Side Effects Cause Many Breast Cancer Patients to Stop Therapy

Dec 12, 2011 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Science Library Pad

A group of widely heralded drugs used to treat breast cancer patients to prevent recurrence of tumors , is now proving troublesome for many women who have to take them.

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Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#28
Oct 12, 2012
 
Barbara wrote:
I am wondering if anyone has tried the letrozole made by by accord labs-or any other ( there are quite a few labs that make the generic).
I took Femara for about a year with few side effects ( I did gain 5 lbs, got osteoporosis and high cholesterol, but no bone or joint pains :). Then I had to switch to the generic, took the one made by Mylan and saw no change, no joint pain.
I tried a mailorder pharmacy and was sent the generic from Accord labs. Afetr a few weeks I began to get knee pain, insomnia, depression. So I located the Mylan one again from Walgreens and felt fine. Now Walgreens switched to Accord and I have taken them for 3 weeks, back to feeling bad.
Mylan seems to not be available anywhere now- I just called 10 pharmacies.
I'm kind of at my wits end. I don't want to stop ( and have 3 more years to go on it.
Barbara, I took generic Femara. I had no choice -- I had no health insurance.

I ordered it from Northwest Pharmacy in Vancouver, Canada, and they were fantastic.

I had a LOT of side effects from Femara, and exactly the same side effects -- and intensity of them -- from the Canadian generic, so I really think it was equaly good.

Unfortunately, there were so many side effects for me, and they were so debilitating, that I had to stop taking it. I really had no choice but I'm still disappointed that I couldn't find a way to tolerate it. But the source itself was excellent. it was $389 a month here and $89 from them for three months. HUGE savings.

Since: Mar 12

U.K

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#29
Oct 12, 2012
 
Gail Perry wrote:
<quoted text>
Of course they're not chemotherapy, but they CAN prevent a spread to the bones, which would be life-saving.
Like I say, I really wish I could have tolerated them. It feels like Russian roulette to not be taking them.
i understand how worried you are. i'd just like to say tho if you had chemotherapy, radiotherapy plus surgery then i wouldn't describe the chances of the cancer returning as russian roulette. The whole idea of having chemo is not only to shrink the cancer and stop it spreading but also to kill those potential cancer cells that lurk in the bones. Also, if you had premature menopause then you'll have less oestrogen than you had when you developed the cancer (i know the rest of the body has oestrogen too but not such high levels surely would make some difference)
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#30
Oct 12, 2012
 
Dream Carousel wrote:
<quoted text>
i understand how worried you are. i'd just like to say tho if you had chemotherapy, radiotherapy plus surgery then i wouldn't describe the chances of the cancer returning as russian roulette. The whole idea of having chemo is not only to shrink the cancer and stop it spreading but also to kill those potential cancer cells that lurk in the bones. Also, if you had premature menopause then you'll have less oestrogen than you had when you developed the cancer (i know the rest of the body has oestrogen too but not such high levels surely would make some difference)
Sorry, but I've actually read the research. ANY woman who has hormone-sensitive breast cancer and does not take an AN or Tamoxifen is taking a HUGE gamble. It is a very effective deterrent specifically to having the cancer metastasize. I wish it weren't so, since I can't tolerate them, but that's how it is.

It IS Russian roulette.

By the way, I didn't have radiation. I determined that I would be going through enough without that and opted for a mastectomy. My lymph nodes were clear, so no radiation was appropriate for me.

Unfortunately the amount of estrogen left in the body IS enough to support a spread of breast cancer. The research is very clear. In addition, the side effects I had were so broad-ranging and affected so much of my life that it was clear my body really felt the loss. In fact my oncologist told me that all my side effects were a good sign, showing that the AI was working (he said that wasn't true of chemo or radiation but was true of AI's).

It is a terrible gamble and not one that any woman should take lightly. I firmly believe that everyone who is a candidate for them should give them a hard try. I took them for two tough years before giving up on it, after trying three different ones.
Barbara

Phoenix, AZ

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#32
Oct 14, 2012
 

Thanks Gail for your reply. I was out of town this week-end and stopped in a Walgreens on the off chance that they might have the Mylan labs formulation. They didn't but the pharmacist adviced me to go back to my local Walgreens and ask them to special order it for me. I guess that's their policy. So I'll do that today.

Sorry to hear that you're one of the many women that cannot tolerate Femara. I have also heard that line that if it "hurts" it means that it is working. It makes me worry that maybe I have taken it ( and raised my cholestrol and weakened my bones ) all for naught. Sometimes you just can't win:).
FDA Maims Kills

Winnipeg, Canada

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#33
Oct 15, 2012
 
What? The Pharma we approve and licence is faulty and fraudulent? No these so called side effects are underlying disorders that were pre-existing. At best its a coincidence.
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#34
Oct 18, 2012
 

Judged:

1

FDA Maims Kills wrote:
What? The Pharma we approve and licence is faulty and fraudulent? No these so called side effects are underlying disorders that were pre-existing. At best its a coincidence.
That made NO sense.

How weird that those "pre-existing" conditions went away when I stopped taking the Femara.

Some women can tolerate them; some cannot. I'm not certain my doctor told me the truth, that the side effects meant the drug was working. it's not true in chemo. I do know that he really, really wanted me to continue taking them.

And, I've seen the research.

One of the things I learned about research was to look for bias. Online, those biases are sometimes demonstrated by ... screen names. See the post above mine.:)
CMcDaniel

Cibolo, TX

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#36
Aug 24, 2013
 
This is to Gail Perry...don't know if you are still following this thread, but we live in St Pete half the year, San Antonio the other half. My oncologist is here, San Antonio, but I'd like to get established with someone around the Pinellas area too, just in case. Do you have any recommendations? I'm willing to go to Moffitt as it would only be occasional, but am interest in your experiences. Sorry for this off topic message. I'm brand new to this forum and apparently there is no PMing here. Please excuse the interruption all!! You can email if you'd like at beachmusic18atyahoodotcom. Thanks so much!!

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