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Insomnia after cancer treatment

(8 Posts)
GrammarGrandma Mon 17-Jan-22 16:46:34

I wonder if anyone else has (had) this problem. I had surgery last August to remove a small cancer from my breast, followed by a course of radiotherapy in November. I was prescribed the anti-oestrogen drug Anastrozole. Soon I began to suffer terrible insomnia, a problem I used to have but not recently. The only thing I could think of was that the drug was causing it, so I stopped taking it after six weeks. But the problem continued and got worse. I have been switched to Letrazole, but haven't been taking it for long. I don't know now if it was the drug at all or something else. Anyone had a similar experience?

janeainsworth Mon 17-Jan-22 20:06:00

I’m sorry you haven’t had any replies GrammarGrandma.
I’ve no experience of this but it sounds awful. If things don’t improve with the new drug I would go back to your consultant for help. thanks

hulahoop Mon 17-Jan-22 23:18:59

Hi grammargrandma I have been taking letrozole 2.5mg for a few weeks ,I am finding going back to sleep a problem if I wake in the night ,I was told by surgeon and breast nurse that it is one of the side effects am going to give it a bit longer hope you Get more sleep x

Jurrasic Tue 18-Jan-22 19:43:38

Hi GrammaGrandma ( great name!)
I'm on week 4 of Anastrozole and had the same issues in the first 2 weeks. It was so annoying..I could get off to sleep when I first went to bed but when I woke I could not get back off. Eventually I took a half dose of nytol ( not the herbal one) after checking with the breast care nurse for a couple of nights to reset my sleep pattern which helped.
It has got better over recent weeks- I still wake but I do go back off again which makes all the difference. I'm having a session of acupuncture tomorrow to see if that helps make my sleep more restorative as we all need that as part of our recovery. I'll let you know if that helps !

Sardinia2020 Tue 18-Jan-22 20:35:43

I’ve been taking anastrozole for 4 years. My main side effect was joint pain and I was swapped onto letrozole to see if it made a difference. It didn’t. I always wake several times in the night but put it down to getting older rather than the drugs. Have stuck with the anastrozole as decided I’d rather have side effects that are bearable than risk breast cancer returning. Good luck with everything.

LOUISA1523 Tue 18-Jan-22 23:01:11

I go off to sleep ok around 1030 but then am awake around 1am and sleep very little after this....I have been on letrozole a year and tamoxifen 2 years prior to that.....I have just learned to live with being tired .....I had a new BC afterc2 years on tamoxifen so was moved to letrozole and now I would not dare stop letrozole for fear of recurrence or secondary BC .....hope you get sorted

GrammarGrandma Mon 31-Jan-22 11:57:15

Thank you for all your kind replies, which I have only just found (dur- I should have ticked that I wanted to be notified). I am seeing a nutritionist next week and also doing a Maggie's centre course on sleep, so will let you know how that works out.

silverlining48 Mon 31-Jan-22 12:29:03

I didn’t know there was a way to be advised of responses. Is that only if you start the post?

Not sleeping is hard to deal with. It happens to me too so I take a mild sleeping pill ( pfenerghan) which helps but doesn’t stop me waking up through the night. Best wishes flowers