Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole

Posted by tinalove @tinalove, Jan 31, 2016

I completed all treatments for breast cancer but now I am supposed to take hormone blocker, named anastrozole. im concerned about the side effects. Has anyone here taken it and did anyone have hair loss?

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@colleenyoung

Welcome krp. How long have you been taking anastrozole?

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One year

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I might be repeating myself but I had minimal side effects on the aromatase inhibitor Femara. Hot flashes in the beginning were no big deal, and if I felt a little stiff, walking more than 20 minutes helped that. I was way more scared of a recurrence than the meds, but we are all different in our responses.

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Both my girlfriend and I have had BC twice and are currently taking anastrozole. We are both 70+. Neither one of us have had or are currently having any issues with this medicine. Both of us are active and get plenty of exercise. I walk 3 miles/day weather permitting and knit which I think may help my hands AND we both take our medicine at night. We were just talking about it the other day. She said her doctor advised her to do it that way. It is worth a try.

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@jeaniebean

I stopped after 6 months. I was almost bedridden at the end. I feel 100 percent better, and I walk, excersise, lost 42 pounds since June and feel better than I ever have. I had my oncologist prescribe me a pure prescription with no fillers, and it seemed easier on my system, but medical does not cover all of it. I still paid 60 a month, but it wass easier on my system. Might want to try that. I was only stage 2, but I know I did the right thing by walking away. 2 years clear.

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Congratulations! What do you mean by ‘pure prescription’? I was on Anastrozole for 2 years and stopped after 2 years. Side effects are going away after 2 1/2 months being off of med. I would like to finish it, but quality of my life is important also. I’m 69 & I’m pretty active. I keep pushing to do exercises and walking as it makes huge difference. Appreciate the information on the pure prescription. TIA

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@mhsosa

I am interested on info on anastrozole. I have lost almost all my hair. I suffer from nausea, diarrhea and vomiting plus feel weak with no energy taking anastrozole and verzenio for about 15 months. I am almost 69 years old with MBC stage 4. Anybody been through this then gotten better results with different medications?

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Could it be the Verzenio causing the hair loss or could be the combination of both. I am 54 was on Tamoxifen 7.5 years, hit menopause and was switched to Anastrazole which I have been on for 1.5 years. Hair is thinning a lot but no bald spots or baldness yet. I have one more year to go on the Anastrazole but I was just diagnosed with a reoccurrence or a new cancer that is in my liver, abdomen, chest, rib, spine, sternum, fore arms and a tumor in my clavicle although I took the Tamoxifen and Anastrazole as directed to complete 10 years. I have a biopsy this week on 1/6/2022. My breast cancer was ER+ PR+ HER2+ aggressive, I had chemo, trial drug, double mastectomy and 35 radiation treatments in 2012 followed by Herceptin.

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@sequoia

Congratulations! What do you mean by ‘pure prescription’? I was on Anastrozole for 2 years and stopped after 2 years. Side effects are going away after 2 1/2 months being off of med. I would like to finish it, but quality of my life is important also. I’m 69 & I’m pretty active. I keep pushing to do exercises and walking as it makes huge difference. Appreciate the information on the pure prescription. TIA

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I am in canada and the drugs that are covered by medical have fillers in them that make them cheaper to produce. If your onco asks for no fillers, it is purer but more expensive. The pure ones were easier to hamdle but the damage was already done for me. I am 68 and after struggling with the drugs, I opted for quality of life. It is working for me, but still do not have any flexibility in my hands and fingers. The drugs bring forward any underlying issues, which brought my arthritis in with a vengeance. That is my only struggle now, and the ability to move freely, clear mind and feeling of happiness was worth it to me. I will eventually get it again, but I want to live my life as a fulfilled person, not a labrat.
Took me a full year to get past the side effects. Good for you!! May we live the lives we hoped for in our retirement!! I now am doing the Starch Solution diet, which has helped me immensely. Pure foods and no cravings, and in the meantime have lost almost 50 pounds in 7 months. I am going to eat this way for one year, and then see where it takes me. My blood pressure was very high through the cancer treatment, but without drug, I have managed to get it to wonderful numbers!

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@leeann66

Hello all! Jumping on to share my experience on Anastrozole (also known as Arimadex). I think I shared in a previous thread so apologies for the repeat to those of you also on this thread. I’ve been on Anastrozole, Kisqali (ribociclab) and monthly Xgeva injections since my MBC diagnosis June 2020. I was 54 at the time. Since then I have had various side effects, hair thinning, bone pain, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, maybe a few others I’m forgetting. But – I rarely had to stop doing what I wanted to do because of the side effects, sometimes I had to take a few other meds to help, but was worth it. And 12 months later, the nausea almost stopped, the fatigue is more manageable (maybe I’ve built a better routine to manage it not sure :). And my hair started to regrow! Bone pain is still there, mainly my wrists, hands, fingers and feet so I’ve built a “toolbox” Of things to help cope. I know things could be so much worse as @auntieoakley shared so keeping that in mind helps me push through some of the harder days. My oncologist had said the side effects would reduce/change with time and they did! I hope you find a solution for treatments you are comfortable with. Even if it provides some discomfort remember
That perhaps it could be much worse! Stay strong and know you are not alone and have somewhere to “share or vent” here if you need to!

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Thank you for sharing. This is really good information!

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@mssewest

Could it be the Verzenio causing the hair loss or could be the combination of both. I am 54 was on Tamoxifen 7.5 years, hit menopause and was switched to Anastrazole which I have been on for 1.5 years. Hair is thinning a lot but no bald spots or baldness yet. I have one more year to go on the Anastrazole but I was just diagnosed with a reoccurrence or a new cancer that is in my liver, abdomen, chest, rib, spine, sternum, fore arms and a tumor in my clavicle although I took the Tamoxifen and Anastrazole as directed to complete 10 years. I have a biopsy this week on 1/6/2022. My breast cancer was ER+ PR+ HER2+ aggressive, I had chemo, trial drug, double mastectomy and 35 radiation treatments in 2012 followed by Herceptin.

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I agree that this is probably from the Verzenio, I took tamoxifen for five and anastrazole for even more years. My cancer looks very similar to yours. My journey slightly different but not much, I am currently progression free. please come back and let me know how the biopsy goes? Did they order a PET scan yet?

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@sandyjr

Both my girlfriend and I have had BC twice and are currently taking anastrozole. We are both 70+. Neither one of us have had or are currently having any issues with this medicine. Both of us are active and get plenty of exercise. I walk 3 miles/day weather permitting and knit which I think may help my hands AND we both take our medicine at night. We were just talking about it the other day. She said her doctor advised her to do it that way. It is worth a try.

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Thanks for sharing this! Sometimes it is good to hear from people who are not having issues with the medicine as a reminder.

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@jeaniebean

I am in canada and the drugs that are covered by medical have fillers in them that make them cheaper to produce. If your onco asks for no fillers, it is purer but more expensive. The pure ones were easier to hamdle but the damage was already done for me. I am 68 and after struggling with the drugs, I opted for quality of life. It is working for me, but still do not have any flexibility in my hands and fingers. The drugs bring forward any underlying issues, which brought my arthritis in with a vengeance. That is my only struggle now, and the ability to move freely, clear mind and feeling of happiness was worth it to me. I will eventually get it again, but I want to live my life as a fulfilled person, not a labrat.
Took me a full year to get past the side effects. Good for you!! May we live the lives we hoped for in our retirement!! I now am doing the Starch Solution diet, which has helped me immensely. Pure foods and no cravings, and in the meantime have lost almost 50 pounds in 7 months. I am going to eat this way for one year, and then see where it takes me. My blood pressure was very high through the cancer treatment, but without drug, I have managed to get it to wonderful numbers!

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Thanks for info. I had no idea. I love learning new things so I can advocate for myself. Now a days you have to. Sounds like you are proactive in your health and are doing well and improving. Keep On Keeping On. 💪🏼

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@luladavis

@colleen_young @tinalove Hello Ladies Hope and pray all is well with everyone. Ok my journey with Anastrozole, where shall I start lol. I took tamoxifen for two years, I had terrible joint pain, bones were weak and bald spots on my scalp so I told my doctor that there had gotta be a better way,so he put me on Anastrozole 1mg plus I take some sort of hormone shot the two work togather kind of like two blood pressure pills working together. For the most the Anastrozole is a little better the symptoms of both are still the same but not as bad as Tamoxifen I will say. The bald spots aren’t there however very low growth and shedding, hmmm let me see which one of the two I liked better..NEITHER! But I gonna take them, I will rather deal wit the little symptoms then my breast cancer come back..I had 2nd stage BC in 2011 had a mastectomy(rt.breast). 2015 had Breast Reconstruction and August 2016 will be my 5 year of completion, only to hear my Onc tell me he don’t see me having my port removed or disconnecting my Anastrozole/shot because my cancer was so “aggressive”…Isn’t everyone cancer Aggressive? But however I still remain cancer freedom lololol…Anyway I hope this helped..and remember everyone body is different..this is my story…GodBless peace

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@luladavis do you know the name of the hormone shot that you receive along with anastrozole? It might be something very specific to your situation but I'd not heard of any hormone therapy along with anastrozole and am trying to learn as much as I can, being newly-diagnosed and comparing treatment options. Thanks in advance.

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I forget where and who posted this, but someone mentioned doing great on a brand-name AI and later doing poorly (more and worse side effects) on the genetic version. Then switched back to the brand name and the negative side effects disappeared. That might be a more common situation than we realize. Has anyone else had this happen? I don't know much about generics except that they are not all of the same quality and are ranked by tier. If anyone has more information we could consider, please advise as I know there are a lot of diligent researchers on these boards. For which I am deeply grateful as a researcher myself by nature.

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