FDA Warning physicians of drug injury caused by tamoxifen interaction with antidepressants

The Wall Street Journal (6/2, B8, Dooren) reports, “The Food and Drug Administration is planning to warn doctors about an interaction between the widely used breast-cancer drug tamoxifen and certain antidepressants after a study showed women on both drugs were more than twice as likely to see their cancer return.” The study, reported at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, showed that of “about 1,300 women,” those “who were taking antidepressants…along with tamoxifen for at least one year had a breast–cancer recurrence rate of 16 percent — compared with a recurrence rate of 7.5 percent for women not taking the drugs.” But, “not all antidepressants strongly affect tamoxifen’s usefulness, and the study showed that women on drugs like Celexa, Lexapro, and Luvox didn’t have a statistically higher rate of cancer recurrence.” Larry Lesko, director of the FDA’s Office of Clinical Pharmacology, explained that “the FDA is likely to add…information to tamoxifen’s label” based on “evidence about clinical outcomes as a result of the drug interaction.”

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