Tamoxifen versus Letrizole

Hey ladies - this is my first visit to the forum - I was always too scared to incase I read something that set my brain off into overdrive with worry!


I was diagnosed in March 2016 and had a Lumpectomy, ANC, chemo and radiotherapies and then onto Tamoxifen.  It really doesnt suit me but I have given it a good try - over 18 months of feeling every day as though I had a major dose of PMT, plus fatigue in a 2 week cycle, neuropathy in hands and feet, tendonitis all down right side joints and dont even get me started about the state of my vagina!!  No chance whatsoever of being a lover who had cancer like the advert shows!!!  I had to give up work after being back for a year as I couldnt plan anything - never knew on what day the wave of fatigue and nausea would hit and keep me bed bound.


Have just had a 7 week holiday off Tamoxifen - and had the best month since my diagnosis - and blood tests show I am now through the menopause so have been prescribed Letrizole.  Now I am reading the side effects from that and thinking am I jumping from frying pan to fire???


Is Letrizole more gentle - am I likely to ever get my sex life back?  Is it mainly joint pain thats a problem?


Am happy to take whatever drug I need to so I can stick around for my kids but I thought I was getting a better option…???


Hi Joeyaff,

Welcome to the Forum. 

I noticed you haven’t had a reply to your question yet so I just wanted to share some of our information on Letrozole in case it’s useful: breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-breast-cancer-treatment/hormone-therapy/letrozole-femara 

As for other side effects, such as sexual concerns, you’re welcome to post your message to our Ask Our Nurses area - they will be back online tomorrow to answer anything like this: forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Ask-Our-Nurses/ct-p/Asknurses 

Take care, Becca at Breast Cancer Care.

Thanks Becca

Hi Joeyaff


I’m on Anastrazol which is similar to Letrozole.


I spent 2 years on Tamoxifen first and like you I had fatique together with a constant low level headache and increased anxiety and low mood.


I was switched nearly 2 years ago and whilst I do feel more like the old me in that my mental wellbeing is much better, the headaches have gone and I am far less tired now, there are other side effects to contend with ie joint pain etc.


I think all of these drugs have side affects and what affects one person someone else may well be fine with it.


I believe that Aromatase Inhibitors are slightly better for post menopause ladies in lowering the risk.  


Sorry if not much use but just wanted to say that I know what you mean and feel for you in making the decision.






Thanks for that - I am hopeful not to have every side effect going on the letrizole ?