Taking Letrozole

Hi I’m 69 and I had a mastectomy 14 months ago. I’m taking Letrozole and recently I’ve been suffering with pain in my arms and legs. It’s quite frustrating because I find that there are certain things I used to do that are now hard. I find bending difficult. I’ve always been active and I like to walk but at the moment it’s not helping my pain. I’m on a two week break from Letrozole as advised by my consultant, to see if it’s the tablets that are causing this. Does anyone have these symptoms please.

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Hi KittyKatty,

Sorry you are having problems, i am about to start this medication on Tuesday after seeing the oncologist next week.

Are you having any other symptoms?

Just wanted to send a hug and hope you get answers


Can I suggest gentle yoga? I tend to find a lot of stretching helps me manage any ligament or tendon inflammation.

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What type of pain @kittykatty ? Joint pain and muscle pain are known side effects to aromatase inhibitors such as Letrozole. Many women - but not all - report joint pain in particular, this is largely because the small amount of oestrogen that we post-menopausal women produce is eradicated by the drug so as not to feed any Er+ cancer. Oestrogen is a natural lubricant to the joints which is why women, even without breast cancer, start to get arthritis once their ovaries stop producing loads of oestrogen.

As @Kay0987 says, there are ways of ameliorating the impact of Letrozole on the joints either by certain types of exercise or by certain natural remedies. It is vital to speak to your breast cancer nurse before taking any natural remedy though to ensure there is no counter-indication between it and Letrozole.

It may be possible to get a better outcome on a different aromatase inhibitor, Anastrazole or Exemestane, so that would be a discussion with your BC nurse too.

I was fine on Letrozole to begin with but the joint and muscle pain kicked in after 7 or 8 months and instead of being a 68 year old who can walk 5 miles a day, I now feel like an 88 year old who has to have a sit down every mile or so. You have my sympathy!

Hi no other symptoms thank goodness. This seems to come and go. I’m on a break for two weeks atm so it will be interesting to see.
I hope you take it without any problems x

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I get pain in my arms and legs, but it’s not too bad at the moment. I’m on a two week break so that could be why I’m not feeling too bad. If it comes back when I start them again, I think my consultant will look at changing it.

I love walking and tbh I don’t really like yoga. I have started gentle exercises. But thank you x

Welcome to the forum @kittykatty

I am sorry to hear what you’re going through with Letrozole. I hope that a break will give you some relief.

Please know that our nurses are here for you any time, here on the forum on the Ask our Nurses your questions or over the phone 0808 800 6000.

Sending our warmest,

I hate yoga, too :slight_smile: Shame because it’s so good for you. I do a few moves at home though and even though I only do it for maybe five minutes a couple of times a week I think they help. Good luck! I know AI’s can be awful with side effects.