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?

@sparklegram

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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Sparklegram, I’ll post whatever I find out for everyone here to review. But it’s likely to depend on what your individual Medicare drug supplement insurance is willing to cover. Unfortunately the AARP coverage is through United Health Care insurance, and they cover very little of the cost for Exemestane. They cover Anastrozole and Tomoxifin very well, but not much on Exemestane. Many drug costs also depend on state insurance laws.

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Thank you!

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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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@cfacarol
Although Exemestane (Aromasin) is an AI and functions like anastrozole and letrozole, it is chemically different in that it is a steroid. It may be that difference which allows manufacturers to charge more? and insurance companies to try to steer patients away from it?

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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've been on the exemestane for about a month now. Still having some bone pain, but not severe and all over like with the other two AIs. Have a few hot flashes, but nothing like when I had surgical menopause. I do take my pill at night time so that may help alleviate some of the hot flashes, possibly going on while I'm sleeping because I will wake up with sweats. I do get insomnia..go to sleep and wake up 1-2 hours later and can't sleep. I keep my Nook near me so when I can't sleep, I just read for 1 or 2 hours and then fall back to sleep. The fatigue from all three is rough, but I'm dealing better with it from walking and therapeutic water exercise. For me, after trying out all 3 aromatiase inhibitors, the exemestane seems to be tolerable.

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@sparklegram

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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sparklegram @baker1
I pay $5 for a 3-month supply with Kaiser insurance and their senior advantage.

Liked by kathyomaha55

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@elizm

@cfacarol
Although Exemestane (Aromasin) is an AI and functions like anastrozole and letrozole, it is chemically different in that it is a steroid. It may be that difference which allows manufacturers to charge more? and insurance companies to try to steer patients away from it?

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I think you are correct about why exemestane is so expensive. Does anyone know anything about the those online discount coupons for prescription drugs? I’ve been taking Femara (letrozole) for 2 months and although the side effects are not intolerable, I don’t feel great. The anecdotal comments about Aromasin (exemestane) sound promising. I have Medicare with the AARP/UHC supplement so cost will be prohibitive unless those coupons are valid. There is 0 cost for the Femara.

Liked by kathyomaha55

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@cfacarol

I think you are correct about why exemestane is so expensive. Does anyone know anything about the those online discount coupons for prescription drugs? I’ve been taking Femara (letrozole) for 2 months and although the side effects are not intolerable, I don’t feel great. The anecdotal comments about Aromasin (exemestane) sound promising. I have Medicare with the AARP/UHC supplement so cost will be prohibitive unless those coupons are valid. There is 0 cost for the Femara.

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I’m also in your situation with costs. I’m also on Medicare with AARP drug supplement and recently was prescribed Exemestane. I feel much better with it than I did on other medications, but AARP pays little of the cost. My husband is still employed and I work part time. For now… we are able to stretch finances to afford it, but I’d much rather be putting that high drug co-pay into our retirement funds for the day when we only have Social Security for an income.

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@trixie1313

sparklegram @baker1
I pay $5 for a 3-month supply with Kaiser insurance and their senior advantage.

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I’m with KY retired teachers insurance through Anthem.

Liked by kathyomaha55

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@cfacarol

I think you are correct about why exemestane is so expensive. Does anyone know anything about the those online discount coupons for prescription drugs? I’ve been taking Femara (letrozole) for 2 months and although the side effects are not intolerable, I don’t feel great. The anecdotal comments about Aromasin (exemestane) sound promising. I have Medicare with the AARP/UHC supplement so cost will be prohibitive unless those coupons are valid. There is 0 cost for the Femara.

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Several years back, there was no generic for something which I was prescribed. The cost, even with my very good drug plan, was outrageous. I decided to explore online coupons. I found one from the manufacturer of the pill which I could use at a retail pharmacy which was fine with me (it saved me a gzillion dollars). About the time it expired, a generic came out which my drug plan was happy to provide.

In the case of exemestane (Aromasin), you might want to start with Pfiser and see what it is willing to do. If it is a question of negotiation, be armed with other coupons and ask if they are willing to match them.

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Thank you, good idea.

Liked by kathyomaha55

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@cfacarol

I think you are correct about why exemestane is so expensive. Does anyone know anything about the those online discount coupons for prescription drugs? I’ve been taking Femara (letrozole) for 2 months and although the side effects are not intolerable, I don’t feel great. The anecdotal comments about Aromasin (exemestane) sound promising. I have Medicare with the AARP/UHC supplement so cost will be prohibitive unless those coupons are valid. There is 0 cost for the Femara.

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When I started Letrazole it was going to be over $1100 for 3 months! I used the GOODRX coupon and it was $57 for 3 months. Isn't that crazy?
I am now on Anastrozole and with the GOODRX coupon I get 3 months for $26 at Wal-Mart.
Look them up. Different pharmacies are different prices.

Liked by elizm

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Thank you.

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Yes ive been on arimidex for 3mo my hair has gotten thin but but started biotin and its coming back but its very fine. Its thd extrene exhaustion thats gettibg me down as wrlk as muscle weakness. I was extremely active before and at 70 all my dr. Say i dont act that old nor look that old. Well now i feel like 90 and i have 4.5 years to go. I had hrp1 grade 1 non aggressive all lymph node clean cancer was smaller than a cheerio no chemo no radiation. I wonder if this is realky necessary. All kinds of female issues i didnt have before. Maybe you will be among wonen who have no side affects

Liked by sparklegram

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@bressie

Yes ive been on arimidex for 3mo my hair has gotten thin but but started biotin and its coming back but its very fine. Its thd extrene exhaustion thats gettibg me down as wrlk as muscle weakness. I was extremely active before and at 70 all my dr. Say i dont act that old nor look that old. Well now i feel like 90 and i have 4.5 years to go. I had hrp1 grade 1 non aggressive all lymph node clean cancer was smaller than a cheerio no chemo no radiation. I wonder if this is realky necessary. All kinds of female issues i didnt have before. Maybe you will be among wonen who have no side affects

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bressie, i was on Arimidex for almost 2 years. I quit a week ago because I simply can't take the side effects. My doctor has prescribed Exemestane. I'm hoping I can tolerate it better than the other. Like you, I'm in my 70's (I just turned 75) and quality of life is important! I will continue taking the meds for the 5 years. i don't want a recurrence, so…fingers crossed!

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@bressie

Yes ive been on arimidex for 3mo my hair has gotten thin but but started biotin and its coming back but its very fine. Its thd extrene exhaustion thats gettibg me down as wrlk as muscle weakness. I was extremely active before and at 70 all my dr. Say i dont act that old nor look that old. Well now i feel like 90 and i have 4.5 years to go. I had hrp1 grade 1 non aggressive all lymph node clean cancer was smaller than a cheerio no chemo no radiation. I wonder if this is realky necessary. All kinds of female issues i didnt have before. Maybe you will be among wonen who have no side affects

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Why don’t you try Tamoxifen – less side effects

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