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Reversible Central Nervous System Dysfunction Due to Tamoxifen in a Patient with Breast Cancer

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Jerry L. Pluss, D.O., CPT, MC; Pulmonary Disease Service, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center; Aurora, CO 80045-6000.

CPT, MC COL, MCFitzsimons Army Medical Center; Aurora, Colorado .

Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(5):652. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-101-5-652
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Tamoxifen is a nonsteroidal antiestrogen currently used primarily in the treatment of patients with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer (1). Its major advantage over other hormonal agents is its lack of severe side effects. In fact, a recent summary of clinical trials reported that fewer than 3% of 2232 patients had serious side effects that necessitated withdrawal of tamoxifen therapy (2). Central nervous system events are rarely seen and include depression, headache, tremors, confusion, irritability, dizziness, and light-headedness (2-5). One patient has also had encephalopathy with obtundation and pseudobulbar palsy; however, this complication could have resulted from concomitant hypercalcemia (6). We report


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