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Fatigue on Anastrazole

26 REPLIES 26
waveylocks
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Oh these estrogen blockers.....they might be saving us all from reoccurances but they bring  their own array of consequences!

I was on Letrozole for two & half plus years, no real side effect at first but as time went on I got more and more tired to the pont I could barely function. A bone density scan showed that the letrozole was stripping my bones so they recommended I changed to exemestane. So now on that for last four months.....hot flushes rule and the fatigue is a little better.

I am struggling with full time work, just cant do it anymore so come September going down to part time.

 

My Onc wants me on the estrogen blocker for ten years.....just about do the 5 but 10????? Arggggh! I really dont think so.....my bones will have disintegrated by then......!! 

Laura1968
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Hi ladies this is my first time posting I’ve been on anastrazole for 14 months first few months were horrendous with painful joints I could hardly walk flushes feeling really sick then it all subsided but this last month it’s all came back and I’ve gained about a stone in weight and all round my middle and feel puffy all the time I’ve tried all diets but nothing is helping it’s really getting me down now x x x
Laura1968
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

 
Janey2
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Jill, very spot on as always. Please do ask to try something else. I haven't tried Tamoxifen but am managing well on exmestane - walking and gardening again, which I thought I'd never manage on anastrazole.
jax
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Patsy, I do understand your situation. i too am struggling with Anastrazole side effects. I am considering asking for alternatives at my next oncology appt. here is a Hormone Therapy side effect which charts all the different side effects.
http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/hormonal/comp_chart
Hope you are able to resolve things at your next appointment.
Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Ladies have you considered asking to change to Tamoxifen if problems don't resolve ,you can take it post menopause although supposed to be very slightly less beneficial .It has its own side effects /problems but generally seems to be less debilitating on the joint pain /bone pain front which seems to be really affecting people's quality of life /ability to work .

LVPatsy
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

I only had surgery and radiation no chemo. Started anastrazole a few weeks after radiation ended. Started with hot flashes immediately but they did go away after a couple weeks so I thought I was going to tolerate it well. Then about 5 weeks into the anastrazole the fatigue, body aches and headaches started and got worse with each dose. Switched from am dose to nights did not make a difference. 4 months on it now and headache and bone pain got so bad ended up in ER. Week later same thing so have stopped taking it until I see my Dr next week. No quality of life . Used to jog 3 miles 3 x week.. now can barely walk a block.
Treeze
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

My joint pain is pretty debilitating..trying my hardest to work 20 hours a week which is all on my feet and manual work Get very frstrated with my limitations.Weight gain is actually getting me down the most..I was always quite proud of my size 10 figure and in skinny jeans and figure hugging clothes and now I have a big floppy tummy and hips to match.Had to buy all new clothes in styles I would never normally wear after being skinny my whole life.I joke about it to people but I feel like crying.ridiculous I know.I eat a healthy diet and dont snack..in fact eating less than ever before in my life when I would eat a couple of cakes a day and didn't gain an ounce.I don't feel or look like me at all.Having major kidney surgery as well can't have helped.
Janey2
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Lissyjay and Chair - I'm now on Exmestane and a huge difference. I do get tired still but nothing like I did on the anastrazole. Joint pain is back to the joint pain I've always had and hot flushes are almost as infrequent as they were before diagnosis (1 or 2 a day). I feel a little moody at times, but I don't admit that outloud at home! Worried that I may appear to be advertising, as I've waxed lyrical a lot recently! X
Chair
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

I have only been on this for two years , have exactly the same symptoms.
I'm 62 and a Nero trauma nurse but have had to retire......totally knackered.
But a least I'm still here!
Janey2
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Thank you for getting in touch. I shall ask my GP about a change when I see her in a couple of weeks.
Lissyjay
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Hello Janey2

 

I had really bad side effects on Anastrazole but my oncologist swapped them for Exemestane and although I still have similar side effects they are much, much milder. I spoke to a nurse a few weeks ago and she said that even though they are very similar for some reason some women tolerate either one far better than the other.

If you have never tried another then it may well be worth asking your oncologist if you could swap.

 

Hope your feeling better soon. Xx

Janey2
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Afternoon all and hoping some of you are still checking in to the forum. I'm struggling with fatigue and my GP is thinking this is now anastrazole rather than the after effects of active treatment. As I had a hormone cancer some years ago, she has cautioned me against stopping. Anyway, I'm now phasing back to work and struggling, which I guess is to be expected. However, I'm hoping one of you may be able to say it will get better or has got better over time? Any thoughts gratefully received xx
Wendy Elizabeth
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

This is my first visit to this Forum and reading the comments is so helpful.  I have been on Anastrazole for 3 years, some side effects eased after a few months such as the hot flushes, although I have gained weight its within bearable limites.  What I am now really struggling with is painful bones and joints and extreme fatigue.  LIke so many others on this thread I too go to bed for a rest almost every day.  I am lucky enough to work from home for myself but can only manage about 4 hours a day.  Some days are better than others and on a good day I feel optimistic and sure I can continue with this drug but when I get a run of bad days I feel like taking my chances with a return of cancer.  My GP has suggested that I change to Letrazole but I am so unsure what to do as the side effects look just as bad if not worse, I suppose it might be worth taking the chance in the knowledge that I can always go back to Anastrozole if things do not improve.  Like others on this site I am also trying to keep active with dog walking and regular Pilates classes but it is difficult and if I have a social outing say to meet friends for dinner I absolutely can't do anything else that day to give myself the energy to make it through an evening. 

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Hi ladies,

not that I am an expert on this subject, but have been doing some research on the subject.

I was on Letrozole for two months before my op - no side efects - and shall be on it again in the next few weeks, for the next 10 years - now post chemo and moving onto radiotherapy.

Some of the side effects may actually be due to our cancer and treatment, rather than the hormone inhibiting drugs. They may improve over time and may get worse for a while. Cancer/chemo fatigue and cancer/chemo 'brain' do not always dissappear as quickly as we may think.

Here are some links re this - 

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/chemo-brain

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/treatment/cancer-drugs/side-effects/...

It may be worth discussing with your prescribing doctor to get his/her opinion. In some cases Anastrazole can be replaced by Letrazole. But there is no guarantee that you will not have some side effects on that either.

Sue xxx

 

Babypink
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

I was put on Anastrozole stright after Radiotherapy, was ok for a few weeks then symptoms started to creep in.  Joint pain, insomnia, sickness, fatigue, hot flushes, legs like lead weights.  They gave me a month off and I felt so much better.  I was then put back on it, and now 6 weeks in and its dire.  My hands during the night literally sieze up, i practically swim out of my bed with sweat.  I constantly wake up, and then at work I am practically falling asleep.  My memory is shocking too.

 

I have put on a bit of weight but not too much.

 

I had a mother of all panic attacks yesterday I got into such a state at work, I ended up going home and stright to bed.  I spoke to a MacMillan nurse who said that the symptoms I am experiencing are nothing out of the ordinary and it can take up to two years for everything to settle down.  I am hating my life at the moment and so trying to make things better 😞

JeniK
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Morning! I have been on Anastrazole for just over a week and have found that, whilst I was fine for the first couple of weeks post treatment, my legs are now feeling leaden and my thigh/calf muscles are really painful in the mornings. I walk my dog every morning, but it's quite a struggle - I get very breathless and fatigued.

i used to race the dog and swim a mile most mornings before work (pre diagnosis) but now I feel I've aged 40 years!

i take the drug at night (more likely to remember as I usually struggle to complete a10 day course of antibiotics!!) it's encouraging to read that I'm not alone in having aches and pains (and it seems mine are not nearly as severe as some) and feel the need to have a nap in the afternoon.

however, I naively hoped that, now the treatment is (almost) over (I still have minor surgery and radiotherapy to go through) I would return to high energy levels.

Thanks for the question Penny - I am now armed with an appropriate response when my beloved asks why I'm reluctant to tackle the weeds/housework!!

LuckyLass
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

feistyflora, I too have been on anastrozole for nearly two years. While I am not 'buzzing with energy', I don't think I have had side effects I can ascribe to the drug, except maybe the slight rise in cholesterol I was told about a couple of days ago (which the GP did not mention as a side effect). I do have a number of other minor problems, but all of them have a pre-existing cause or a more likely explanation.

 

I am not suggesting that the people who are having debilitating or difficult side effects are misplacing the blame - too many talk of similar symptoms for that to be likely. I do wonder how many are on Anastrozole around the UK? We do need to remember that a forum like this is going to get more posts from people having problems than those of us not having problems - in fact, many of us in the last group visit only occasionally or not at all, part of putting the treatment mindset behind us and trying to move on. That said, knowing a forum dedicated to our support is available is reassuring.

feistyflora
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Oh dear, I feel awful admitting this but I've been on Anastrozole for two years now and I'm buzzing with energy most of the time, in fact my other half tells me to stop rushing about so much!  I have noticed that I start to tire a bit more towards evening though so now I go to bed a bit earlier than I used to. I asked a pharmacist what was the best time to take the Anastrozole and she said that it doesn't matter whether you take your tablet in the morning or the evening, the important thing is to take it at a regular time to keep the therapeutic level constant. Just for the record I take my tablet at 8 a.m. each day.

pandorra1
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Not a nice tablet at all. Likewise, I have very little energy, joints horrific, ache and generally feel crap.  I take mine bedtime, that's another issue, wish I could get some sleep.   Feel bad to moan but on a bad day I could cry and cry.  Great to talk though, let's stay strong lol xxxxxxx

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

l was on tamoxifen for a year post chemo which gave me 4 times and hour flushes and really low mood. Came off for reconstruction surgery and felt so much better. Onc put me on zoladex and anastrazole in May, after 3 months of profusely debilitating sweats, weight gain, lethargy, insomnia my onc agreed that my life was crap (his words!) so I have come off all meds. Decided on quality of life and will deal with recurrence when/if it happens.
waveylocks
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Penny Im on Letrozole & I take mine before bed. I tire really easily too & like you my heart was affected by treatment but seems pretty stable on meds. Never really know what makes the difference. I do try to walk but fund my energy is finate & one thing rules another out.

So these days if I have a busy day doing more active stuff like gardening or cleaning I skip the walk. I walk on inactive days. Seems to work better. Still really annoying though! Shortly starting with a personal trainer who specialises in cancer patients so hoping he will be able to give me some top tips on how to improve. (Part of the Macmillan get active project) xx

Penny47
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

I finally went to see GP after my symptoms got worse.  He recommended having a break from the tablets.  Then he astounded me by prescibing Arimidex (the patented version) at my request- that's the one that costs over £60 per tablet.  I came off the tablets for a week and it was lovely-to my surprise I even slept better at night.  I had lots of energy and didn't have to nap at all.  It was a sudden and brief improvement.  Then I went on the Arimidex and this is week 3.  I found I was getting tired but this was at a later time pf day, and less disabling than before.  I tried taking it earlier in the evening and this was more successful.  Out of respect for the NHS I will try the generic Anastrozole tablets I have left earlier in the evening to see if I can minimize the nasty side effects. If this is successful I will stay on the cheaper tablets. Meanwhile I wonder if taking it earlier in the day affects its effectiveness- does anyone know?  I will ask the ONC who I am due to see next month.

Honey10
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Hi Ladies, 

 

Been on anastrozole for a year now n doesn't get any better, tried another tablet for a couple of months and that was even worse. So resorted back to the better the devil you know ha ha. 

 

Along with the hot flushes and insomnia comes the aches and pains, and feeling ten years older.

 

Back at work now doing 24 hrs and good part of that is on my feet, so that's not good and the only place I go after is my trusty sofa as no inthusiasm for anything else.

 

Not sure if there is an answer but will ask what else is available at my next review.

 

 

 

have a great day ladies 

 

 

Honey 

bananablonde
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

I'm in my 5th year post lumpectomy & radiotherapy & take this med. I am permanently knackered, ache all over, flush profusely and am so breathless and gaining weight rapidly. Miserable and fed -up. I'd love to hear others views....

Kim555pink
Member

Re: Fatigue on Anastrazole

Hi Penny, I have just started taking Anastrozole and it's very early days for me - still tired from chemotherapy and travelling to radiotherapy!
I just started a thread about Anastrozole under the Going through Treatment - Hormone therapy section of this Forum - you might find advise there?
From what I have read, doing regular exercise helps with fatigue so I have started to go on short daily walks every day, gradually building up my distance.
Hope you find an answer, take care
Xxx
Penny47
Member

Fatigue on Anastrazole

Does anyone know what causes fatigue on Anastrazole?  I have tried to keep to one manufacturer's product each time my prescription has been renewed, and I am getting regular rest, but I can still only manage to work 4-5 hours a day.  (That's on a good day)  I have become a Lady who Naps.  Even after that I fall asleep in front of the telly.  I feel as if I knew what was causing this I could take steps to prevent it.

 

I'm also on heart meds for chemo-related heart damage, but they don't seem to make a lot of difference.  If I forget to take anastrazole I have a better day.  If I forget to take the others I just have a naff day with my heart symptoms starting to come back.