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Tamoxifen

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4520
Joined: Aug 2009

is there a difference between generic tamoxifen and name brand. I know with some meds this is true, but wondered if any of your docs had said anything about this.

MsGebby's picture
MsGebby
Posts: 659
Joined: Oct 2011

but I will find out.   Let me know what your doctor says.  I am taking the real deal, not generic.  

*smiles*

Mary

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 408
Joined: Oct 2012

This was one prescription that was not given to me in a generic form.  Not sure if it is because tamoxifen is considered chemotherapy.  My insurance covers this drug different from all of my other prescriptions in that I pay $0.  I had gotten a refund check in the mail that told me about this.

 

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

Tamoxifen is a hormonal therapy drug for those whose tumors were ER or PR positive.  It is a very old drug and some drugs in that category depending on your insurance, can be 0 cost to the patientt.

 

Best,

 

Doris

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 408
Joined: Oct 2012

I was just passing on what the letter from my insurance company (BC/BS) had said was the reason for refunding my prescription co-pay.

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

I have BC/BS and once the pharmacist said I didn't have to pay.  I didn't ask why, just grateful.  It never happen again either.  Though I keep hoping it will.

 

Doris

sdukowitz
Posts: 250
Joined: Nov 2011


sdukowitz
Posts: 250
Joined: Nov 2011

 


 

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

Interesting.I didn't know chemo was considered chemotherapy.Been taking it for 2 1/2 years and wasnt told that but was told it would help with possible reoccurance of breast cancer or to keep the cancer  from spreading to other areas of the body. I pay something like $10 for a month supply.

Lynn Smith

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I'd like to know the answer to that too Carkris.  Tamox is chemotherapy?  As far as I know it is considered hormone therapy, not chemotherapy.   Perhaps it is placed under something related to chemotherapy/breast cancer according to your insurance as that is what it is for, breast cancer and they might just have one group for it as under drugs or chemotherapy, but, I don't think it is. 

Jan

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

I wonder how any could consider Tamoxifen could be considered chemo because it doesn't actually KILL any cells, right? It stops the body cells from using estrogen but doesn't acutally kill any cells,right? If it was considered a chemo, then how could it be prescribed for DCIS? PURE DCIS is only found in the milk ducts, therefore a systemic chemo is never standard treatment. When you look at what Tamoxifen does, compared to chemo  by definitions, I don't see how it could be considered chemo.

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 408
Joined: Oct 2012

I wonder if it is more how pharmaceutical companies define them.  Who knows?  I can't think that it is something an insurance company decides on its own.  It is weird.

Here is a link to a pharm site that has it listed as a chemo drug --

http://www.srspharma.com/chemotherapy-drugs-for-breast-cancer.htm

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

That company's headquarters is located in India. I think that may have something to do with it. They do list several international satellites, but I assume the headquarters in India writes the information and policies.

cancer.org gives a definition of chemotherapy "Chemotherapy (chemo) uses anti-cancer drugs that are put into a vein, a muscle, or taken as a pill. Chemo drugs enter the bloodstream and go throughout the body to reach and destroy the cancer cells."

That fact alone proves that Tamoxifen is not a chemotherapy. Tamoxifen does travel through the body to reach and destroy cancer cells. cancer.org says this about Tamoxifen: Tamoxifen is a special type of hormone drug called a selective estrogen-receptor modifier or SERM. This drug binds to estrogen receptors. In the cells of some tissues (like the breast), this blocks the action of estrogen, so that cells (like some cancer cells) that need estrogen to divide stop growing and die. In other cells and tissues (like the bones and the uterus), tamoxifen acts like a weak estrogen

Like I said, I think it has to do with the company's headquarters in India writing the information and policies. I have not found any information that says Tamoxifen is a chemo in the US.

If insurance companies thought it was a chemotherapy, it would not be approved for DCIS, since DCIS is contained only within the milk ducts, and therefor does not need a systemic product like chemo, and insurance would not approve it for DCIS.

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Tamoxifen is not chemo.  It is a hormone blocking drug for bc patients that are ER and PR positive. 

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

I made a crucial typo....Tamoxifen DOES NOT travel through the body to reach and destroy cells.

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

The above post I had made a mistake.I said I didn't know chemo was chemotherapy or something like that.I meant to say I didn't know Tamoxifin was chemoterapy. I've taken tamox  for 2 1/2 years and when I started  my oncologist told me it was a estrogen blocker to help me stay in remission.I had DCIS and what I was told to take.My tumor was very small so I wasn't given chemo or radiation.

Tamox has  alot of side effects like chemo.I remember hair loss, loss of appetite and so many other side effects but every med I take seems they all have the same side effects. My doctor told me if just 1 person had a reaction then the warning it could happen is given to us.This is why all meds have such a long list of side effects.One person had a problem.

Lynn Smith

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

No generic for me on this one. It clearly has tamoxifin on the bottle but my heart medicine I've taken for many years is a generic.The bottle has the generic name.

I don't think tamox is chemo but if you're given it to keep your cancer from coming back then it's doing what chemo is  doing for others. But no chemo. Just a pill.

Lynn Smith     

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

As I stated to Desert girl, Tamoxifen is a hormonal therapy drug.  It is a very old drug and therefore a very cheap drug to buy even without being generic.  It is not in any way considered a chemotherapy drug.  For those whose tumor were ER or PR + this drug is better to take than chemotherapy for them.

Best to you,

 

Doris

lintx's picture
lintx
Posts: 456
Joined: Sep 2012

I saw my onco last week, and she said EXACTLY what you wrote about Tamoxifen.  Linda

MsGebby's picture
MsGebby
Posts: 659
Joined: Oct 2011

I've seen the word "chemoprevention" linked to Tamoxifen.  

Here's the link I read"

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-cancer/WO00092

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Tamoxifen is considered or classified under a hormonal drug.  It is used for the treatment of breast cancer.  As others wrote, it is not chemo.

 

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Tamox is one of the hormone therapy drugs used to treat women whose breast cancers are ER & PR+.  It was never considered chemo.  I think it originally was used by male athletes, wasn't it?  It was "sort of" considered a steroid or something like that a longgggggggggggg time ago??

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

Tamoxfin is cheap.I think this last time it was $17 for a months supply(30).My heart meds are about the same cost  but generic.

Lynn Smith

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