I have been taking Anastrozole for about 2 months...Having hot flashes and I feel horrible mentally ,fuzzy headed ,thinking all over the place and feeling depressed and mood swings......this was not me a month ago...I am praying it will ease up...Going to try L-theanine cause someone said could help with mood swings and depression..this is awful...went through finding out I had cancer and having double mastectomy with a pretty good mental outlook on things and kept the faith...now after starting this med I feel horrible...
All your posts have been very helpful and informative.
After having two lumpectomy ops. I have been taking anastrozole for five months.
Hours of research revealed it is a very powerful drug and very effective at blocking estrogen production. Also that if a dose is missed, there is sufficient in your system from the day before. This is also stated in a booklet the hospital breast care nurse gave me.
The doctors will simply prescribe 1 mg. a day to one and all, as it would be time consuming to say start slowly and build up the dose gradually. but I thought it was worth a try.
My very best wishes to you all.
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, however it must be be somewhat reassuring to be told you are "very low risk". I am on Anastrazole too and post menapausal.
The "redness in your mouth with white dots" sounds like oral thrush which could arise for a number of reasons. It could be the Anastrazole's effect on your oestrogen (as for some women reduced oestrogen/the menapause can cause a very dry mouth with soreness and oral thrush being problematic). Also a number of other medications and conditions can cause mouth dryness and or thrush. It may be best to talk to your doctor. If it is oral thrush, they can prescribe, for example, a swish and swallow remedy like Nystatin as well as assistance to manage a dry mouth.
If you are deemed very low risk as you state, it may be best to talk to the Oncologist who prescribed the Anastrazole or to your breast care nurse about the predicted percentage benefit for you. When you say that your oestrogen is 100% and progesterone 80%, I am assuming that when tested, the "microcalcifications" were found to be highly hormone positive. Is being "very low risk" based on you taking anti hormone treatments like Anastrazole or were you deemed to be very low risk even if you don't take it.
I am surprised that your doctor has said about ovary removal if side effects of the Anastrazole become problematic as you state you are 14 years post menapausal and it is not your ovaries producing significant oestrogen anymore. My understanding is that oestrogen in post menapausal women is produced from the effects of aromatase. Hence the use of Aromatase inhibitors like Anastrazole. If you find the side effects of Anastrazole too much, then perhaps discuss it with Oncologist and try another aromatase inhibitor or maybe Tamoxifen.
In the end it is all about you weighing up the information, your quality of life and the risks and balancing this with the treatment and effects of your other conditions. I really hope the Anastrazole does not cause an increase in your pain. Hope the radiotherapy treatment goes well.
Best wishes x
I was recently dx with breast cancer. All my tests an numbers show me to be a very low risk. The doc has put me on anastrozole for about 6 weeks now. Have redness in the mouth with white dots. sides of the tongue are tender. I a 65 and been in menopause for 14 years now. Estrogen is 100% and progesteren 80. I have fibromyalgia, gout, arthritis, and diabetic.
I did talk to the doctor about having ovaries removed in place of the anastrozole and he said that would be possible if the side effects became problematic. I do not want to increase my pain levels as they are already at 7-8 on a daily basis. I will be starting radiation on7-16 for 19 treatments. This cancer was picked up on my yearly mammogram. I did have 2 lympn nodes removed and they were negative as well. Also no chemo recommended and their is no lump. they found microcalcifications that started to cluster.
Has anyone had the ovaries removed?
Hi, Ive been taking anastrozole for a month now and ive been really unwell with it. Awful nausea and waking up in the night constantly needing a wee, also very stiff achy joints. Dr has now given me some anti nausea meds which seem to be helping and my radiotherapy is almost over.
I keep reminding myself how lucky I am as I didnt need chemo and the cancer has all been taken out of me, but I underestimated the effects these meds, and the Radioth, would have on me. I feel like an old Crone!
Does anyone know when the nausea stops? Im off work because I felt so unwell and I dont want to take extra tabs (anti nausea) for ever more.?
Just a quick heads up on anastrazole to anyone suffering bone ache. I've been taking it now for one year and almost immediately started with horrible bone ache. Sister has osteoporosis, so very fed up. As osteoporosis very much related to diet and weight bearing exercise I decided to go to the gym (hate this kind of stuff) and a personal trainer (GP's can do referrals) and within 2 months the aches have gone!
I'm feeling very good, so much stronger and more confident though of course we never actuallu know what is really going on insde BUT can thoroughly recommend. During this bad weather I've done much less exercise and consequently had the odd ache returning....but definitely worth giving it a try. I strongly recommend.
Rubycat: Thanks for getting back to me. I have not been prescribed AdcalD3. I'll ask my doctor next visit. I am curious about having estrogen levels checked to find out at what level a woman my age (65) should be or does all estrogen have to be depleted. Losing weight will help of course as estrogen is made in fat cells. I worked in a health store for over ten years, so taking a medication with all these side effects is very disconcerting. From what I am reading the benefits still outweigh not taking them.
Good luck on your journey.
Hello Liz, No I changed from the anastrozole to exemestane about 4 months ago and can't say I have found any difference at all. Still got all my joyful joint aches and pains! Would say that on anastrozole I did find enormous differences with the various brands - I tried at least 4 I think. I found Accord the best of a bad bunch, but Teva was actually the worst. Eventually I persuaded my doc to put Accord only on the prescription as my chemist would not supply it (said it was too expensive). But we are all different and I think giving a manufacturer at least 3 months is a good idea. I do seem to have a bookful of side effects, but now at the grand age of 63 they might be that dreaded word - sshhh - ageing. With the osteoporosis has your doc prescribed Adcal D3, calcium supplement, as I haven't found any s/e from that. You are so right with being between a rock and a hard place - I've never been one for taking tablets of any sort, now I find I'm rattling. I don't know of any studies, but can only say for myself, that I feel that the tabs must be having some sort of effect and I would feel too vulnerable not to be taking anything. But it's all down to individual feelings, and the awful thing is that even taking these tablets doesn't guarantee not getting it again. If you are new to this forum, I have found it a fantastic support. Whatever query or problem you have, usually someone can help. (Although I haven't been able to answer your question - let's hope someone else can!)
WIshing you a healthy New YEar as well.xxx
Hello Rubycat: I am new to the forum, but wanted to inquire if you stayed on anastrozole. I am taking Accord anastrozole since Nov. 2017 and have not felt myself. This could be our new normal after BC, but today I learned there is another manufacturer TEVA. Also, right on the bottle it says you can experience dizzyness. I have a weird headache and not keen on taking Advil every day. Also dryness, sore throat and aches. I am 65 and been post menopausal for ten years. I am wondering how much estrogen (made in fat cells) can possible be left to stay on this medication for five years. I will give it a good six month trial to see if symptoms subside. Dexa Scan says I have osteoporosis already, but after reading the side effects of more prescription medication I am trying the natural approach. I will just lift weights, increase calcium and Vit D3. I feel we are between a rock and a hard place forced to take medication to deplete estrogen. I had a lumpectomy and 30 rounds of radiation. My energy level is not back to speed. I am curious if you know of any studies done on women who choose to not take anastrozole and the recurrence of cancer? Thanks, I wish you a very healthy New Year.
Ooh thanks Jill, I didn't know that about the tamox - another good reason for me not choosing them!
Poppy, I make up names to keep myself laughing too! It's so difficult this decision making, have to find a laugh in it somewhere. xxx
Hello Smiling Poppy I've been on anastrozole for 2 years - found the Accord brand the best of a bad bunch. Just had my second DEXA scan, was osteopenic before but now got a lot worse, have osteoarthritis etc etc (all of which I blame anasty for!). I took my first bisphosphonate on Monday! I was recommended to change from the anasty to either tamoxifen or exemestane. I chose the exemessy as at 63 I'd gone through menopause. Although side effects for that also give bone pain! No good choices really. Have now got my first packet exemessy and finding my big girl pants to take the first one! Might stick with the anasty for a couple more weeks, whilst my body gets used to the bifossywhatsits first. I thought I'd go with whatever brand was supplied, give them a couple of months trial. Hope you get on ok. xxx
Hi Poppy. I was given the Accord Brand of Anastrozole from the word go - didn't even know there were other brands till reading posts on this forum. Have been fine on it for 6 months but freaked yesterday when I collected my tabs from the chemist and saw it was Teva. Now I've no idea whether I'd have been OK on Teva or not, but on the basis that if it ain't broke don't fix it, I went back in and asked for Accord, and was prepared to cry if necessary if they demurred, but fortunately they swapped them for Accord. I am going to ask my GP to specify Accord on my repeat prescription. I've a telephone call booked with him this week for a minor query (you have to be very ill to see one in person at my practice and I haven't seen a gp since I went in with me sore boobs over a year ago) so will ask him to do it then.
Some people recommend the Ladycare magnate for menopausal symptoms - you stick it in your knickers. I bought one in advance of the homone meds but haven't needed to use it but it's there if the need arises.
I am told that the worst symptoms on Anastrozole are in the first few weeks, so fingers crossed for you that things improve as the time passes.XXXX
Hi Ladies.I have just started Anastrozole and really suffering with side effects. For the ladies that have min effects what brand are you using please? I know from taking tamoxifen that changing can help. Like you Collicsr I am having really bad hot flushes. Need to find a fix for melting make up!! My joints are painful and I generally feel week. By the time I have finished work I am good for nothing! I am disappointed that after taking tamoxifen for 3 years with no side effects that I had to change. I have also just been diagnosed with Osteoporosis so more tablets that I can't even face taking yet. I have seen my doctor who has said the side effects should settle after a couple of months so here's hoping! Lots of love to all you lovely ladies. Through everything we keep on Smiling!..xxx
forgot to mention one minor side effect, (because it isn't a side effect any longer) A few weeks ago I felt a bit dry and uncomfortable in the ladybits department. Did a private email to Ask the Nurses, got a recommendation for some ReplenseMD, and problem immediately sorted, so forgot about it. I pasted my reply from the nurses under Going through treatment/hormone treatment/Problems with Ladybits if you want to have a look. Not really sure if the temporary problem was due to the Anastozole anyway - could just be that I'm 65 and would have had it in any case. But best to be prepared, and know that if it happens there is a quick and easy remedy. x
As you say I guess we often only hear the bad side-effects. I am with you Optimissy, I will sort out the lifestyle and focus on staying fit and healthy. Like you keeping the weight off helps with my already aching joints so I don't want to put any on if I can help it. Well done on losing 2stones!
Good idea about the vitamins Susie, hope you continue to feel fine on the tablets.
I am more than happy to take the pills just need to know I will deal with any effects they have.
Thank you for the positive feedback, helps a lot. I will let you know how it goes, positive as well as negative feedback!
I'm with you on all the worries about the side effects of Anastrozole. I fretted over starting taking it, read all I could and delayed as long as possible, even asking if I could not take it as my ONCdx score showed a low chance or reoccurrence. No one would say that I should not take, everyone official said I should take it.
in the end I bit the bullet or pill and started taking them 2 weeks ago and I have been fine. The first few evenings (I take my pill around 6pm) I felt hyper and full of energy, but that has now worn off and am back to normal. I do get the odd "warm moment" but then I always have, sometimes I feel a bit cold (never used to) .
In all my reading I discovered that everyone seems to have different issues and I too came to the conclusion that mostly patients with problems will post on forums.
I have started taking some extra vitamins to help stave off any bone density loss and joint pain.
I have also joined Slimming World to loose weight and get into healthier eating habits.
I wish you all the best with your tablets, it's not been bad as I'd feared. And remember if for some reason you don't get on with one brand do ask to be given another one to try.
Take care and all the best xx
Hi Alison. I'm an Anastrozole lady and have been taking it since Feb this year. Like you I was horrified by the list of potential side-effects on the packet and looked at the packet in dread for a week, and took the first one on the last day of rads in case I got 2 lots of side-effects.(As it was the rads were fine...)
I can honestly say that I have had NO side effects whatsoever so far- even wondered if it was working........Being already 1 and a half stone overweight at diagnosis, I began a healthy weight-loss programme and more exercise a month before beginning the Anastozole, and have now lost 2 stone since January and am keeping it stable - (don't want to lose any more else I'll look scraggy at my wrinkled age!) The upside is that being lighter now, my pre-existing arthritis in hips is better -an unexpected bonus, since i was expecting all the predicted joint pains etc. with the Anastrozole.
I have noticed that it is important to eat healthily on the Anastozole though - if I have a pizza and chips binge with a few glasses of wine I can put on 2 pounds overnight, but a return to the veggies sorts it out in a day or so, but I think I will always have to be a bit more vigilent about calories on this drug than previously. It's a case of catching the weight gain when it is a few pounds and not a few stones.
Whilst it is still early days - exactly 6 months on it so far -even if a few side effects manifest in the future, I know i will deal with them, as the alternative to not taking the drug - possible recurrance - would be far worse. Also, if you don't get on with it there are alternative hormone treatments I think.
I have a theory about the hormone treatments for post-menopausal folk (I'm assuming you are post-menopausal as you have been prescribed it?) that there may be far less oestrogen in our bodies anyway, post-menopause, so the effect of the drug would be less of a shock to the system possibly?.Try not to worry ahead of time - the only way you'll know is to take the blooming stuff, but as the previous poster pointed out, people who are having problems are more likely to post for advice, and those who are fine on it tend not to post, unless it is to reassure, like now. All the best with the next stage of your treatment and let us know how you go on. xxxxxxx
Hi Alison, Im on Letrozole, but just acknowledging your post. It's always the fear of the unknown , isn't it, that puts us in a spin? For me it was getting to grips with either taking the tablets, and facing the alternative. The tablets are to give us a better fighting chance. My tumour was oestrogen driven, and Letrozole inhibits the production of that hormone. The stories about it aren't great, but I reminded myself that people who post are not the ones for whom everything is going great. As with chemo, everyone is different. I'm hoping I manage SE's OK , and I'm hoping and wishing the same for you. I'm sure some Anastrizole ladies will be along soon to support you. Best wishes. X
I have yet to start hormone therapy but have been told I will be on anastrozole. My oncology appointment is on the 24th August, where radiotherapy and hormone therapy will be discussed.
I am dreading hormone therapy and have got so hung up on it all this last week, and am eating and drinking myself silly. This is, of course, making me put on weight. I lost nearly a stone whilst in hospital with sepsis in June (following lumpectomy I got an infection but not from the wound) and I don't want to put it back on. I have had to give myself a good talking to this morning to stop the needless self-destruction comfort eating and drinking. I need to get into a healthy lifestyle frame of mind before I begin therapy.
Anyone on here taking anastrozole? I would like to know how you are getting on with it and combating any side-effects.
Many thanks for your help/advice.