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?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer Support Group.

@wandering

My hair is thinning (age or drugs or both?) I was using a shampoo with biotene (organic). Seems to be working OK but I am looking for suggestions. We try to stay organic if possible. Thanks.

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I wonder if we can use Finseteride to prevent hai loss, or thinning, with the Arimidex?

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@wandering

My hair is thinning (age or drugs or both?) I was using a shampoo with biotene (organic). Seems to be working OK but I am looking for suggestions. We try to stay organic if possible. Thanks.

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Hi Kat,
We took your question about finasteride to a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. This is what she responded:

“Finasteride is used for male pattern baldness in lower doses than those used for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). In rare cases male breast cancer has been reported with finasteride use. Even though this is rare I would expect an oncologist to avoid finasteride in someone with a history of breast cancer especially if other options are available. Around 5% of patients using anastrozole (Arimidex) will have hair thinning. Hormonal therapy does not usually cause complete hair loss. You can find tips on managing hair loss at http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/side-effects/hair-loss-or-alopecia

@wandering and @kat9606 how are you managing the thinning of hair?

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I was treated for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the right breast fourteen months ago. I had a lumpectomy and 20 radiation treatments. I have been on Anastrozole for one year now. Some aches and pains that I can live with. Some weight gain which I am fighting. Main concern is the thinning hair. Does anyone have longer term experience with that issue? If it stopped right now, I could live with it. I’m just afraid of what will happen in another year or any time between now and four years from now when I expect to be finished with this. Any success in fighting back against the hair loss? I have researched but dont really know if there’s a good answer out there that won’t cause some other issue.

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I had almost the same diagnosis as yours, only left breast,in May of 2015. I switched to Letrozole because of the aches/pain side effects. I also experienced the hair loss and thinning. I no longer have the aches with the different medication, but I still had the hair issue. Now, though, it seems to be leveling off. I don’t have as much hair in my brush and my hairline seems to be staying as is. I’m hoping this is the way it will continue; I was told it’s very rare for someone to lose all their hair on these meds….so I’m hopeful!

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@cautiousoptimism

I had almost the same diagnosis as yours, only left breast,in May of 2015. I switched to Letrozole because of the aches/pain side effects. I also experienced the hair loss and thinning. I no longer have the aches with the different medication, but I still had the hair issue. Now, though, it seems to be leveling off. I don’t have as much hair in my brush and my hairline seems to be staying as is. I’m hoping this is the way it will continue; I was told it’s very rare for someone to lose all their hair on these meds….so I’m hopeful!

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Thank you for your feedback!

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@leannz

I was treated for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the right breast fourteen months ago. I had a lumpectomy and 20 radiation treatments. I have been on Anastrozole for one year now. Some aches and pains that I can live with. Some weight gain which I am fighting. Main concern is the thinning hair. Does anyone have longer term experience with that issue? If it stopped right now, I could live with it. I’m just afraid of what will happen in another year or any time between now and four years from now when I expect to be finished with this. Any success in fighting back against the hair loss? I have researched but dont really know if there’s a good answer out there that won’t cause some other issue.

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I took Anastrozole for one year as my oncologist told me it would shrink the tumor in left breast, one year later nothing happened, i did gain weight and still losing hair on top. Did not experience any side effects other than the two mentioned. Found out via research that Anastrozole is suppose to keep cancer from spreading!!!!! About one month ago she started me on Ibrance/Chemo pill which i do not know results as to shrinking tumor as too early to know, it does lower white blood cells however. Still losing hair, i wear hair pieces and have a wig which have not worn yet. Hopefully something in this reply will help. As far as weight gain just this week went to a Dietician who has given me a list of food to eat that can help with diabetes and cancer, i do not eat meat so the list will help me and being able to still walk get some exercise daily walking my companion dog.

starlight

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@leannz

I was treated for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the right breast fourteen months ago. I had a lumpectomy and 20 radiation treatments. I have been on Anastrozole for one year now. Some aches and pains that I can live with. Some weight gain which I am fighting. Main concern is the thinning hair. Does anyone have longer term experience with that issue? If it stopped right now, I could live with it. I’m just afraid of what will happen in another year or any time between now and four years from now when I expect to be finished with this. Any success in fighting back against the hair loss? I have researched but dont really know if there’s a good answer out there that won’t cause some other issue.

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Thanks for the info Starlight, I wish you well

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I have had surgery and radiation but not chemo because of my weight (at the time 72 lbs) and have been on anastrozole for 2 1/2 years now, I had a scary experience today when I went to the store my right arm wouldn’t lift I was short of breath and had pains in my right chest, is this another side effect?

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@dianne53

I have had surgery and radiation but not chemo because of my weight (at the time 72 lbs) and have been on anastrozole for 2 1/2 years now, I had a scary experience today when I went to the store my right arm wouldn’t lift I was short of breath and had pains in my right chest, is this another side effect?

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Hello @dianne53. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thank you for posting to our Community.

I’m concerned about the symptoms you are experiencing and want to urge you to call your local emergency nurses line and talk with someone today. Those symptoms don’t sound like something to mess around with.

On Mayo Clinic Connect, we are a group of members that post and share experiences and are not at all to give medical advice. We always suggest you seek professional medical advice from a Medical Doctor.

Please check back with us and let us know how you are.

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@dianne53

I have had surgery and radiation but not chemo because of my weight (at the time 72 lbs) and have been on anastrozole for 2 1/2 years now, I had a scary experience today when I went to the store my right arm wouldn’t lift I was short of breath and had pains in my right chest, is this another side effect?

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Thank-you for your response, I was
thinking that it may be a side effect of the anastrozole because this is the
second time this has happened and when I went to the hospital a year ago they
found nothing wrong with me and sent me home

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