Letrozole and tiredness.

Hi, I have been on letrozole for two weeks now and have noticed I have become tired and a bit emotional too. I was wondering if anyone else had these side effects? I am hoping my body will adjust and my energy level will return. Thank you in advance.


Hi Mel,
I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing the same side effects as me. I’m just over 4 months into Letrozole. I feel very tired on occasion and have had loads of duvet days during the hard winter. I also feel stiff and sore in my joints - and a hundred years old. It’s difficult to know which side effects come from which treatment - hormone, Zometa or radiotherapy. And the underlying problem, of course, of which the SE’s are a constant reminder. No wonder we’re emotional at times!
Letrozole is a powerful little pill and I am told that my breast tumour has shrunk. That makes it all worthwhile. I hope, like you, my energy will return and I expect the better weather will help us all. Doubtless there will be days better than others And we’ll make the most of those.
Susan xx

Thank you for your reply. I finished chemo in Feb and was feeling so much better until this week, Ive noticed I have been more tired. I have had zoeta since July which I tolerate well. I also have started zoladex again so that may contribute to the tiredness. I am also getting myself worried about returning to work…long story…but they are not being overly supportive. So I think its a mixture of things really. I am pleased to hear letrozole is working well for you, its worth putting up with se when its working. I have to wait 6 weeks before I am rescanned, chemo worked well for me, just hope this one will. (tamoxifen didnt work for me), so lets hope this one will.
Thanks again,
Mel xxx

Just spoke to my nurse who seems to think that it is related to letrozole. She feels it should settle down in 6-8 weeks but to let her know if it doesnt and she will get me reviewed sooner.
Just be kind to myself xxxx

Yes, I’ve had real tired days. Started Letrozole 5 months ago, now just getting ready to come off it and onto chemo (long story). When I started it was the beginning of the run-up to Chrstmas and after 2 weeks I really had to nap every afternoon when working at home and at the office I would just go into the rest room and chill for 20 minutes. Now I’m up and down and I think when I treat my body as if it was a four year old not quite ready to give up naps, and pace myself and try to even out activity through the week, I feel better. I have osteoarthritis anyway so it’s hard to work out what is joint pain from that and what is from the tablets. My friend who has Parkinsons (but NOT BC) says she feels better after a workout in the gym. For me it is the summit of my week! So hang on in there. I’ll be back on the Letrazole in 20 weeks!

Thank Penny. I hope the chemo goes smoothly for you. Finished mine back in Feb. Letrozole is a maintenance drug for me xxx

Have been on Letrozole for over 3 years now and it is keeping me stable HOWEVER yes it does make my joints ache and I am tired and usually have an afternoon nap, though the tiredness may have other contributors. I do have arthritis too now so that adds to it. I get a bit fed up sometimes but then remind myself what a great job the letrozole is doing and that normally makes me feel much better.
Hope your chemo is kind to you Penny, glad you’ve had shrinkage ponsmuir hope that continues! Buffy hope you can get some encouragement from knowing that letrozole despite SE’s is an effective drug.
Best wishes, Julie x

Thank you everyone for those words of wisdom and encouragement. I was feeling less tired and getting stronger everyday after chemo finished and then seemed to have the tiredness return after 2 weeks of the drug.
Thanks again
Mel xx

To add my voice here…

I’ve been on Letrozole for over 3 years now and fatigue is major ongoing side-effect for me and liek Julie, I have to remind myself how effective a drug it is. I’ve had to adjust my lifestyle accordingly and this has included changing my job. I’ve been told that I’ll probably be prescribed Letrozole for 7-10 years so the fatigue is something I have had to accept I just have to put up with in order to stay on the medication deemed most effective and appropriate for me. The oncologist did offer a change to Tamoxifen which he thought might mean that fatigue became no longer a problem - however, on balance he thought Tamoxifen could be less efficacious so I opted to stay on Letrozole.

Do hope you manage to adjust and your nurse is correct in the assertion that it settles down in a few weeks.

Have been taking letrozole for 4 weeks now( just 5yrs to go ) and am onto 8 of 15 rad treatment today. Told BN nurse I was very tired and she said that was quite normal and would last a while. I also have aches in most of my joints.
I think that i have gotten off lightly (not having to have chemo) so I am willing to put up with SEs as long as it is helping to chase the little b*****s away

Hi I have been taking letrozole for almost a year and it does get easier I work full time but sometimes on a weekend I can have a nap on an afternoon for a couple of hours.
At first the aches and pains were really bad even keeping me awake at night but I found thatthe different makes of the drug gave different side effects.
I am currently taking the TEVA make and the aches and pains are much less,sometimes the chemist supplies different makes each try to moniter the effects and if you find one that suits you stick to it

thanks for this. I mentioned the TEVA version to my GP and she had heard the same about the lesser SE’s. I am going to try it to see for myself and will report any improvement or change.

I’ve been on Letrazole for over a year now, and I’m really stiff when I stand up (like an old lady) but it wears off. I’m working full time and some, and coping, but my OH has noticed that I fall asleep every time I sit down - church, home, concert! The joint stiffness/pains seem to be improving with Enzyme Q10… which someone recommended for the joint problems caused by stattins (which I’m also on). The thing that bugs me is that my hair is still really thin on top, and I’m told that’s because of the drug - giving “male hair thinning” problems!!!

Some of you seem to be awfully close to treatment, so THAT could be the cause of your fatigue. It took me months longer than I expected to be “back to normal” - in fact, over a year… google “the spoon theory” - it helped!

Appreciate this is a thread about tiredness but noticed some comments about joint pain and stiffness and wanted to ask does anyone take Turmeric ‘Golden’ paste? I’ve been on Letrozole two and a half years now, considered myself to be very lucky re side effects, then over the past couple of months noticed an increase in stiffness. I’ve added Turmeric (along with some oil and black pepper) to my cooking for almost as long as I’ve been diagnosed (straight to stage 4, 2015) so didn’t really see how much more the paste could help me…how wrong was I!..felt an improvement almost immediately! Definitely worth a try if treatment allows, which I think many do. I find I sleep much better too, don’t know if that’s because I’m more comfortable or not. Info is on line or fb but happy to post the recipe and how to take if anyone is interested. Kxx