13 Tips to Help Manage Side Effects from Aromatase Inhibitors

I frequently get emails from dear readers and others about the dreaded drugs we love to hate, aromatase inhibitors. The topic is a common thread when subscribers share why they signed up for my newsletters. The two AI posts in the bottom corner of this page are my most commented on posts. These drugs are on the minds of a lot of breast cancer patients because these drugs suck!

You might want to read and download, Endocrine Therapy – Managing & Making Decisions About Your Aromatase Inhibitor Medication.

Women want validation, and they also want (and deserve) help managing the side effects of these drugs!

This is why I decided to write a post in which my goal is to share some ideas on how to manage the difficult side effects of these drugs that many women suffer from. If you have suggestions to add, please share them with a comment at the end of this post. Male breast cancer patients, you’re invited to share too!

Putting our heads together helps us all, right?

To learn more about aromatase inhibitors, read this post. Or visit a reputable sight such as cancer.net or breastcancer.org. Or of course, speak with your medical care team.

And yeah, about the latter…

Many women confide that their medical team isn’t all that concerned or helpful when it comes to these particular side effects. Women often share that their symptoms are dismissed as not that bad, pretty normal, or par for the course due to normal aging.

I’ve heard all that too. And it’s annoying as hell!

It’s important to remember that most doctors are not dismissive or certainly don’t intend to be, so generalizations are not a good idea here either. But clearly, many women do not feel heard. Their concerns and side effect issues are not being addressed or even validated.

And that’s a problem.

This list of things to try in order to manage troubling side effects is certainly not all inclusive. Nor are these suggestions meant to be some big solution. They are merely ideas to consider trying. Who knows, one or two might help!

Tips to help manage side effects from AIs:

 1. Keep a journal of your issues.

Record every day or at least every week how you’re feeling symptom-wise. Documentation is super important. Docs love it. Write down what issues you’re having and be specific. Are your joints aching? Which ones? Exactly what activities are hard for you? Are you feeling depressed? Is your hair thinning? Is intimacy an issue? Are side effects impacting your ability to work?

When you have a doctor appointment, take your journal with you so you have “proof”. Oh, and perhaps consider keeping a separate journal where you can write down all your frustrations – unfiltered! Releasing them somewhere sometimes helps even if you’re the only one reading.

Need some journaling tips? Here you go.

 2. Exercise, even a little helps.

Trust me, I know it’s sometimes hard when your joints hurt and the mere thought of exercising makes you cringe. Try doing it anyway. Start off super slow. It might sound counter-intuitive, but exercise can help you hurt less.

Another commonly reported side effect of these drugs is fatigue. Too tired to exercise? I hear you. But exercise can help you feel less tired too. Really, it can. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, am I right? Again, start slow. The key is to start.

Need some motivation tips? Click here.

 3. If you need to shed a few pounds, work on doing that. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of condescending, finger-wagging articles telling us to maintain a healthy weight and how it helps prevent recurrence etc. I mean, who doesn’t know this is important? Sometimes it’s not that easy especially when taking these drugs. I speak from experience. And yet, it’s important to try.

Don’t think about losing 25 pounds or whatever you think your number is – that number might be unrealistic anyway. Think in little increments. Five. Two. One. Better yet, don’t think about pounds at all. Just try to eat healthier, drink a lot of water and squeeze in some movement most days.

 4. Along with the above, invest in some good tennis shoes or walking shoes.

When my ankles starting acting up on anastrozole, I got myself some spendy tennis shoes, and it made a difference. Now I wear them whenever I need to walk a distance. Does this sometimes make me feel like an old lady? Yep. Whatever…

And flip flops – no need to give them up. Invest in better brands such as Born and Clarks. I have both and I love them. Last summer I was able to wear the latter while strolling on the River Walk in San Antonio all day long, they were that supportive. Without them, no way.

 5. If you’re having issues in the bedroom, get help. 

Many women talk about libido issues, vaginal dryness problems and the like. Get help. There are products and things to try. Ask for a referral. Do NOT be embarrassed. Okay, try not to be. Regardless, don’t let that stop you. There is help. And yeah, sometimes you do have to “force” yourself to get started in the bedroom, but usually it’s worth it. Relationships take work. After a cancer diagnosis, this certainly doesn’t get easier. Figure out what works for you and your partner. Talk to each other. Talk to a professional. And then talk to your partner some more.

 6. Take Tylenol or ibuprofen when planning to sit for extended periods. 

Before I go to a movie, get on a plane or get in the car for more than a couple hours, I take Tylenol. It helps me be able to stand up later without wincing.

 7. Don’t think about five years or ten years on the darn pills.

It’s overwhelming to think like that sometimes, am I right? Try thinking in shorter increments such as three months, your next oncology appointment, the holidays or whatever.

 8. Take a break.

I’ve done this more than once. It helped. And now there’s research saying it might actually be a good idea for some women.

 9. Find others to commiserate with.

Vent here on this blog! Or find another online space where you can be frank. Face-to-face support groups can be helpful. Or not. Depends on your group, I guess. Having some place safe to vent helps. Plus, it takes some of the load off those closest to us.

10. Wear head covers.

If you’re like me, your hair might be disappearing. (Except for those annoying hairs on our faces, right ? WTF!) Get yourself some caps, hats, scarves or even a wig. I never wore caps before cancer. Now I wear them all the time. Besides hiding my hair, they provide good sun protection for my face. I need it. I’ve had a skin cancer diagnosis too. Ugh…

11. Check and monitor your Vitamin D level.

Following chemo, mine was super low. Getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D is important. Low levels can contribute to bone/joint pain. We monitor mine now and yes, I take a supplement.

12. Consider switching drugs.

For whatever reasons, I could not tolerate Arimidex – anastrozole. My body just said, no. I switched to Aromasin – exemestane and I’ve done better. I still hate it, but I’m doing better.

13. Do not suffer in silence.

If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this one. Never suffer in silence. Just do not. You have a right to be heard. You deserve validation, and you also deserve help in managing side effects from a medication that your medical team is prescribing for you. And of course, you have the right to stop taking these meds if you so choose. The decision is yours and yours alone.

I hope one or two of these suggestions help. If I think of more, I’ll add to this list, so check back now and then.

Now, I can’t wait to hear what your suggestions are.

Share away!

You might want to read and download, Endocrine Therapy – Managing & Making Decisions About Your Aromatase Inhibitor Medication.

If you’re on an AI or some other medication, what are your most bothersome side effects, and are you getting validation and help in managing them?

What tip(s) would you add to this list?

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13 Tips to Help Manage Side Effects of Aromatase Inhibitors



55 thoughts to “13 Tips to Help Manage Side Effects from Aromatase Inhibitors”

  1. I drink ginger and turmeric tea with lemon and honey that has helped me with joint pain along with trying to walk at least 2 miles 3-4 times a week. This has helped me tremendously.

    1. I tried taking turmeric for 2 weeks and had to stop. It gave me pure liquid diarrhea every day, to the point that I could not go out of the house!!

    2. Ceanus, I’m glad you’ve figured out what helps. I will try the tea idea. I walk 2 miles almost daily and that seems to help me the most.

      1. I stayed in aromasin for two years. I now have two knees that need to be replaced and am dealing with prolapse. Gynaecologist is hoping kegels will help. So much for stopping your estrogen production. I have been switched to tamoxifen and so far I don’t ache like I did with aromasin. My biggest issue I’ve been trying to deal with since my breast cancer diagnosis is my sisters attitude. When I was discussing it with her, her response was” Oh that’s nothing. You have nothing Shannon” I’m finding this harder to deal with than my cancer. I tried talking to her about how I felt and it’s like she doesn’t care. Refuses to apologize and explain. So for the last two years I have nothing to do with her. So hurtful. I can’t believe how insensitive people can be. Family has not been the same since. Thanx for listening

        1. Shannon, I’m sorry your relationship with your sister has become strained. That makes everything that much more difficult. Sorry about your other issues as well. That’s a lot to deal with. Thank you for sharing. I’m here to listen any time.

        2. Perhaps your sister is afraid of your diagnosis as it relates to her…She may be worried about her own odds of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. However, no excuse! I’m sorry that you have become estranged. Is this one of those things that you can just “shut the door” on or would you feel better if you made steps toward renewing your relationship. Sending calming and soothing thoughts your way, Shannon.

        3. I am sorry, Shannon. Some people know how to pile it on in our worst times. It isn’t “nothing”. You know that and we know that.

          I was just diagnosed with Stage 2 and hoping to here today about a date for my mastectomy surgery. I have a friend Im a avoiding because she always has to have “insight” to share in difficult times, when really it’s a lot easier to bear when people ASK how they can help or just shut up.

    3. The tea part sounds WONDERFUL!!! The 2 to 3 miles? I haven’t gotten there yet. ‘Must say I’ve enjoyed this “13 Tips” immensely and will take some time to respond later today, hopefully! Snow “brooming” here in PA. Well, THAT’s a little exercise, right? ‘Sending a little joy to all. Today mine came in the form of at LEAST 2 dozen male cardinals perched in a tree near my feeders. 🙂

      1. I live in PA too. I love to see the cardinals after it snows. Finally able to get outside now that it is warming up

  2. My body hurts when I first get up in the morning. is it age? arthritis? Lipitor? or Anastrazole? Or a combination of all those things? My advice is to get up, move around, and wait to see if the pain goes away. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wonders if the cancer has found its way into my bones. I asked the doctor how I was suppose to tell if it was the medications or something worse. Her answer was that if it didn’t go away, she’d order a scan. But it does go away as long as I get up, move, and continue with my daily extra walks.

    1. Linda, I also have had thoughts/fears that it has gone to my bones….never felt so achy. (thanks for sharing that)
      My oncologist gave me a Zometa infusion (no side effects…go figure!)….and weekly Vitamin D (prescription)
      YES exercise of any kind is so helpful!…not that my hands and feet don’t ache on rising…they do….but moving helps.

    2. Yes I found mine is better after I am up walking slowly in the morning. I started Tumeric only one pill a day and I take 2,000 VitaminD, and Osteo Bi Flex
      That said I do need right total hip. I have necrosis there and it hurts when I am on it too long, like walking over 35/40 minutes. I need to rest. Using emu oil, and pillow under thighs. I never had any joint problems until I got half way through chemo . Mine was every 3 weeks for a year.
      Now on anasterzole because I could not move at all in the morning on Fumara after 6 weeks.
      I hate the weight gain in the middle, oncologist said it’s the hormone. I did take a 4 week break, noticed my middle smaller but had to go back on because that ecmastine
      Or what ever it was called
      had me crying all the time and terrible worse joint pain.
      Trying to just watch what I eat very carefully but my oncologist said lots of people have weight gain from this med even eating healthy.
      I had Her 2 positive stage 1, but they said it’s very aggressive from stage 2 on so I try and believe it’s all going to be worth it.

    3. Linda, Thank you for your advice. Activity does matter. Right now I’m on a little break from exemestane and my ankle joints do feel better when I get up. But I’ll be going back on Sept 1 because I’m scared not to. I suspect that for many of us our side effects are due to a number of causes, including normal aging, etc. But even so, women deserve help managing nasty side effects that seem to worsen on these meds – even if normal aging is part of it all. Normal aging – that response always feels like a cop out to me. And obviously, many women can find a direct correlation between the meds and their symptoms. After all, we know our bodies best. Or we use to anyway. ha. (not really funny tho)

      1. My oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance had me check with her staff on every supplement I was taking or began to take, when I was on A.I. (I tried all three and quit after 20 months.) The pharmacist there said NOT to take turmeric because it interferes with the A.I. So I am concerned about all the people recommending it. Check with your own caregivers to be sure.

    4. Before I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (in my liver, ovaries and throughout my skeleton), I only had intermittment sore bones. It was like a bruise, only I couldn’t recall bumping my head or hitting my ribs on anything that would cause the bruise. And there was no purple discolouration. My bones just felt like they had a bruise. The pain was never bad and always went away. My advice is that if your bones/skeleton (not your joints) hurt, at the very least have a conversation with your doctor. Better yet, ask for a bone scan. I didn’t think my bone bruising was anything sinister because the pain never got worse (2-3 on a pain scale where 10 is end stage of childbirth labour) and it was intermittment. And here I am with MBC.

  3. Depression. On exemestane. Anti depressants and ativan and quintapine dont work. Never had depression before. Anyone with good suggestion. Have plenty of t
    Houghts of suicide ideation but I dont wany
    To die. Thanks

    1. I came of AIs as I was unable to tolerate the insomnia, anxiety and depression. I know this is not what people want to hear, and I have to stress that I made the decision to stop taking them with full cooperation with my oncologist who number crunched my survival stats based on my particular risk factors and treatment I had already received, and then discussed these compared to quality of life factors. I weighed up the ‘possible’ increased risk of recurrence due to lack of sleep and increased presence of stress hormones with the evidence based benefits of removing oestrogen from my body, and then made a very personal decision along with the oncol. Had my stats been different, I might have stayed on AIs. I was unable to have Tamoxifen because I had had a chemo induced pulmonary embolism. However I still wish to share some tips that helped me cope with AIs whilst I was on them. Firstly, like Nancy I changed from one AI to another and this helped a bit I think. Also I kept up my exercise routine as much as possible; nothing special just walking and rebound exercise. I did manage to reduce the joint pain significantly through exercise. I managed to get rid of carpel tunnel syndrome through physio exercises alone. I also went to an osteopath for general support regarding my joint pain.
      But the anxiety attacks, palpitations, and low mood were always present. I coped with these by being outside as much as possible and maintaining contact with family and friends who understood my situation. I also had to make work changes to reduce mental stress caused by the oestrogen depletion. Knowing it was the AIs that caused feelings of anxiety and depression really helped me to remember that it wasn’t the real me and that I needed to rest and take care of myself. This can be difficult if you are going to work each day, and I had to drastically reduce my working hours. Letting people know (including my husband!) what I was experiencing was the single most important thing I did, as it prevented that feeling of isolation so often experienced with low mood. This blog really helped too! Thank you Nancy.

      1. Sarah, Your comments are so important for others to read, especially the part about communicating with others about what you’re going through. How else will they know and begin to understand? There is no reason to suffer in silence. That can’t be stressed enough. Thank you for sharing about your experience. And I’m glad you found the blog helpful. That’s my goal. My best to you.

    2. Kat, Please report your depression issues to your medical care team. Having thoughts of suicide is very worrisome. I know I’ve advised this before, and I hope you are seeking help/followup. If your present anti-depression meds aren’t helping, there has to be another plan for you. Keep seeking help to figure it out. Don’t give up. Help is out there.

      1. Hi everyone. I just switched to Exemestane this week, after taking Anastrozole for 3 months. The joint pain was getting worse. My oncologist also suggested I take Mega Red (for the joint pain) as well as Vitamin D. It’s only been 1 week, but I hope I handle this AI better. I appreciate your blog Nancy. Although I don’t wish this breast cancer diagnosis on anyone, it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. Thank you

        1. Mary, You’re definitely not alone. I take Vitamin D too, but I’ve not heard about Mega Red. Overall, I have done better after switching to Exemestane, and I hope you do too. My best to you and thank you for sharing.

    3. Kat,

      There are other antidepressants out there, so they may be worth exploring. I’d recommend seeking out help from psychological professionals. ((HUGS))

    4. I just got put on anafranil. So far its better.
      Am on prozac. Seaqual., lamical hope I can get off them dr sayd I have ocd after being treated for anxiety and depression. For past 2.5 years woke up wanting to die. This morning I did not I will keep you posted planning to walk amd go to mentor some 5 graders.

    5. You need to keep going back to the Dr. Get a consult with a Psychiatrist and keep trying meds. Take them exactly as prescribed. If one doesn’t work after a one month trial, try another.

      Also try counselling and exercise.

  4. Nancy,

    This is such a useful post. Your tips for dealing with AIs are first-rate. I wanted to add that swimming is a really good exercise to relieve aches and pains. Weightlessness helps, and one doesn’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to gain the benefits of exercise in water. Just floating around is sufficient sometimes.

  5. I used Aloe Juice (Lilly of the Desert) one ounce morning and afternoon in water. When it upset my stomach I stopped taking it for awhile and then would restart. It made a huge difference with my stiffness. It would take me half the day to be able to move around.
    Now, I’m having problems with dizziness and palpitations. My oncologist, who I totally trust doesn’t think it’s the meds, now on to cardio testing. We will see what happens. Blessings on all of our journeys.

  6. I took Arimidex for 3 long years after being Dx @ age 38 and every time I reported my severe anxiety & depression to my oncologist that coincided with starting the medicine he completely dismissed these as “typical” side effects. In fact his follow up care was so invalidating of my consistent concerns for my mental health that declined significantly after cancer treatment that he only asked if I was being “compliant” with the Arimidex. After 3 years I found a new Dr and have been taking Tamoxifen which is much more tolerable.

  7. I have been taking Femara for 9 months. Had a short break, as they found a tumor in my chest wall, it was biopsied and fat necrosis. The tumor is quite painful and I am currently going to pain management. I was put back on as soon as the diagnosis was benign. I have lots of joint pain, but had severe osteoarthritis in my right shoulder and clavicle. I will be trying a nerve bock with steroids to see if it helps. Being 55, I expect some pain.

    I have tried Claritin, I did not really see any difference. I am allergic to tumeric, so that is out. I am interested in how others have dealt with the constant pain. My oncologist is not supportive (on my way to finding someone who will listen), so my surgeon is the one who has listened. Since I had been taking Celebrex for my oseto I had no pain issues at all. Once on my AI, I have had horrible joint pain. Primary upped my dosage to the maximum and no relief; we have discontinued the medication. Anyone out there with osteoarthritis have any suggestions?

    I too worry about metastases with all this joint pain (what person who has had this diagnosis doesn’t). Perhaps once I find an oncologist who is willing to listen, I will find some comfort in a scan or something. Right now, I can only image the pain my mother endured during her 10 year struggle and death due to breast cancer.

    I am very thankful for all those that comment and read your blog Nancy. You have a gift and I thank you for the courage to share with us and encourage us to speak out. Eventually, we will help shape the care of any future breast cancer patients.

    1. Lisa, I’m sorry you are dealing with pain issues and that your oncologist isn’t very supportive. I’m glad your surgeon has been a better listener. I hope the nerve block helps. Just because you’re 55 doesn’t mean this is the way it has to be, so don’t be afraid to push your doctors for satisfactory solutions to your issues. Perhaps it is time to look for a new oncologist. He/she may suggest a bone scan based on your pain, but who knows. I’m sorry your mother died from this wretched disease too. Thank you for sharing. Good luck with things.

  8. I’ve been taking letrozole for 2.5 years now and have lots of pain with sex – so much that my husband and I just aren’t intimate – like it’s been months. My husband is most understanding, but life like this is not fair to either of us. My breast md. presecribed Premarin over a year ago, but refills were $800 when I last checked. My oncologist just prescribed Estrace. I would like to know if anyone has any experience with this. Can’t believe the oncologist would prescribe anything contra to my diagnosis, but I am concerned about any estrogen going into my body.

    1. Kathy, I’m in the UK but you might get this in USA, a product called YES. No oestrogen in it and it works really well.

    2. I had so much discomfort during intercourse (it was no picnic for my husband either) I really thought that part of our life was over at age 61, at lease until I was no longer taking anastrozole. He has always been understanding and we tried everything from KY to prescribed lubrication but nothing helped and we basically just gave up. Then recently I had to find a new OBGYN and I was telling her the problem and she told me to ditch all that stuff and use coconut oil or olive oil. We went and bought coconut oil, organic and virgin 🙂 my husband thought that was pretty funny… anyway it works! Like a charm, no pain for either of us and it is really wonderful to know that part of our relationship is back on track.

    3. Kathy, my Oncologist recommended Replens gel inserts. They have no estrogen. You use it every 3-4 days. Not when you are planning in being intimate, just consistently. It has helped me. Not as good as the estrogen RX. ( expensive and I was ER and PR positive, so that’s was no longer a choice for me. ) you can buy Replens at Walmart, target and several pharmacies and drug stories. $ 15 at Walmart. I hope it helms.

  9. Dear Nancy,
    I just want to thank you for this subject blog. I am on my second bout of dealing with Femara…2nd Br Ca 16 yrs after first one. I was on Femara for 11 years then they took me off it and Br Ca came back last year. I have been suffering from all of these complaints others have had and have no where to “share” or commiserate…thus many grateful thanks to you. It is helpful to read I am not alone. I have noted one thing…being a second timer, I notice there appears to be more for newly diagnosed and (unfortunately) young diagnosed, but not a lot in the way of support for repeat (older) diagnosed folks. Some of us are older folks, so aging is added to the mix and I wonder if our side effects are many times folded into the inevitable “aging” thought process by our physicians, and care givers. I am so glad I read this today and just want to say thank you again and thank you to the many folks that wrote their experiences here…it helped me a great deal. God bless you all and I pray for you all everyday! +

    1. Anne, You’re very welcome. I say, regardless of age, we all deserve validation and help managing side effects. Thank you for taking time to comment. Glad to hear you found this post helpful.

  10. I have been on Letrozole for 15 months. I have joint pain and swelling, depression, insomnia, low energy..the usual. My breast surgeon and oncologist recommended taking 2 weeks off every three months. It makes a huge difference for me. I feel better immediately. The symptoms build over the three months and then reset on the drug holiday.

    For insomnia I take 5mg of melatonin.

    I get relief from joint pain with myofascial release done by a physical therapist. It has made the joint pain disappear for over a month at a time.

    I need to figure out how to handle the depression and mood swings.

    Thank you for your articles.

    1. After taking Letrazole to ill effects, my oncologist at a large teaching hospital has finally hit upon something that has pretty much worked:
      Before beginning Exemestane, she had me take a three week break. During that break I was to take 35 mg of CBD each day.
      At the end of the three weeks, I began one pill of the Exemestane each three weeks to help avoid the worst of the side effects while continuing the CBD.
      The first two weeks were tough…the usual side effects, joint pain especially in hands and feet, nausea, hair loss, weight gain vision change etc.
      By the time I increased to two pills, I also upped the CBD to one capsule in the morning and one in the evening.
      Sleep problems subsided, the worst of the pain disappeared, nausea and headaches gone. For the hand and foot stiffness, the hard ball exercises from The Melt Method were a godsend as were the hand and feet exercises from Pilates.
      Omega 3’s, melatonin at night, Biotin for hair, magnesium, and calcium with vitamin D have rounded out the regimen along with good diet ( trying to cut out carbs and and sugar) and simple exercise.
      So far so good…up to 4 pills per week.
      The key has been the CBD. The important thing is to obtain it from either California or Colorado where thorough testing is required. My doctor recommended Charlotte’s Web but I’ve also found Green Helix and Papa Barkley’s to be very effective. The American Arthritis Association recommends up to 100 mg a day. Usually I can get by with 35mg twice a day but occasionally will throw in a third if I’ve over exerted myself.
      Hope this may help some of you who have suffered. My doctor indicated that this step-up dosing will not have a negative effect. I trust her as she’s one of the best and has led several clinical trials.
      Thank you all for your tips and your optimism…they keep me going! XO

  11. I’ve been on letrozole (Femara) for 8 yrs & will be on it till it stops working as I have MBC. i also have osteoarthritis in most joints. My oncologist recommended Glucosamine w/Chondroitin & MSM, Vit D3 14,000 IU’s p/wk (my blood levels were low) & Magnesium 200 mg daily (my blood levels of Mg were also low). All of these have helped to reduce joint discomfort greatly. The advice to keep moving is the best thing you can do! Thanks Nancy for this valuable topic.

  12. I have been on Arimidex for just over two years now and I have recently found a Tumeric creamer that has really helped with the joint pain. Turmeric Superfood Creamer made by Laird Hamilton ( the big wave surfer). This has helped me so much along with daily exercise as well. You can purchase it through his website or Amazon.

  13. I have bounced between exemestane and anastozole. Mostly because of costs. However I found no difference in my side effects. I have also found that exercise has helped a lot for the aches mostly in my legs. My biggest issue was finding something to deal with terrible hot flashes. Doc put me on Effexor. It was horrible! It wasn’t making any difference and it took me almost 2 months to get off of it. Very addictive to some people. Now I’m on gaberpentin and I sleep like a baby. Finally! If you can’t sleep you are miserable all day. After a year I think I’m finally on meds that are working.

  14. Between my medications from my oncologists and naturopathic meds to help with the side effects from the western medicine, I take almost 2 dozen pills a day. My way of dealing with the side effects from the AI type drugs (and other western meds, is to not read the pages of possible side effects as I am the kind of person that reading about side effects can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead I try to visualize what each drug is doing for my body. For my AI-type estrogen blocker drug, Letrizole, I imagine that drug moving through my body with keys locking out the estrogen. I find if I can put a positive spin and visualization on what the drugs are doing I am more likely to take them, less likely to be resentful and angry about having to take them even though they are doing their job and I have no further disease progression and some of my mets are decreasing. I do have some side effects, but they are not nearly so bad as what other people seem to experience, so I am very grateful. Sleep is probably my biggest challenge and i have just resigned myself to taking sleeping pills and melatonin as it is way easier than doing the nightly battle with insomnia. Fatigue is another challenge, but my blood tonic (Shi Quan Da Bu Tang) from the naturopath helps immensely.

  15. Nancy,
    A million thanks for this blog!!! I’ve been on anastrozole for a little over 4 months. Hot flashes were a problem for me. I talked to my doctor and she prescribed oxybutynin. It works like charm!

    Best Regards,


    1. Christine, You’re very welcome. Thank you for taking time to comment. I’m glad you’ve found something to help with the hot flashes.

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