Is insomnia a side effect after finishing Aromasin

I am suffering with terrible insomnia - which is getting worse and worse. It is now nearly 4am and I am showing no signs of wanting to sleep. Each night gets worse and worse.

It is exactly a month since I was told to stop taking Aromasin as I am now 5 years since diagnosis. I am wondering if this sleeplessness is a side effect of coming off the tablets.

And if it is - does anyone have any ideas on how I can get to sleep. Each night I dread going to bed because I know what’s in store… Help!!

Christiane x

Hi Christiane

I’m sorry to hear that you are having a pretty tough time at the moment. I’m sure the users of this site will be along to support you soon.

In the meantime maybe you would like to talk to a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer support and practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 600 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Could be the withdrawal from Aromasin… When you think about what it’s doing (I’m on it plus Zoladex), its affecting the production of an enzyme or hormone in the brain (I’m not expert!)which then prevents the production of oestogen in muscles and tissues. Now that’s not happening you can imagine that supressed activites are getting going again and maybe making your system wake-up… Hormones affect many of our functions, sleep patterns included…

Being right and proper,I would suggest that it might be settling and help you to feel like you’re “doing something” if you were to call whoever told you to stop Aromasin (GP? Consultant?)and mention your worry to them. But in your position, I KNOW I would feel daft and would maybe first try to stop fretting that I can’t sleep - which in itself can stop you sleeping!and just rest sleeplessly, read etc and catch up during the day by napping if possible until maybe the changes in the system straighten themselves out…

Try the old cures - warm bath, milky drink, reading before lights-out, no TV etc in run-up to bed time etc. Good luck!

p.s. do you think you might be subconsciously fearful of the fact that the cancer could come back without the Aromasin? That could be contributing to sleepless nights!If so, take comfort that “they” do not want you on such a powerful drug for longer than necessary because of the side-effects and after 5 years, it has done its job! How amazing to be able to ge on with life free from treatment! Enjoy!

Haxted - Thank you for replying.
What you say makes a lot of sense. I hadn’t thought about the hormones previously blocking things in my system - and now awakening up. How simply put and how logical.
Also, the other points that you made.
Cancer drugs are powerful drugs and if one was on an addictive drug one would be told to leave it off gradually so maybe because I was told just to stop at the end of June that could be a shock to my system until it gets used to it.
How logical.

I am thankful that the drug has done its stuff and perhaps I should learn to enjoy the night hours. It is peaceful sitting with the dogs! They enjoy my company at that time.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
Christiane x