Log in to post a reply
Sep 21, 2020 07:20PM
Hi MSBail, glad you found this forum. I had few problems with anastrozole. I took it for 5 years, starting at age 69 and finished a year ago in October. I'm now 75.
My path has been unusual since I started everything in Michigan in the summer of 2014. I did my surgery, radiation and started my anastrozole there. My MO was okay. Then in June 2016 I moved to Spokane, Washington, and found a new MO whom I absolutely adore and trust 100%.
While I was on anastrozole, I did take Fosamax for the entire 5 years. I started with mild osteopenia and ended up with it the same. I don't tolerate calcium so didn't take that. Only supplements I took (and still take) are vitamin D3 and folic acid. I did add regular Claritin after a few months because that seems to help with the normal aches and pains we get as we age and anastrozole makes them a bit worse (and truly never bad, just annoying when I'd get up). I used the Teva manufactured anastrozole for most of the time I took it. Then it became unavailable. I didn't have trouble with any of the other manufacturers product (which rather surprised me). Some women do find that they can't tolerate the generics but have no problem with the brand name Arimidex and I gather there are ways to get it more affordably.
I did not have any positive nodes so what my MO recommended for me might be different than for you. But he said 5 years was all that was indicated with my age and diagnosis. I even talked with the practice's breast surgeon (who is crackerjack) and she said the same. They also said, quit the Fosamax, too.
So October 17, 2019, I stopped everything the anastrozole and Fosamax. Also the Claritin.
I did not change my diet. I didn't change my drinking habits (a glass of wine with dinner most nights). I am horrible about exercising and nothing changed that. I have continued taking vitamin D3 and folic acid and I am taking biotin. I was losing my hair (hereditary) before BC and nothing has changed,thus the biotin which works wonders for my nails, not so much for my hair.
Some women don't tolerate one of the AIs and try the other 2. Usually one will be a good fit for them. So if anastrozole and you aren't compatible try one of the others.
I took my anastrozole in the morning before breakfast. I had read that for some people it kept them awake at night if they took it then. I never noticed ANY problem with sleeping any time, so it wasn't an issue for me. I didn't take any meds for anxiety or depression though things were terribly stressful for the 4 years before I was diagnosed with my husband's terrible medical problems and me being his sole caretaker (read: NO SLEEP). He died in 2015. I downsized the house, got it ready and sold it and moved to Spokane 9 months after he died.
Don't anticipate problems taking anastrozole. Many of us have no trouble or it is so minor that it's not worth mentioning. It's a great way to help keep BC from returning and that is worthwhile. If you do have trouble, then see what other choices you have.
Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose and can gain some peace of mind which is worth a lot. Good luck!
Peggy. Diagnosed age 68., Oncotype 13. Everything is doable - not easy, but doable.
6/5/2014, IDC, <1cm, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
7/23/2014, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1
7/23/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel
10/17/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)