Brands of Letrozole/Anastrazole

Struggling with the pain on Letrozole.  Oncologist has said to change to Anastrazole.  Picked up prescription today but when I looked at Patient Information Leaflet, they were manufactured by Pharmadox Malta - this is the same manufacturer of all the brands of Letrozole I have been on - Glenmark and Manx Healthcare.  Do you think this will mean I will get the same pain on the Anastrazole?  Don’t know whether to try the change of tablet or ask for a different brand of Letrozole?  Feeling very overwhelmed by all this - just want the best treatment with the least pain as I was a fairly fit and healthy 55 year old and now feel like an old woman ?

Hi Calley


I completely sympathise. I’ve been suffering on anastrozole and, although my oncologist and pharmacist are sceptical, I’m looking at the brand approach before changing, based on the experiences of several women on here and in our local facebook group. I told the oncologist that, while I was supposedly approaching my 70s, I felt like it was my 90s. I’ve always been very agile and mobile till 6 months ago.


I had no side effects for 3 months (hospital prescription). Then it changed to GP/local pharmacy prescriptions and I noticed a slow, steady development of side effects to the point where I take maybe an hour to get moving in the mornings and limp because my feet bones hurt so much. I raised the issue of brand with the pharmacist and they got me Manx. Within days I was a wreck of hot flushes and muscle pain so back I went to Teva. I then asked the hospital what brand they dispensed and it was Accord, which people had been recommending. Unfortunately my pharmacist said they can’t get it. I rang around till I found a chemist who could and today I collected three months of Accord. I’m not expecting miracles but some improvement would definitely make life more bearable.


Obviously I think it’s something worth trying. Manx was awful, Teva suits some women but not me. Accord suited me in the first 3 months but maybe that was just early days and the joint/muscle pain would have come anyway. I won’t know for a month or so. The problem is that the ‘evidence’ is anecdotal and scientifically-trained specialists need real evidence (as if our personal experiences don’t count - bit like chemo side effects!). If you present a determined case, you’ll probably get support for a prescription specifying a brand - then you’ll have to shop around possibly. I can’t speak for Letrozole but Accord seems to be the anastrozole best tolerated by people here and recent research has shown anastrozole is the best protection against recurrence.


I hope you find a solution. I can’t wait to wake up without have it to unfurl my fingers one by one and massage them for ages before I can hold a mug of tea!

Hi Calley65

I previously took accord Letrozole, which was fine, then my pharmacist had issues getting it, so I was on Dr Reddys. It was awful, I could hardly move. 
I called my BCN, who spoke to one of the oncologists, he was going to change the prescription. In the meantime my pharmacist managed to get the accord. 
I’m much better, on the accord. 
My BCN confirmed there have been issues with certain brands of Letrozole.