Letrozole v anastrozole and best brands


i am really struggling with joint and muscle aches and pains on letrozole and more recently anastrozole. Literally my whole body aches and I feel crippled and like I have run a marathon everyday.I struggle to walk.  I know these are typical side effects but is there anything you can advise to help? 
Are there certain brands that are better to take? 

Dear Bepositive,

So sorry to read you’re having such a hard time at the moment with your medication. I was quite lucky. I had a very good pharmacist, I found this was the best way for me to sort out what brand was best they do say different brands work differently apparently, it’s to do with the way that the tablet is mixed (so I was told). Maybe a chat with the pharmacist or your breast cancer nurse having said all this I also did suffer dreadfully in the same way which can make us so miserable.

I wish I could be more positive, wishing you well going forward, and hopefully you get sorted very soon

big hugs Tili :rainbow: :rainbow:

Hi Bepositive 

Thank you for posting. 

It sounds like you’re having a difficult time with side effects while taking hormone therapy.  

As you mention, joint and muscle aches and pains are very common side effects from both letrozole and anastrozole

We hear from many women who experience symptoms such as pain and stiffness and have questions about this.  Symptoms may affect the hands, arms, knees, feet, pelvic and hip bones, or back and often affect quality of life, as in your case.  

There are some things you can try to help manage and improve the joint and muscle pain you have. For some people, regular pain relief and regular exercise such as walking or swimming can help to relieve pain and stiffness. Others find that complementary therapies such as acupuncture can help. 

If the pain is severe, your treatment team may ask you  to stop taking anastrazole for a short period of time to see if your symptoms improve. You and your oncologist can then discuss your treatment options.  As you have already tried both letrozole and anastrozole, you may be recommended another hormone therapy, tamoxifen which has fewer joint-related side effects.  Your treatment team will be able to talk to you about the benefits of doing this. 

You ask if there are certain brands that are better to take. There isn’t a particular brand that is know to cause less side effects than another, but some people do find that one brand suits them better than another. You may find it helpful to talk to your pharmacist, as @Tili has suggested, to find out if there is a different brand of anastrazole that you can try, to see if there is any improvement in your side effects.  

It sounds as though your treatment team are aware of the joint and muscle pain you have. It is important to continue to talk to them about any symptoms that affect your daily life and let them know if the joint and muscle pains get any worse so that they can help to support you and advise on the best treatment plan for you. 

You may find it helpful to also post your question in this section of the Forum

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