Tamoxiflu: Side Effects

Why is it so hard to remember Tamoxifen? You want to say Tamoxiflu too, don’t you?

Side Effects: Hot Flashes

Anything below a chilly 70o requires at least three layers: a tank top, a short-sleeved shirt, and a long-sleeved shirt. Depending on the cloud coverage, maybe a sweater too. The idea of hot flashes doesn’t sound awful. My post-menopausal friends try to convince me otherwise but Mrs. Doubtfire and I are ready for the heat.

Side Effect: Reduced sex drive

I work at least 50-hours a week (as my work wife will confirm). I am the mom of two children (one who just happens to be 50-years old). I am also the maid, the laundress and the school chauffeur. Who has time for sex?

Side Effect: Mood Swings

At any given time my house is filled with the under five crowd jumping off sofa arms and shooting each other with even the most innocuous toy turned into a gun; daddies pretending not to notice for fear of having to toss out some meaningless, empty threat of leaving (I mean it this time!); two dogs barking at falling leaves and the stray gust of wind; and a bottomless cup of coffee that is magnetically charged to my coffee drinkin’ hand. If I did have a mood swing, who would stop moving long enough to notice?

Side Effect: Bone Loss

The human body has 270 bones at birth. By adulthood that total is whittled down to 206 thanks to fusion. Still, 206 is a lot of bones; I mean there are 26 in each foot and 27 per hand. If there was some fat attached to it, I would sacrifice a bone or two. Wouldn’t even miss it.

Side Effect: Irregular periods or spotting

Dictionary.com defines irregular as “not balanced” and “contrary to the rules of normalcy”. Well hell, that’s been a side effect since birth. Nothing new there.

Side Effect: Anxiety

I have learned that when anything, and I mean anything, is wrong and it is not a textbook diagnosis, it has to be anxiety. Unexplained weight loss you say? Anxiety! Difficulty breathing? Anxiety! Covered in hives? Well let’s just step up on the scale for no good reason and call it… anxiety.

Side Effect: weight gain

Doctors and researchers (so you know it must be true!) have found that Tamoxifen does not cause weight gain any more than those given a placebo (which is funny – since you are determining weight gain with a sugar pill). Women who experience weight gain while taking Tamoxifen can credit these extra pounds to… wait for it and say it with me: Anxiety (depression, stress or any other psychosomatic neurosis)

horrible monster

Side Effect: Nausea

Well this just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Weight gain AND nausea. How is that even possible?

To overcome nausea I tend to eat white things like crackers, bread and rice. (Pringles are white, right?) Then, thanks to all those delicious salt-laced carbohydrates, I start gaining weight. The skin around my waist is now embellished with the imprint of my elastic waistband pants, which inevitably causes… (Let’s say it all together now!) anxiety. All of this nervous energy is giving me heartburn… and the vicious cycle continues. Will someone please pass the Pringles!

Side Effect: Constipation

Well duh! What did you think was going to happen with all that salt? But here is a small tidbit of advice from those of us in the know. If you should feel so compelled to visit MOM (Milk of Magnesia – more on this magic elixir in another post), give it at least 12 full hours to work before you decide on a second helping. Believe me (or not… but you probably should), MOM loves you so much you only need to see her once a day.


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