Zoladex and Exemestane


Does anyone have experience in tolerating Zoladex and Exemestane? I am going through chemo cycles which would be followed by radiation.  Oncologists are planning to start with this combination post-treatment. Is anyone aware of side effects that they could share, please? Many thanks!

Hi sorry you’ve not had a response yet . Just replying to bump up your post so other people may hopefully notice it x

Hi. I’m just starting on this combination (will be exemestane or Letrozole). I had my first injection a few days ago so will let you know how I get on.


I’ve had 2 zoladex injections and I’m one pill away from completing my first pack of exemestane. In regards to side effects, I think they’ve been minimal… I haven’t noticed any mood changes (I keep checking with my husband and he agrees ). My bones ache but it’s not the worst pain in the world, also, I know I’ve not been as active as I should be, that’ll probably help! I’m also prescribed adcal to help with that. No bleeding! Weight gain is a yes however, I know I’m not eating as well as I could be so I can’t say for sure that it’s down to the medication. I need to get my backside into gear with the exercise and diet!! Hot flushes are the one that I’ve noticed the most!! I’ve got a little hand held fan that I carry around with me. And just the last few nights the night sweats have been pretty crap.

I lost all of my hair to chemo and I can’t say that the medication is effecting my regrowth! It took me about 2 months to notice my hair growing back after chemo but now it seems to be coming back pretty quickly!! 

One little nugget of info is to use some numbing cream before your Zoladex injection. It’s not the worst pain in the world without it but my nurse mentioned it to me on my first appointment and I figured that if I’m doing this every 4 weeks for the next 5 years, I may as well make it as pleasant as possible. So for my second one, I put numbing cream on 90 mins before appointment and did not feel a thing!! 

I hope this has helped you but feel free to ask any questions.

Hope the rest of your chemo doesn’t leave you feeling too bad xx


As promised just giving an update to side effects from Zoladex and Exemestane. I have now had 3 injections of zoladex and been taking Exemestane for past 2 weeks (I switched from Tamoxifen to Exemestane). 

So far, I haven’t noticed any changes. I was getting some minor stiff joints from tamoxifen and that hasn’t gone away with Exemestane. It’s about the same but it’s very minor and usually first thing on a morning.

I am exercising every single day and I do wonder if that’s helping alleviate the symptoms.

Anyway, that’s my update as promised so when it’s time for you to start this, please don’t worry as it’s really not bad at all.

All the best


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Hi Lulu,

I felt exactly the same as you and was so anxious about starting hormone therapy but honestly it’s not bad at all.

I was on tamoxifen for about 8 weeks and had hardly any side effects. I was then on zoladex injections whilst still taking tamoxifen (still no side effects). I then switched from tamoxifen to Exemestane and the side effects were extremely mild. The most I have felt is joint pain in my fingers but exercise has really helped me combat it. 
When I stop exercising, I do feel a little depressed and my joints hurt more and I think both of those are due to Exemestane. Having said that, it’s all very manageable and I can honestly say it hasn’t had much of an impact on me at all.

Infact, this is the healthiest and fittest I have ever felt as I am forced to exercise daily to prevent SE and as a result, my general well-being has shot through the roof! 
My best advice to you is to exercise lots and eat healthy nutritious food. I find the nutritious food is so important for keeping the depression away and for giving energy. 

Hope your first injection today went ok. I usually put on Emla cream an hour before my injection and that numbs the area so I don’t feel the needle.

Sending best wishes

Carrott xx

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Thanks so much for your message @Carrott

That’s all incredibly reassuring to hear. I’m so pleased for you. Like you, I’ve been exercising almost daily and eating well (without denying myself too much) and I’m feeling pretty great, maybe even better than before I started the tamoxifen which is unexpected. I’ve been scared to put that in writing as it’s early days and I don’t want to tempt fate. 

The zoladex injection was fine - thanks to the Emla! I’m still anxious about what will happen in the coming weeks and months. I’ll keep coming back to your message when the worry creeps in I think! 

My oncologist did say if I can’t tolerate the zoladex, I can go back to tamoxifen only. She probably shouldn’t have told me that (!) but it’s of some comfort.

I hope everyone who reads this is doing well and sending hugs to anyone struggling. Xxx  

Just curious about how you are all doing on zolodex and exemestane? My Oncologist wants me to start this combination mid feb, and i am absolutely terrified. I’d be really grateful of people could share experiences/words of wisdom regarding hair loss/thinning whilst on hormone therapy Losing my hair to chemo was something i found so distressing, and i dont think i can cope with going through anything like that again.
Hoping everyone is doing well, wherever you are in your treatment/recovery/ adjusting to a new normal.

Hi @rkj , very early days for me as I started both these in late December but so far no impact on my hair. Mine is still regrowing after chemo but thickening up well so hopefully that will continue whilst on the ongoing meds! Main side effects are some hot flushes (v manageable so far) and some brain fog / clumsiness which I’m going to speak to the doctor about. Good luck with your treatment, hope all goes well x

Hi I know this thread was a while ago but I was just wondering how you are all getting on. I have just started on Tamoxifen but because my Oncotype came out at 17 I might be having Zoladex too. Not sure if it is relevant but I am 42.