Tamoxifen for Peyronie’s disease is an oral nonsteroidal anti-estrogen drug that is typically used to treat breast cancer patients. However, when given to men with Peyronie’s disease, some have reported an improvement in pain, size of plaque, and bend of the penis. These benefits may be associated with the ability of tamoxifen for Peyronie’s disease to promote the release of transforming growth factor-beta, which in turn can inhibit the inflammatory response and reduce production of cells (fibroblasts) involved in the creation of plaque. (Colletta 1990)
Studies of Tamoxifen for Peyronie’s Disease Treatment
Studies of tamoxifen in Peyronie’s patients have had conflicting results, however. In one study, for example, 36 men received 20 mg of tamoxifen twice a day for 3 months. Sixteen of 20 men said their pain improved, 11 of 31 had an improvement in penile curvature, and 12 of 35 had a reduction in plaque. (Ralph 1992)
These promising results were not duplicated in another study of 25 men with Peyronie’s disease who received 20 mg of tamoxifen or placebo twice daily for three months. Evaluations done 4 months after treatment did not show any significant improvement in pain, penile curvature, or plaque size. (Teloken 1999)
Dose and Side Effects of Tamoxifen for Peyronie’s Disease Treatment
The typical dose of tamoxifen for Peyronie’s disease is 20 mg twice a day for three months. Although men tolerate tamoxifen fairly well, side effects can include hair loss and gastrointestinal upset. Men should also know there is a risk for cancer, stroke, and blood clots in the lungs associated with the use of tamoxifen.
Colletta AA et al. Anti-oestrogens induce the secretion of active transforming growth factor beta from human fetal fibroblasts. Br J Cancer 1990 Sep; 62(3): 405-9
Ralph DJ et al. The treatment of Peyronie’s disease with tamoxifen. Br J Urol Dec 1992; 70(6):648-51.
Teloken C et al. Tamoxifen versus placebo in the treatment of Peyronie’s disease. J Urol Dec 1999; 162(6):2003-5.