Anastrozole and Tamoxifen experience after menopause

Hello Ladies
I’m trying to gather experiences of older ladies who have stopped AI due to side effects and switched to Tamoxifen rather than stopping hormone therapy completely. If you switched, what side effects did you have compared to AI?

I am 60 and struggling on anatrozole. BCN suggests I could switch to Tamoxifen.
Any info please to help me decide. Aaarghh!:womansad:

Hi Melly,

I have the option of going onto anastrozole, but have stayed on tamoxifen as side effects have not been a problem & clinically, it does not make much difference to me in terms of outcomes. 

I also like the fact that it is protective of bones, as I understand, in post menopausal women it acts like hrt on bones as well as the cardiovascular system. 

It may well be worth having a go with it & see how you get on. Side effects are not always a given. 

ann x

Hi Melly, 

I have recently stopped Letrozole and after a 4 week break started on Tamoxifen 5 weeks ago.

I took Letrozole for 9 months and had chronic joint pain in my ankles knees and shoulders . Some days I couldn’t get out of the bath. I also had chronic vaginal dryness which made me miserable and affected my relationship. 

My oncologist suggested a change to Tamoxifen and, as Ann says, I was happy with this as I have osteoporosis and it is kinder to our bones.

My joint pain reduced dramatically in the 4 week break, as did the vaginal dryness.

After 5 weeks on Tamoxifen the main side effect is an increase in hot flushes but these are manageable. 

I still have slight dryness and slight joint pain, but overall not too bad at all.

5 weeks is probably early days but I remain hopeful. I certainly feel much better than I did whilst taking Letrozole. 

I hope this helps, but please ask away if you have any more questions.

Sending best wishes 

Andi x



Hi Melly, I had to switch after experiencing systemic discomfort with Anastrozole. During the night it was unbearable, possibly as a result of an interaction with medications I already take.  My oncologist said she hadn’t every heard of this type of body-wide discomfort before.  I asked her to switch me to Tamoxifen and she agreed.  It has predictable side effects, but is 100% better (for me).  I gained weight, my face is a little puffy, I’ve lost some hair, and a year in I’m starting to get sore hip joints.  It moves around, resolving in one area and popping up in another. Another day in paradise.  :):slight_smile: