Irregular Heartbeat and AI's

Hi, I am seeing a Cardiologist next month, having endured almost a year (since last Sept) of feeling like i am banging my head against a brick wall!!

Since starting Anastrozole last Sept, I started having irregular heart rhythms which i spoke to my Onco, Radiotherapy consultant, GP, Specialist Breast nurse and Breast unit consultant about and out of all of them my GP seemed to think it was possibly as a result of the Anastrozole or oneof the Chemo drugs. What surprised me the most was the response of my Oncologist who dismissed it without any further investigation.

Since then i have had a stay overnight in hospital, 2 ECG’s, echocardiogram, 24 hour Holter monitor, Doppler scan, prescribed Bisoprolol (beta blocker to slow hearbeat which i never had trouble with before the B/C.

I have since discoverd that there is evidence on a reputable Cancer charity research website (Cancer Research UK) that the Chemo drug, Epirubicin (part of the trio of chemo drugs that make up the FEC), has as a side effect it can cause damage to the heart muscle which produces irregular hearbeat which is usually temporary but in a few can be permanent. Now today i have found that the Anastrozole hormone lists as one of it’s endles side effects = It can induce an irregular hearbeat. So i wonder which one is causing me all this unnecessary grief that is severely inhibiting my lifestyle and turning me into a person that i never thought i would become ~ I think about things all the time, have to push myself to go out on my own to the shops and try not to worry when have a funny turn or feel dizzy and off balance, i feel like i have lost confidence and my independence and refuse invitations to go places because i think ahead and worry what if i have a funny turn and i am not near home. I really hope that the Cardiologist can understand how i feel and that this is ruining my life and what are they able to do about it ~ i already told my hubby that if it is the hormone tablets that are doing this then i am quite prepared to stop taking them and get rid of this awful thing. Sorry to go on and on but i have had enough! Cheers, Michele x

Hi seashell60

I’m sorry to read you’re having such a tough time a he moment.  Whilst you wait for the other users to reply with their support and experiences you might find it helpful to talk things through with a member of saff on the helpline.  Here you can share your feelings and concerns with someone who will offer you a listeninf ear as well as emotional support and practical information.  The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and lines are open weekdays 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.

Best wishes Sam, Facilitator 

Hi Michelle, don’t post on here much now just pop by for the odd read but have found myself back on here regularly again with what seems like another load of crap unexpected side effects. I had a mini stroke about a month ago which they think may of been down to the chemo and/or tamoxifen. I now have had 2 ecg’s , 2 blood tests, an echocardiogram, my neck scanned, ct scan on my brain, and a holter monitor for 72 hours and they’re still no clearer. All a bit bleep off really as at 37 I have previously had no other health issues and was never warned of the damage it could cause. I’m in the situation now that if I take the drugs for my heart I can’t take any hormone drugs to stop the cancer coming back as they can’t be taken together. They don’t half know how to throw it at us :confused: I’m still smiling though :smiley: cos after everything Ive been through already I’m not going to let the bastards grind me down (excuse my swearing but it does help) it seems to be quite a common complaint from what I have read up but not one that gets much medical attention or research :frowning: I hope you finally get some help and they get to the bottom of it for you :slight_smile:

Hi Michelle - I was really interested to read your post …I’ve just posted mine titled “Anastrozole and tachycardia” and it seems we may both have a similar side effect to our hormone medication? I didn’t have chemo … whether that makes any difference to our individual issues I don’t know. Nor do I have an irregular heart beat, but I do consistently have a rapid pulse rate of anything from 109 to 132 and that’s without exercise. I didn’t have chemo, so for me, it’s not that. I did wonder if radiotherapy on my right side )so not heart side), has tightened my lung somehow causing extra effort with breathing, but my doc didn’t think so.


So inclusive. My heart appears allegedly to be okay though at such at a rate it may well tire prematurely. Let’s hope we can sort it out - I hope you read this and respond as it IS quite worrying, isn’t it?


love Cherry