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Tamoxifen Might Cause Slight Increase in Stroke Risk PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 12 October 2004 16:05

The breast cancer drug tamoxifen may cause a slight increase in stroke risk, says a Duke University Medical Center study in the Oct. 12 issue of Neurology. 

Researchers reviewed nine clinical studies of tamoxifen published since 1980. The studies included a total of 39,601 subjects, 19,954 of whom received tamoxifen. All the trials used a standard dose of tamoxifen (20 milligrams per day). Six of the trials specifically reported ischemic stroke events. 

"With tamoxifen, we found the frequency of all strokes was 1.06 percent and for ischemic stroke was 0.71 percent, vs. 0.39 percent with controls," study author Dr. Cheryl Bushnell said in a prepared statement.


Among women who received tamoxifen, the risk of ischemic stroke increased by 82 percent and the risk of all strokes increased by 29 percent compared with women who took a placebo or other therapies. The absolute increase in risk was small, Bushnell noted. 

"The results of this analysis support the practice of careful screening of women who are being considered for tamoxifen therapy, although physicians and their patients should be reassured that the absolute risk of stroke may be very low. In many women, this risk of stroke with tamoxifen may be outweighed by the benefit of treating or preventing breast cancer. In addition, women should not stop their prescribed therapy based on this study," Bushnell said. 

More research into this risk is being done in ongoing studies of tamoxifen that are designed to carefully track stroke events.


Source: Atlanta Journal - Constitution
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Link: http://www.ajc.com/health/content/shared-auto/healthnews/wmen/521644.html

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