Tamoxifen and weight gain

Milly21Milly21 Member Posts: 29
has anyone else had trouble keeping weight off taking tamoxifen? I have been taking 9 months and putting on weight,sometimes I'm just starving probably hormones I suppose,I'm quite active bike ride,gym ,walking and try to eat well most time,I wondered if it's because I'm premenopausal in early 40s? Anyone lost weight on tamoxifen?


  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,007
    Hi @Milly21
    I was on Tamoxifen for 2 years before having my ovaries removed and swapping to an AI. I was 47 and in chemo induced menopause when I started. I did manage to lose 9kg and maintain that during that time. I was very careful with what I ate (changed a lot of things and ate smaller portions) and walked and swam a lot. I found keeping a diary of what I ate and also the exercise that I did each day helped. 
    I have recently put on a couple of kilos due to increased snacking (even though they are healthy snacks it is just too much) and less exercise. The diary is in use again! I am determined to get back to the weight I feel best at. Lots of walking and I need to get back in the pool too! It can be done  :)
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,670
    Hi @Milly21, had lost a little bit but I started working out at the gym and sports physio told me to eat protein before and after weight sessions. So I worked out and my mouth worked out harder with protein, sweet biscuits, etc etc etc... :(
    Put on 3 kilos. So am back to being more sensible and have been working out a couple of times a week with a work colleague but need to hit the gym again. Like @Deanne I'm determined to lose again for when I have my reduction surgery on my remaining breast around June next year. I do recognise the fact that I have now been pushed into menopause but just need to work a bit smarter than I have been. Let us know how you get on with your weight loss. All the best. Xx Cath
  • Milly21Milly21 Member Posts: 29
    Thanks for the suggestions I have started a food diary,that was a good idea as it really shows what your eating,tried to cut out snacks,I think before taking tamoxifen I didn't really have to try to maintain my weight,just exercising and now I am going to have to watch how I eat as I can't eat like before,my meals are healthy but I think my portions size are to much.thanks ladies 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,333
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,942
    Try swapping brands. I was ok on Novladex D. Then I went on to Sandoz and while i had less bone aches on it, I really packed the weight on at about a kilo a week. I have just gone back to the Novladex and now I have to walk all the extra padding off. Before Sandoz I could easily get it off walking but while on Sandoz it would not lower at all and just kept going on.
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,069
    It's an interesting one, I was on tamoxifen for 4yrs pre menopause at 43-47 years of age before I had a recurrence. I didn't have any issues with weight gain or side effects that were super noticeable. However at my recurrence at 47, Chemo threw me into an unnatural menopause and then went onto Arimidex, whoa! heaps of side effects so a year later I was switched to Aromasin...hmmm yeah no different, Ive just learnt to live with it I think. Though...I put on weight through treatment like 7kg and 2yrs on cannot shift it through diet or exercise. So I'm wondering now the weight is a combination of things, its firstly chemo related for me, menopause and then Aromasin, all together make it near impossible. I admit its something that really annoys me.. Melinda xo
  • Milly21Milly21 Member Posts: 29
    I am on sandoz,maybe I should try the other one too,as not much I do has helped shift the weight.
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,069
    I was on the Sandoz too, I think they all have the side effect of weight, I have just found in my 40's as you say, everything changes, I cant eat the way I used to and I didnt need to manage my weight at all. Now whoa!!! its ridiculous, so I too am really being conscious with snacks but not alot has made any difference, very frustrating. All the best, try alot of different things, change up maybe your exercise? I ride an exercise bike and have now started doing 30sec bursts really fast every 2 mins. I walk too but cannot manage major exercise anymore, I have fibromyalgia and treatment exacerbated it big time so exercise unfortunately doesnt make it better, bit of a vicious circle lol, but I keep on trying anyway. x M
  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,007
    After 2 years on Tamoxifen (Sandoz) and now 2 more on Femara (Letrozole) I have found that it is not so much the exercise I do but how much I am active the rest of the time. I know that I sit down so much more than I used to. My work these days is much less active. I was an early childhood teacher - very active! Now I package orders for my daughter’s business. Mostly sitting, but good for gettting my brain working!

    The last couple of weeks, as well as my usual actual exercise, I have been making a conscious effort to be more active throughout my whole day.  Little things, like parking further away from where I am going to get more walking in, can make a difference. The best present I have received was a Fitbit for Christmas 3 years ago. It prompts me to get up and move if I have been sitting for too long! It is so easy to just not realise that you have been sitting for too long. Time goes so quickly, especially when using the computer or iPad!

    Muscle can be important too. As we age it is common to lose muscle. This means we burn less calories. The more muscle you have the more calories you use just moving around. Exercise needs to be something that helps you build and maintain muscle.

    Lots of things can cause us to struggle with weight and going through treatment for bc, coping with fatigue and loss of muscle all compound the issues for us! For me it has been careful eating, regular cardio exercise, 2 sessions of muscle building exercise a week and just being more conscious of how active I am throughout each day. This has taken time to build into my life post bc but it was really important to me. Small changes, one step at a time and consistency. I had to find ways to make it workable for me. 

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,482
    After chemo, herceptin etc all finished, I enrolled at my local gym, paid ahead to make sure I went. I now feel my week is out of kilter if I can't get to a session (I do two classes and one workout per week) and it's just part of my normal week. Helps with weight, lymphoedemic arm and general health. Met some new friends there too and joined a choir as an outcome. I always said I didn't have the time, but I can find it when I want to!
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,333
    edited November 2017
    Regardless of brand, Tamoxifen can be challenging.  I don't know the scientific part of it, but I do wonder how the body metabolises Tamoxifen and why the hidden extras, side effects!  As others have said already, counteract with exercise and or dietary changes may help.  As long as it is doing what it is meant to do!
    Copy and paste from https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/treatment/hormone-therapy/

    "...Hormone therapy works by stopping oestrogen from ‘feeding’ the breast cancer cells. It has been found to be very effective in reducing the risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body, or of a new breast cancer developing in the same or other breast..."

    I live in hope that it is doing what it is meant to do as my body creaks, moans and I groan occasionally!  Due for review again in 10 days so one assumes it is doing it's work!

    Take care
  • Milly21Milly21 Member Posts: 29
    Has anyone tried protein shakes meal replacement,I was thinking of having one for breakfast but not sure what type,I have read ones with soy are no good as I am hormone positive?
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