Tamoxifen is an important drug to prevent recurrence of breast cancer, but a new study shows it should not be taken in conjunction with certain antidepressants. Roughly 1,300 women were followed for one year. Sixteen percent of those taking antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft had a recurrence during that time. Those who were not taking antidepressants had a recurrence rate of 7.5 percent.

The scientists have an explanation for why Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft might be interfering with tamoxifen’s effectiveness. The antidepressants inhibit an enzyme (CYP2D6) that activates the anti-cancer drug. Other antidepressants that don’t affect this enzyme would be a much better choice as they appear unlikely to interact with tamoxifen. Such antidepressants include Effexor, Lexapro, Luvox and Celexa. About half a million women in the U.S. take tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer recurrence and about a third of them are prescribed antidepressants. The FDA is considering changing the label to warn doctors about this potentially deadly interaction.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.