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Tamoxifen and Sertraline/Zoloft

AaliceAalice Member Posts: 2
edited August 30 in Health and wellbeing
Hi there
This is my first post. I was diagnosed in December 2018 with ER positive BC. Had surgery to take out two lumps in left breast and lymph nodes. Lymph nodes clear, I had radio and was put on tamoxifen. I also had my ovaries out later that year. I have not gone back to work yet and am struggling to rebuild and I note COVID and home schooling has not helped.  I have been seeing psychologist who is great but recently my GP has put me on Sertraline because I had a bit of a melt down. I feel like a bit of a failure, its been over a year now since being diagnosed, I still have health anxiety but I should have my life resolved by now, should have found my way and taken the opportunity, the time to redirect my life by now, gone back to work. Other women have, they have gone back to work, found new meaning in life, seen it as a second chance etc. 
i am so worried about taking this antidepressant, in fact any. I am worried about it increasing my risk of getting BC again. I am worried that it will stop tamoxifen from being effective. I still haven’t taken it. 

Has anyone had this experience? Is anyone on antidepressants who is on tamoxifen. Does anyone take sertraline?
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Comments

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,191
    Dear @Aalice

    Sorry, I am in Letrozole not tamoxifen and I am not taking anti-depressants, but I notice the word ‘should’ in your post. Who says you should be this or that? Cancer is serious, not just physically but also emotionally. There are good reasons why people are fearful about it! Depression is quite common - a brush with death, planned life derailed, surgery, reactions to drugs, can’t imagine why anyone would feel depressed!! Getting to a new normal takes individual time, there is no prescribed period. Antidepressants may help a lot although in my own case I found talking to a good counsellor about expectations (and how ‘normal’ my pre-cancer life actually was!) extremely useful. Worry and a sense of failure are not useful, nor are they some kind of personal weakness. They are pretty common, normal reactions. Take some time to let your feelings out and try the antidepressants. A more relaxed approach may make a world of difference. Best wishes. 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,315
    @Aalice

    Agree with comments above! 
    There's no rule book on how we should feel and be back to normal.   On this forum there's sometimes discussion on what is the perceived normal.  Life is always evolving and has some hiccups along the way.  Don't be cross with yourself - you are not a failure - you are you and quite normal in your reactions.  We all have different levels of tolerance and acceptance and no one is right or wrong.  BCNA has a wealth of information on their website.  The link below, I hope you find helpful

    https://www.bcna.org.au/media/7421/bcna_anxietydepressionandbreastcancer_factsheet_jun19.pdf

    Hopefully you will find some positive effects from taking the suggested medication from your GP

    Take care and stay safe 
  • AaliceAalice Member Posts: 2
    Thank you both I needed to hear that. It is refreshing to get perspectives from women who have been through it or touched by it. I thought it somehow magically gets easier with time but every little bodily pain attracts health anxiety.  I exercise and eat so much better then I used to but just can’t seem to rebuild the pieces. I also have a sick husband who is not a communicator and emotional support is not quite forthcoming. We have small kids and I really really want to be here for a long time for them :(. This has been a big hiccup! 

    Thank you for the link I will explore x
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,315
    Take care and come on here to vent or reach out for support. 

  • Michele BMichele B Member Posts: 133
    Hi @Aalice,
    Sorry that you are going through a rough patch in your recovery. As the ladies above have said though, everyone is different, so please don't put extra pressure on yourself!!
    In regards to medication, I was on Tamoxifen for almost 5 uears, and in my third year, my husband was hospitalized with major depression. Imanaged to hold it together at the time, but found i was struggling a little while after so was given a low dose of Lexapro, an antidepressant,  and for me it was a godsend! Within a few weeks, i felt much more together again and could cope with what life continued to throw at me.
    Give the tablets a go, and see how you feel, but most of all, be kind to yourself!!
    Best wishes, Michele xx
  • FLCloverFLClover Member Posts: 391
    Hello @Aalice

    I started taking Venlafaxine, which is also an anti-anxiety/depressant, about a month after my mastectomies. Then another month after that I started getting Zoladex injections, and three months later (now) I’m starting with Letrozole. Two days ago I asked my GP if I should switch to Sertraline because a friend of mine is on it and it sounded good, but she said she specifically chose Venlafax knowing I’d be in artificial menopause soon and that would react better. So I’m staying on the Venlafax for now. I don’t think it interferes in any way with any of the other medications I’m taking, and I do feel less anxiety. Just try the Sertraline as I think it might help you quite a bit and you owe it to yourself. It’s self care and love. Later on when you feel stronger you can come off it. 
    Just please don’t think that you’re the only one who feels like that. You had one of the scariest diseases, and life is pretty messy, so please go easy on yourself. Nobody has it figured out, even if it might appear like that. Just try to enjoy the simple things, even in all the chaos. Do things in your timeframe, as you make the rules about your own life. Good luck! 🍀
    Mon Xxx
  • ChezaHChezaH Gold Coast Member Posts: 278
    Aalice said:
    Hi there
    This is my first post. I was diagnosed in December 2018 with ER positive BC. Had surgery to take out two lumps in left breast and lymph nodes. Lymph nodes clear, I had radio and was put on tamoxifen. I also had my ovaries out later that year. I have not gone back to work yet and am struggling to rebuild and I note COVID and home schooling has not helped.  I have been seeing psychologist who is great but recently my GP has put me on Sertraline because I had a bit of a melt down. I feel like a bit of a failure, its been over a year now since being diagnosed, I still have health anxiety but I should have my life resolved by now, should have found my way and taken the opportunity, the time to redirect my life by now, gone back to work. Other women have, they have gone back to work, found new meaning in life, seen it as a second chance etc. 
    i am so worried about taking this antidepressant, in fact any. I am worried about it increasing my risk of getting BC again. I am worried that it will stop tamoxifen from being effective. I still haven’t taken it. 

    Has anyone had this experience? Is anyone on antidepressants who is on tamoxifen. Does anyone take sertraline?

    I am on Zoloft and have been for quite some time before my cancer was diagnosed. I am having my last chemo on Wednesday (thank goodness) Yah Yah !!and then onto radiation and then I am supposed to take the tablets, I am still deciding what to do. I take what works as it is quality of life that is very important for me. sending hugs xx
  • GreengirlGreengirl Riverina NSW Member Posts: 33
    @Aalice I was on Sertraline  before BC ( loved it )but the oncologist asked me to change over to something else whilst taking Tamoxifen
    Zoloft is a moderate inhibitor to the uptake of Tamoxifen. Escitalopram  and Citalopram are options. I decided to try without anything(not smart lol)
    6 months later I’ve just started on Escitalopram 
    All the best 
    Greengirl x 

  • Dory65Dory65 Member Posts: 228
    Escitalopram works well for me. Seems to be an improvement on Prozac, which I was on until starting Tamoxifen. Now n Zoladex and Letrozole. Not aware of any contraindications. I think the Escitalopram has prevented me having a breakdown.
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