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?

@trixie1313

@cfacarol Yes, by all means speak with your oncologist. If your medical group has access to e-mail, then e-mail your questions. I'm on my third AI (exemestane) and the side effects aren't as bad. The first two were quite difficult to handle. Everyone handles them differently and trying another one might be beneficial. Your doctor may order x-rays of your neck to be sure there is nothing suspicious there, but it could be something as simple as aethritis for which physical therapy can be of help

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Trixie, as I've mentioned several times here, I'm taking Arimidex and the side effects are not good! I took an 8 week leave from them (with my Oncologist's OK) and saw relief) i began taking them again on Sept. 9th, hoping they wouldn't return but they have. I have an email into my doctor to see if I can take another test break, returning to the state of health I had BEFORE Arimidex and then try a different drug. Trixie, how long have you been on Exemestane, and how are you feeling? i just read a pretty reassuring article about that drug. https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/research/exemestane-reduces-risk

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@sparklegram

Trixie, as I've mentioned several times here, I'm taking Arimidex and the side effects are not good! I took an 8 week leave from them (with my Oncologist's OK) and saw relief) i began taking them again on Sept. 9th, hoping they wouldn't return but they have. I have an email into my doctor to see if I can take another test break, returning to the state of health I had BEFORE Arimidex and then try a different drug. Trixie, how long have you been on Exemestane, and how are you feeling? i just read a pretty reassuring article about that drug. https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/research/exemestane-reduces-risk

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Sparklegram, I was on Anastrozole for about 6 months and had some awful side effects. The worst being problems with cognitive function and memory loss. I was very fearful that I was starting to slip into dementia. My doctor switched me to Tomoxifin and the cognitive problems were better, but not relieved. She then gave me several months of no meds at all to see if those cognitive issues world get better. Sure enough, after just a month or so of being off meds., my cognitive abilities were fine again. Yes, Anastrozole and other estrogen medications can cause memory issues. At my most recent appointment, about a month ago, my oncologist switched me to Exemestane. So far it’s been ok, with few side effects. Hoping it stays that way for me! Best of luck to you in finding just the right treatment/meds for you. I surely is a challenge!

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@lisman1408

Sparklegram, I was on Anastrozole for about 6 months and had some awful side effects. The worst being problems with cognitive function and memory loss. I was very fearful that I was starting to slip into dementia. My doctor switched me to Tomoxifin and the cognitive problems were better, but not relieved. She then gave me several months of no meds at all to see if those cognitive issues world get better. Sure enough, after just a month or so of being off meds., my cognitive abilities were fine again. Yes, Anastrozole and other estrogen medications can cause memory issues. At my most recent appointment, about a month ago, my oncologist switched me to Exemestane. So far it’s been ok, with few side effects. Hoping it stays that way for me! Best of luck to you in finding just the right treatment/meds for you. I surely is a challenge!

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Lisman, thank you for this reply. Yes, cognitive issues are also a problem. I'm going to be 75 next week, though, so i always wonder…well…is it my age or the Arimidex. But honestly, I think it has worsened with the Arimidex.

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@sparklegram

Trixie, as I've mentioned several times here, I'm taking Arimidex and the side effects are not good! I took an 8 week leave from them (with my Oncologist's OK) and saw relief) i began taking them again on Sept. 9th, hoping they wouldn't return but they have. I have an email into my doctor to see if I can take another test break, returning to the state of health I had BEFORE Arimidex and then try a different drug. Trixie, how long have you been on Exemestane, and how are you feeling? i just read a pretty reassuring article about that drug. https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/research/exemestane-reduces-risk

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Yes – good luck with that. Just FYI – exemestane is very expensive. Check to see what your insurance will pay. Mine was going to pay like 340 a month, but my co-pay was going to be 245 a month. In the end my Oncologist did not switch me. Anastrozole is like 18$ for 90 day supply for me in comparison.

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@kathyomaha55

Yes – good luck with that. Just FYI – exemestane is very expensive. Check to see what your insurance will pay. Mine was going to pay like 340 a month, but my co-pay was going to be 245 a month. In the end my Oncologist did not switch me. Anastrozole is like 18$ for 90 day supply for me in comparison.

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Whoa, thank you for the heads-up about cost, Kathy. I'll look into that. I have Kaiser and Medicare advantage. I'll investigate!

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@kathyomaha55

Yes – good luck with that. Just FYI – exemestane is very expensive. Check to see what your insurance will pay. Mine was going to pay like 340 a month, but my co-pay was going to be 245 a month. In the end my Oncologist did not switch me. Anastrozole is like 18$ for 90 day supply for me in comparison.

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$18, wow! I pay $4 for a 90 day supply of Anastrozole.

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@baker1

$18, wow! I pay $4 for a 90 day supply of Anastrozole.

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Is anyone in this forum a Kaiser/medicare patient who takes Exemestrane/Aromasin? If so, is it covered in the Kaiser formulary?

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@baker1

$18, wow! I pay $4 for a 90 day supply of Anastrozole.

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Is that thru Medicare? I will qualify for Medicare next August, I'm on the ACA medical insurance now.

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@kathyomaha55

Is that thru Medicare? I will qualify for Medicare next August, I'm on the ACA medical insurance now.

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Kathy, we have been long-time Kaiser patients and when we qualified for Medicare, we kept Kaiser and enrolled in their Medicare Advantage program, They also have a Medicare Plus option that covers Vision, dental, and hearing. We haven't looked into that, and I'm not sure why not! it only costs $20 extra a month. Heaven knows, those areas should be covered for seniors!!! I plan to ask my Oncoolgist is Exemestane/Aromasin is covered in the Kaiser formulary.

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Yes, Exemestane is very expensive! I am on Medicare and the AARP pharmacy supplement by United Health Care. I paid nearly $600 for a three month supply. I’ve been on it a little over a month now and the good part is that haven’t had severe side effects so far!! Since I have already bought a three month supply, I’m hoping I can find another pharmacy supplement before I need to refill! I have an appointment coming up with a Medicare supplement specialist to see if he can give me some direction for a lower cost.

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Does anyone know when Exemestane goes off patent and a generic will be available?

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@lisman1408

Yes, Exemestane is very expensive! I am on Medicare and the AARP pharmacy supplement by United Health Care. I paid nearly $600 for a three month supply. I’ve been on it a little over a month now and the good part is that haven’t had severe side effects so far!! Since I have already bought a three month supply, I’m hoping I can find another pharmacy supplement before I need to refill! I have an appointment coming up with a Medicare supplement specialist to see if he can give me some direction for a lower cost.

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OOOOO! Will you please let us know what you find out from the Medicare supplement specialist about possible lower costs for exemestane. ( I have to look at my notes every time i write "exemestane". I knew how to spell Arimidex.)

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@cfacarol

Does anyone know when Exemestane goes off patent and a generic will be available?

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Good information, cfacarol. So that explains the high cost. i wasn't aware of that.

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Looked online, and it appears that exemestane IS an off patent drug. The brand name product is called Aromasin. I do not understand why it is still so expensive, unless is more effective or has fewer side effects than the other two Aromatase Inhibitors. I don’t understand all this, but I think it does have a different chemical reaction in the body than Arimidex or Femara.

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@cfacarol

Looked online, and it appears that exemestane IS an off patent drug. The brand name product is called Aromasin. I do not understand why it is still so expensive, unless is more effective or has fewer side effects than the other two Aromatase Inhibitors. I don’t understand all this, but I think it does have a different chemical reaction in the body than Arimidex or Femara.

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I'll ask my Oncologist when I speak to her next time. Thank you for your follow-up!

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