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?

@gwinter

@kathyomaha55 when I was anastrozole, in one day I had 62 bouts of hot flashes and the following day for just a few hours I would say I had suicidal thought. Thank heavens I knew what was up (due to reading these blogs and the most wonderful pharmacist) and called the Dr
Horrendous feeling of loss of control!

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@gwinter
That's the key thing, isn't it… sharing our experiences alerts and educates us to get help when needed! Thank you for your post,

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I was talking recently with two women friends who have also gone through breast cancer. They have both decided to not take the recommended AI. They told me there was a recent study about using AI that showed a 30% chance of recurrence. I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but would love to read any current studies. Does anyone have a link?

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@gwinter

@trixie are you taking anything for your hot flashes?
Anybody ideas??

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Listening to Q & A and if go to 9 min 30 sec point in this video, she talks about side effects hormone therapy and discusses hot flashes.

Video Q&A about attaining renewed vitality after a breast cancer diagnosis

In this Q&A about attaining renewed vitality after a breast cancer diagnosis, Dr. Dawn Mussallem will answer questions, along with a panel of experts: Raul Rosario Concepcion, M.D.; Kristin Lothman, MSW, LCSW; and Debra Silverman, MS, RDN, LD/N. Learn more at https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-breast-cancer-survivorship-care-planning/.

Posted by Mayo Clinic on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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@trixie1313

@kathyomaha55 My daughter-in-law has seen the improvement since my switching to exemestane as with the other two AIs, the heel pain made it difficult to get up from a seated position to stand and walk as well as hand, leg, and elbow pain. Sure do hope it goes better for you as it has with me.

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I had hands & shoulders & toes! The shoulders & toes are so much better – I was on anastrozole for 11 months. I sure hope switching helps. Watching the Mayo clinic Video right now. They mention exercise – which I do. And acupuncture for joint pain – interesting!!

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@dmgweiss

I was talking recently with two women friends who have also gone through breast cancer. They have both decided to not take the recommended AI. They told me there was a recent study about using AI that showed a 30% chance of recurrence. I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but would love to read any current studies. Does anyone have a link?

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I was told – that whatever my chance for recurrence was – the AI inhibitor cuts that in Half. Otherwise I would not be doing this. If it returns, metastasized Breast cancer is essentially incurable. It only has a 22% 5 year survival rate. 🙁

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@sparklegram

Bressie, I'm happy to stay in touch. I started the exemestane on Monday October 28th, 2019 so it's too soon to tell about side effects. With my Kaiser insurance I always pay $5.00 per RX of any pills. Yes! It helps to chat with other "old gals"!

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Exemestane was $101.00 for 30 days (after I had met my deductible) for me.

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@kathyomaha55

Exemestane was $101.00 for 30 days (after I had met my deductible) for me.

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Kathy, that's horrible! It shouldn't be this way. Does anyone know of a way to avoid these kinds of prices? (besides joining Kaiser!) Kathy, do you have Medicare?

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@sparklegram

Kathy, that's horrible! It shouldn't be this way. Does anyone know of a way to avoid these kinds of prices? (besides joining Kaiser!) Kathy, do you have Medicare?

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Next year in August. I'm 64 now. The ACA was the only insurance I could get – Medica in Nebraska. Glad it exists though otherwise none at all. It said the retail price of the drug was: 687.99 I hope when I get to January, I do not have to pay that amount.

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@kathyomaha55

Next year in August. I'm 64 now. The ACA was the only insurance I could get – Medica in Nebraska. Glad it exists though otherwise none at all. It said the retail price of the drug was: 687.99 I hope when I get to January, I do not have to pay that amount.

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@kathyomaha55 That is just crazy – I wonder what your state's attorney general or state insurance commissioner think of that…sure seems like price gouging.

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@sparklegram

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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I will start on Exemestane tomorrow – let me know how long it takes for the joint pain to ease. I'll be counting the days too! I want to take for the full 5 years too – but side effects really affect my quality of life. Hoping this new drug works better for me.

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@kathyomaha55

I will start on Exemestane tomorrow – let me know how long it takes for the joint pain to ease. I'll be counting the days too! I want to take for the full 5 years too – but side effects really affect my quality of life. Hoping this new drug works better for me.

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Fingers crossed, Kathy! Keep us posted.

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@colleenyoung

If you're online right now, please hop over to see this live presentation by Dr. Dawn Mussallem, a diagnostic breast specialist, on achieving optimal well-being through diet, exercise, and stress management, followed by a Q&A session for which Dr. Mussallem will be joined by these specialists:

– Kristin Lothman, MSW, LCSW, Mind-Body Counselor
– Dr. Raul Rosario Concepcion, Physical Medicine and Cancer Prehabilitation
– Debra Silverman, MS, RDN, LD/N, Integrative Cancer Nutritionist

Click this link to watch live or to see the archive any time: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-breast-cancer-survivorship-care-planning/

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The presentation was excellent. Evidence based information about how diet, exercise, and other strategies like meditation yoga can help with side effects of cancer treatment and lower the chances of recurrence.

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@trixie1313

@gwinter I underwent surgical menopause at age 44 (removal of uterus and ovaries). It was brutal. At that time they gave us estrogen pills twice daily which helped immensely but then the Women's Health Study came out and that was stopped. I think back then my Gynecologist gave me some sort of psych pill for a short time, but I don't remember the name. I do take my aromatase inhibitors at night and will awaken with sweats, but daytime hot flashes are minimal then. They tend to start about an hour after I take my pill. I stay away from alcohol as that tends to start them off more. I've also upped my exercise doing water time and a lot of walking. I think staying active helps a lot. With the fire here in northern California, I have both of my kids' families and animals living with us so am doing a LOT of cooking and baking and having huge hot flashes…I have one of those little fans that hand around your neck and it helps immensely!

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There is BRHT (bio identical replacement hormone therapy) that is made from plants versus synthetic hormones (pharmaceuticals). In Suzanne Somers book AGELESS she explains this along with a list of doctors, professionals who have done studies/work with women in this phase of our lives. It starts out with requesting a blood or saliva test which gives information on your specific hormone levels and what suggestions as to how to replace the loss of estrogen and progesterone. I am searching this area for myself in post menopause and looking for a doctor that can work with me on this.

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@marjou

There is BRHT (bio identical replacement hormone therapy) that is made from plants versus synthetic hormones (pharmaceuticals). In Suzanne Somers book AGELESS she explains this along with a list of doctors, professionals who have done studies/work with women in this phase of our lives. It starts out with requesting a blood or saliva test which gives information on your specific hormone levels and what suggestions as to how to replace the loss of estrogen and progesterone. I am searching this area for myself in post menopause and looking for a doctor that can work with me on this.

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Wow if it's chemically identical – is it not still estrogen? I would be afraid of using it. But that's me. I Just had a friend diagnosed with metastasized BC. Which is essentially incurable. She is terminal now as it's in many organs. 🙁

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@kathyomaha55, I'm really sorry to hear about your friend. Please let her know that we send her our love.

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