Anti-depressants are the most prescribed medication in the United States. So whenever there is new information about anti-depressants and drug reactions I like to get the word out to as many people as possible.
There are many different types anti-depressants and the information released at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology specifically mentions one type SSRI, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. It is important to note that some SSRIs are also used to reduce hot flashes in who are not diagnosed with depression. Examples of SSRI that were mentioned are Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. These medications should be avoided in breast cancer survivors who are currently taking Tamoxifen.
Tamoxifen is used in premenopausal and some postmenopausal women, to reduce the re-occurrence of breast cancer by interfering with the activity of estrogen in the body. When these two types of drugs are taken together the SSRIs reduce the effectiveness of the Tamoxifen. The SSRI drugs affect the liver’s ability to correctly break down the Tamoxifen into the active metabolite, endoxifen.
What does this mean for women that are being asked to change their anti-depressants? It is an opportunity to look at alternative methods to treat the depression. I work in a mental health practice in DC and work on collaborative methods to support our patients. We have traditional methods combined with my methods of blood testing, neurotransmitter testing, dietary changes, behavioral changes and nutritional support. This combination is a new way of supporting patients and exciting to help balance the mental, emotional and physical aspects of depression. We are truly excited about it. So there is hope for women that are taking Tamoxifen and SSRI’s and are concerned about the drug interactions. It is exciting to share alternative ideas with others to give hope!
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