jean

Heatherbelle's picture
Heatherbelle
Posts: 1221
Joined: Jun 2010

I was surprised when I got my first prescription of Tamoxifen and it said in the papers that it can cause weight LOSS, after hearing so many talk about weight gain while on it. Well, since stopping chemo & starting Tamoxifen, I've lost 9 pounds. Could be Tamoxifen, could be because I'm no longer getting the steroids that made me ravenously hungry, could be because I'm getting my strength and energy back, not really sure but I'm glad for it!
That being said, I still have quite a bit to lose - I was diagnosed a year and a half after I had my baby, still hadn't lost all of the 70lbs (yeah! i gained that much with both girls!) that I gained during my pregnancy. So I'm eating healthier (for the most part...) and hitting the treadmill as often as I can to try & get the rest off!
*hugs*
Heather

cahjah75's picture
cahjah75
Posts: 2623
Joined: Jun 2010

because of my age I will probably take something else. However, my sister took Tamoxifen for 5 years 9 years ago and she didn't gain any weight. She is still thin and went through menopause. Where as I gained 80#s during menopause. I went from 118# to 198# in 3+ years. Emotions have a lot to do with it. I cried all the time and eventually went on low dose HRT. I lost 30#s last fall and after being dx gained 25#! It's a never ending weight battle. Now, 11 years later I'm here and the 3rd of 4 girls with bc. Taking medication after treatment is an evil necessity to help insure a better future for us.

I love your description of getting into your jeans! I lost my figure so many years ago and had to go to elastic waisted pants )-:
{{hugs}} Char

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5395
Joined: Oct 2010

Misc other meds...so I would think no way to really know if makes you gain weight! with me (like many i am sure) I was in mid-menopause, almost 50 ( just age in general) and meds for other Chronic illness(s)! I wonder if any any statistics with younger women vs middle age? I just think so many factors!

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

I was 40 and still premenapausal when I started Tamoxifen. I gained a little, but not much. However, trying to lose ANY weight was near impossible. I agree, I think there are other factors and everyones bodies are different. Bummer is I get to go through all the menapause symptoms again when I truly reach menapause! Let's hope that won't be for another 5 or so years! Ugh. :)

Sally

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5395
Joined: Oct 2010

go through it all again...
I have always been THIN (not junk food eater etc) & then when gained so much so quickly ahhh

phoenixrising's picture
phoenixrising
Posts: 1509
Joined: Feb 2007

I put on 10-15 with Tamoxifen. I don't usually have to watch my weight but with that it didn't seem to matter how little I ate. I think water retention might play a part as well.

waffle8
Posts: 232
Joined: Mar 2010

Been on since end of July haven't gained weight but those hot flashes and night sweats are something else..

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7879
Joined: Aug 2005

Estrogen is being controlled by the Tamoxifen...

I'm no doctor, but I know I have a MUCH harder time to lose weight than before starting it...but then I'm almost 5 years older, and had surgical menopause...

I'm hoping in July, when 5 years is up and I stop the Tami, that my natural ability to lose weight will return...

In the mean time, I'm just extra careful about what I eat....

Ain't it GRAND to be a girl???? ROFLMAO!

Hugs, Kathi

Margerite
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2011

breast cancer 7 months ago , i declined on the chemo ,dr wants me on tamoxifen ,i have been reading and reading and making myself insane ,, i hear no weight gain ,i hear weight gain , i hear no hot flashes, i hear hot flashes ,what the hell is going on ??

missingtexas's picture
missingtexas
Posts: 146
Joined: Jul 2010

I have had no weight gain...actually some weight loss at the beginning mainly because it made me so sick I couldn't eat. However, I also am still getting periods and I think that may contribute. I think the menopause makes it worse? I don't know. :( I get a ton of back, hip and leg pain that all started when I started the Tamoxifen and had one doc tell me it wasn't from that and another say it was absolutely from that.

Heatherbelle's picture
Heatherbelle
Posts: 1221
Joined: Jun 2010

Dana- i'd look into seeing a pain management specialist for the pain that you're getting. Both she and my new oncologist agreed that it was the tamoxifen that was giving me such terrible pains. I had 6 or 7 weeks of physical therapy, twice a week for an hour, to work on my knees & hips, and that made SUCH a difference. It really helped. Of course you know im off tamoxifen now, but the therapy helped so much. I had been on percocet since I started chemo because of the intense pain, and now I'm not on anything stronger than ibuprofen & the occasional ice pack :)
*hugs*
heather

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

The two year stint I did with chemo and the steroids it comes with put on a whopping 70 lbs. I was only able to shed 30 of it until recently (12 years later). It is okay though JoJo because you are still here and there is just more of you to adore! Keep working on beating the beast you can work on the battle of the bulge once you are over this battle, like I said it took me 12 years but I have finally shed most of those pounds and even if I had never done so the fact that I am still here is worth 70 lbs.

Hugs,

RE

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5395
Joined: Oct 2010

about same time I went on tamoxifen i was also on steriods..I gained about 25 lbs within 4-6 mths...then off steriods (I don't eat much or junk food) and never lost it until recently..about 20lbs...due to hysterectomy...prior to surgery I was taken off tamoxifen..now almost 3mths..I am now waiting for mail order to restart...I"ll see if I regain any of the weight..

Denise

mollieb
Posts: 148
Joined: Jun 2011

The point of Tamoxifen is to prevent a recurrence of estrogen-receptive breast cancer. Tamoxifen occupies the place in a cancerous cell where estrogen would otherwise attach itself, preventing the cell from feeding on estrogen. No food, and it can't grow. Yes, the side effects can be frustrating, but as far as I am concerned they beat the alternative. Talk to your doctor and anyone else you can find about how to control weight gain. Don't stop taking Tamoxifen because of fifteen pounds.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3994
Joined: Oct 2009

My oncologist told me I would gain weight and he said that I could gain as much as 40 lbs. I didn't, but I did gain about 10-15 lbs. The good news is that I did lose the weight when I stopped the drug and the best news is that I am still alive when, back in 1987, they told me that my prognosis was not good. :-) All because of the wonder drug tamoxifen!

I think it really helped that he warned me because it made me be more careful and, although I was more tired on tamoxifen, I tried to be more active.

waffle8
Posts: 232
Joined: Mar 2010

I didn't notice when I started to read this thread that it was an older one! but then I saw my old response! Well here I am 6 months later and I have now gained weight! I do blame it on the tamoxifen!

Catmason
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2012

What a relief it is to see that my frustration with Tamoxifen is not exclusive to me. I have always been able to control my weight - I was an athlete in high school so exercise has always been part of the picture and when I diet, I am dedicated. It seems now that the more conscientious I am about dieting, the more weight I gain. And then a friend told me to try just chilling and not watching every morsel I put in my mouth and I gained 5 more pounds. Aarrrghh! Just frustrating but it makes me feel so much better to know I am not alone

JuJuBeez's picture
JuJuBeez
Posts: 332
Joined: Apr 2010

I haven't really gained any weight... I fluctuate +/- the same 7 lbs... BUT I do think it's harder for me to lose weight than before. I've been on Tamoxifen since Aug 2010. I blame every little weird and frustrating thing on Tamoxifen.. LOL

Frankie Shannon
Posts: 457
Joined: Oct 2011

I also gained 20 lbs from Tamoxifen and yes that is a side affect of it.
Hugs Frankie

RozHopkins
Posts: 470
Joined: Dec 2010

Yes to weight gain. Though sounds excessive I take around 8 or 9 classes per week in the gym. But these aren't kick boxing or Zumba type classes (though I love watching others, to fast for me). Yoga, Pilates and others. I know its not my age or muscle build up. At any other time I would be a good 14 pound lighter doing this amount of activity. Plus I'm drinking all natural, home made fruit slushes through the day and much less food. Haven't lost one pound so dread to think what I'd look like if didn't hit the gym. It can be very sole destroying, especially if you saw what I look like at the gym. Guess who gets hot flashes whilst exercising, I hope this drug is worth it.

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

I'm not a candidate for Tamoxifen , wish I had the type of bc to be on it..I'm triple negative...anyway my best friend is on it and she's put on 20 pounds since going on Tamoxifen....gone from 130 to 150 ...and she's an avid tennis player, playing 3-4 times a week...she can't drop a pound! Plus she works in her yard all the time and is on the go constantly.....

So it's obvious by all these replys that Tamoxifen does indeed cause weight gain..
Hugs,Nancy

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5395
Joined: Oct 2010

I was not/ am not sure I gained 25 lbs..but put on steriods while going through radiation...so was it that or tamoxifen? I lost some but I have always been THIN..not junk food eater-only eat when hungery! OR IS IT I am now 52 yrs old...?

unsure...or combo of all

Denise

BethInAz's picture
BethInAz
Posts: 203
Joined: Jan 2010

Jo Jo: I gained about 9 pounds on tamoxifen - my GP said that was pretty good since she's seen women put on 25 pounds! It's that whole "being pushed into menopause" thing that causes the weight gain, I think. I have good news, though! I'm finally being successful in getting the weight off! I went online to http://caloriecount.about.com where you can log your food, your activity, and your weight daily. My GP said to limit intake to 1200-1400 calories per day and exercise 30 minutes 6 days per week. I've been faithfully doing the calorie counting and I swim daily. I've been really excited to have lost 15 pounds since end of January! It's slow and it takes willpower but it's doable! And YOU can do it! B.

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