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Tamoxifen and hoarseness

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Has anyone experienced hoarseness from tamoxifen?    My voice has been slightly hoarse since my stage II DIEP surgery at the end of February -- I did mention it to my onc in early March, but she didn't seem concerned.

Today, I had my annual physical with PCP and she suggested I get it checked out by an ENT -- thought it might be from being intubated in surgery, but I have seen hoarseness listed as a side effect for tamoxifen -- what I can't seem to find is whether it is a serious side effect or not.

Anyone else have any input on this?   My throat is not sore - sometimes just dry and my voice is slightly hoarse -- not like having laryngitis.

Thanks,

M.

Comments

  • rubytuesday
    rubytuesday Member Posts: 19
    edited June 2008
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    Mamhop, I DEFINITELY had this when I was on Tamoxifen.  It is actually a BIG problem for singers who take it.  I also think I'm experiencing it with Femara.  I find myself clearing my throat frequently......reminiscent of Tamoxifen.  Best wishes

  • vickycnj
    vickycnj Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2008
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    by the middle of the day my voice starts to go hoarse but i attribute this to nj allergies...now u are making me think again- ive been on tamoxifen since oct 2007

  • rubytuesday
    rubytuesday Member Posts: 19
    edited June 2008
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    Mamhop, Exactlly!!  I would also cancel the ENT appt. and take some printed info with me to the oncologist just incase he isn't familiar with this SE.   I have read that Tamoxifen can actually damage your vocal cords.  Best wishes

  • sandy2009
    sandy2009 Member Posts: 29
    edited May 2009
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    I am on my 6th day of Tamoxifen and woke up with hoarseness in my throat, I could hardly talk.  Last night I started clearing my throat and it was a little scratchy.   I hope this goes away.

    Sandy

  • awb
    awb Member Posts: 213
    edited May 2009
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    Never had hoarseness while on tamox for 5 years, and never heard it was a SE of tamox. It definitely can be a SE of having been intubated for surgery. I would recommend seeing the ENT to check it out, you may have had some damage to the vocal chords with the intubation, but that should clear up with time.

    Anne

  • jpann39
    jpann39 Member Posts: 92
    edited May 2009
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    Ive never read anything about horarseness and tamox either, but now that you ladies are talking about it I will be researching it as I started having what I thought was allergies about a year ago...I bought and took some over the counter allergy med but it never helped so I just suffered....

    Jule

  • sandy2009
    sandy2009 Member Posts: 29
    edited May 2009
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    Hi,

    My hoarseness is also accompanied by a sore throat, it could be I'm just run down and have gotten a cold.  My voice really changed when I woke up this morning.. like laryngitis.

    Hopefull it'll go away soon.

    Sandy

  • BethelSuz
    BethelSuz Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2009
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    I was so thrilled to see your report of hoarseness from tamoxifen. I have been on it for @ 15 mos and 3 months ago started with the vocal cord problems.  I have seen ENT and have had many tests done which did not show any reason for the problem.  Just today I found your entry and it sounds exactly like me.  Can you tell me more about your experience

    I am so grateful to have found someone else to talk to

  • sandy2009
    sandy2009 Member Posts: 29
    edited May 2009
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    Hi BethelSuz,

    I started Tamoxifen on May 1st in the morning and that evening started feeling effects on my throat, clearing it and raspiness, and during the night.  The next morning I was hoarse, and I never was hoarse like that (almost no voice).  I've never had vocal problems.  This went on for over a week and slowly got better.  I'm not hoarse now, but clearing my throat more often and my voice doesn't seem clear at times.  

    The hoarseness really scared me, because I didn't strain my voice and wasn't sick at the time.  I got very nervous because I thought it might be permanent at the time.

    Hope you're doing okay,

    Sandy 

  • mumito
    mumito Member Posts: 2,007
    edited May 2009
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    Acid reflux can also cause hoarseness.Stomach acid can burn the vocal chords and do permanent damage.  My voice will never be the same.I take tamox as well.

  • lmoore
    lmoore Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2009
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    I have been taking Tamoxifen for two months.  After the first week it felt like I had a lump in my throat.  It does get to the point that I feel a bit hoarse.  They tell me it has nothing to do with the Tamoxefen but after reading your article and others, I'm thinking it is a side effect. My onc gave me anxiety pills but they have been no help.  Anyone have an answer?

  • Falko
    Falko Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
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    I have taken Tamoxifen since April of 2009. Initially I had no side effects. Then the hotflashes started getting really bad, weight gain, and after one year hoarseness that is not going away. I have been treated for allergies, acid reflux, viral infections. Nothing has helped. The oncologist said she has never heard of this as a side effect. Sometimes if I get off Tamoxifen for a couple of weeks, it reverses sever side effects. I used to have blisters in my face because my skin got so dry and sensitive. Started on a good skin care problem for dry skin and no more problems.

  • buckshye
    buckshye Member Posts: 2
    edited September 2014
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    Did any one suffer acid reflux as a cause of the horseness or did you just wake up with a sore throat ?

    Did anyone switch to an aroma inhibiter or know if this med would cause sore throat as well ,after switching ?

    I can sing with a sore throat if the vocal chords are not swollen…..any knowledge about the vocal chords themselves and being swollen on tamoxifen ? 

    One person here said she got a sore throat from both tamoxifen and the alternative estrogen -blocker…anyone else experienced this once switching  ?  

    I'm a professional singer and have been prescribed Tamoxifen and before I take it , I found this thread. For the amen who posted in 2007 and 2009…...was wondering if the sore throat  went away in time, or was it persistent thru out the five years , or if anyone found relief when switching to an alternative medication or do all estrogen -blockers cause sore throat ?  

    in another 6 months , the dr. considers me in menopause and so if the sore throat appears and potentially ruins my career, I could switch to an aroma inhibitor perhaps . any thoughts appreciated.thankyou . we can do this .

  • buckshye
    buckshye Member Posts: 2
    edited September 2014
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    Did any one suffer acid reflux as a cause of the horseness or did you just wake up with a sore throat ? 

    Did anyone switch to an aroma inhibiter  or know if this med would cause sore throat ?

  • MrsDarcy
    MrsDarcy Member Posts: 50
    edited September 2014
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    I have been on tamox since Feb 24.  I also have hoarseness at the end of the day - sometimes I feel like I might loose my voice.  I thought perhaps the radiation caused this (lung) but now after reading this, I fear tamox is the culprit.   Interesting post !!

  • PatMom
    PatMom Member Posts: 322
    edited September 2014
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    I found that Tamoxifen dried out everything, including the throat which can cause hoarseness and sore throat.  Drinking lots of water helps.  The dryness is a side effect that resolved itself pretty quickly after I stopped taking the Tamoxifen, and I was on if for the full 5 years.  

    My throat wasn't something that I noticed more than very occasionally, but I am not a singer.  I understand that the Biotin products do help with that dryness, and might be enough to offset any issues you have with it.

    The sore throat is not a universal side effect with Tamoxifen, but it does happen.  The only way to know how Tamoxifen will affect you is to take it, preferably when you don't have an important performance coming up, and see how your body reacts.  You might not get a sore throat, or it might be minor enough to ignore, or you might be inspired to look for other options.  Luckily, those Tamoxifen effects that show up quickly also seem to resolve quickly once you stop taking it.  

  • miso
    miso Member Posts: 6
    edited September 2014
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    My throat problems co-incide with times when I get very bad Tamoxifen fatigue. I feel as if my throat is constricting. As the fatigue eases so does the awful sense of constriction.

    My singing voice really has been shot to pieces since being on Tamoxifen. All very odd - and annoying. When on Arimidex I actually found I extended my top range.

    I am sincerely hoping that this SE may subside in time because singing is the one thing that has kept me vaguely sane through all of this!

  • volleydoc
    volleydoc Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2014
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    I'm so glad I found this!  I started Tamoxifen 3 weeks ago.  Almost exactly a week later I started having weird throat symptoms.  Excess mucous, feeling like a lump in my throat, and now some hoarseness.  My Oncologist doesn't think it's from the Tamoxifen.  I saw my PCP, they adjusted my reflux meds, and that seemed to help a little, but it's still pretty bad.  It's all I can think about all day.  It's driving me nuts.  It just dawned on me that perhaps it was the Tamoxifen.  I had done a bunch of online research and "throat irritation", "sore throat" and "hoarseness" are always listed way down the list of possible side effects.  I stopped taking it yesterday, so we will see.  

    Of course, with the recent diagnosis of breast cancer, the first think I think is that now I have esophageal cancer, or something like that.  I was a little of a  hypochondriac BEFORE the diagnosis, but now that I've had cancer at age 42 (I'm 43 now) I feel like anything could happen!

    The crazy thing is, I'm a doctor myself (OB/GYN) so I know a little bit about Tamoxifen, but I never heard of this side effect.  

    I'm trying to get in with a GI doc to get an endoscopy.  I probably should do that anyway since I have a history of reflux, but now I am worried with this new symptom.  It's driving me crazy.

    If it is the tamoxifen, I think I will NOT go back on.  I can't live like this.  It is better if I drink or eat something, so I am going to be gaining weight if I keep this up... I'm constantly eating something to get that feeling to go away!

    How are your symptoms?  Have you gotten any answers?

  • Degar
    Degar Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2015
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    Started Tamoxifen 6 weeks ago and after 5 days started to feel as if I have a lump in my throat. (Right side only) I was taking Paxil but due to the drug interaction with Tamoxifen I had to switch to Effexor. I have shared my concerns with Oncologist she said to visit the psychological dr. He said it was anxiety and put me on a higher dose of Effexor. Last week he increased the anti-depressant again! I'm starting to think it's the tamoxifen. Any help would be gr

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,913
    edited March 2015
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    Hello Degar,

    Sorry you found yourself here but we wanted to send you a warm welcome to the BCO boards.

    This thread has been inactive for a couple of months so you may not get any responses.

    You might find the Bottle O Tamoxifen thread for more insights on other members side effects.

    If you have any questions for us for help around the boards, please do send us a PM and we'll be happy to help.

    Warmly,

    The moderators