Hormone therapy & fatigue - how long does it last?

Five weeks ago I was switched from tamoxifen to Zoladex and Arimidex because of really bad SEs on Tamoxifen. One of the worst SEs for me is the fatigue, which I’m still experiencing on these drugs. I’m normally a very active person and I find the inability to exercise and live my life as I would normally very difficult. I think I could get my head round it if I knew the fatigue would wear off, but the thought that I will have to feel like this for the next 4.5 years is depressing. I have to see the onc again in 4 weeks and feel at the moment that she will have to argue quite hard to convince me I should stay on it.

Has anyone suffered from fatigue and found that it has worn off after a certain length of time?

All experiences would be very welcome!

Hi Salopets,

I haven’t posted much on this forum.

I am sorry you are feeling fatigue, it is really rough and you look like you enjoy athletics.

I have been on Armidex for almost 4 years now and the fatigue, listlessness have been a major problem for me to the point that I am off work for a while to try to rebuild my energy.

I was pushing myself way to hard, so I don’t think my body had the opportunity to recoupe.

Everyone is different. I was told SEs would go away after nine months - but for me they didn’t.

I read recently that said women with SEs on Tamoxifen were more likely to have a longer time between reoccurrence. So maybe Arimidex is the same … and maybe side effects are a good thing???

hi I have found the side effects quite tiring too, I just feel exhausted all the time very listless. I am used to being active but cant seeem to motivate myself anymore. I also have stiff fingers and sometimes they lock ,dident have any problems before I started on arimidex.I feel 20 years older and I walk so slow, but it seems we have no choice, well we do but for me its not an option, love suzan x

Hi, I’m really struggling too but I thought it was from the herceptin, I hope it’s not from the Tamoxifen… can’t face another 4 years of feeling this tired! Let me know how you get on please x

Sorry to say that I have been on Arimidex over 3 years and still have very bad fatigue. I cannot raise much enthusiasm or energy for anything. I always feel exhausted. What I want to know is do I get back to normal after the 5 years when I stop taking them. I have put a thread on here but no-one has yet answered.

Sorry for this reply but maybe everyone is different.

I was on tamoxifen for 3 years and the tiredness really got to me. I didnt give up work and couldnt concentrate properly because of the exhaustion.

I have come off the tamoxifen early and am starting to feel better after 6 months - probably should have considered coming off work before coming off the tamoxifen! but felt I needed cash and energy to live life … waiting to see what happens next.

wish I had asked for advice for myself a year ago before making these decisions. would now consider - make sure you are resting, cut out anything in your life that makes you tired (or miserable) so that the only factor influencing tiredness is the drugs and then start trying to use the energy you have for the stuff that makes you happy.

probably more use to me than you this post - its helped me think stuff through!!! thanks x

Thanks for the replies ladies, although they don’t seem very encouraging:~/

I’m not working at the moment as I decided not to go back to a job that was very physically demanding and would increase the risk of lymphoedema. So I’m concentrating on trying to build up the exercise I’m able to do. At the moment, that’s limited to swimming and walking, although I have to do both for much less time than I would normally and at a much slower pace.

This is so frustrating - I need challenges in my life and lots of things on my “bucket list” involve physical activity. When I was dx last December, I decided that I’d do these things sooner, rather than later. Not much chance of that the way I’m feeling at the moment! And if I stay on these drugs for 5 years, I’ll be nearly 58 when I finish. Will I be able to get fit enough to do these things then? Who knows? You make a point that bothers me christiane, about getting back to normal. I did have a break from tamoxifen after 3 months and within a week I felt great - I was running again and felt completely normal. But will it be that easy after 5 years?

Salopets - I am sorry to say, but no-one has yet come back to me to say that after 5 years I shall be back to normal despite several requests for answers on this site. I wonder why?