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Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Hollykins on Feb 6, 2019 5:30 pm

Hi!  This is my 1st message .  I had a left-side mastectomy 7 weeks ago. I am 54 & premenopausal. My onc. & I have decided to not do Tamoxifin. My mom had uterine cancer & died of a pulmonary embolism (she had the flu at the time & also had Type II diabetes).

My plan is to try Zoladex first to shut down my ovaries & see what side effects I get. Then add Aromasin 1 or 2 months later. The decision to take Aromasin is because it has the lowest likelihood of blood clots. 

My question is...Has anyone had experience with Zoladex & any of the Aromatise Inhibitors? How bad were the side effects? The 2 meds sound like a double whammy Did you have mega mood swings?  Night sweats?  Day sweats?? I don't know why but I keep visualizing an umbrella! I know everyone is different but I'd appreciate any comments . Thanks!


Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Elsie13 on Feb 7, 2019 5:47 pm

Hello Hollykins‍   Glad you have found cancerconnection. I had ovarian cancer so I don't know about this.  I know that there are all kinds of medications that people who had breast cancer often have to take for several years. I know that certain medications might be known by different names. Maybe cancertakesflight‍ and Kims1961‍ know about this and perhaps they will reply here. 

Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Hollykins on Feb 7, 2019 9:09 pm

Hi Elsie13!
Thank you for your reply. Sorry you had ovarian cancer. I'm guessing you had your ovaries removed. If so, did you go into "instant menopause?" How did that go? I have been ordering modal nighties & sheets in anticipation of night sweats.

Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Kims1961 on Feb 7, 2019 9:55 pm

Hollykins‍  Welcome to this awesome community and thank you for posting!!  You never know if someone else may have the same question.

I was diagnosed in 2017 with breast cancer that is estrogen positive and HER2+.  I had bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and am finishing up on Herceptin infusions.  I started Letrozole  ( an AI ) in May of 2018.  I had significant side effects with the combination of Letrozole and Herceptin - so I am off Letrozole currently and will restart when Herceptin is finished in March.

As I was already menopausal - I didn't have the instant menopause symptoms.  What I found with Letrozole was dizziness, nausea and an increase in blood pressure - now this was also in conjunction with Herceptin.  The hope is that when I restart on the Letrozole alone - the side effects won't be too bad.  The night sweats weren't an issue for me on Letrozole.

I have found on my journey that I just have to give things a try and then communicate effectively to my health team.  Some people don't have issues with their medication combos  or very minor ones.  Initially I had no issues with Letrozole - it wasn't until a few months later that they started to emerge.  At that point, I started to track them and then consulted with my oncologist.  

Good for you to research and try and plan ahead.  You may find you can tolerate this very well.  I know that if I tried to also eat well, get rest when needed and some exercise - this helped to mitigate some of the side effects.

Keep us posted on how you're doing!   Thanks Elsie13‍ for the tag!  Kim

Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Elsie13 on Feb 7, 2019 10:02 pm

Hollykins‍ I was 60 when I had my hysterectomy for ovarian cancer. But I started menopause at age 52.  So I had occasional hot flashes before my surgery, and now, 2 years later, I still have occasional hot flashes.  So maybe I'm just still going through menopause. 

Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by cancertakesflight on Feb 8, 2019 5:54 am

Hollykins‍ I have had an interesting experience with menopause for years. My period stopped during chemo in 2011 but I was put on tamoxifen because my bloodwork did not indicate I was in menopause. The tamoxifen  caused my uterine lining to thicken and I ended up with polyps. I stayed on the medication for 7 years without my bloodwork changing. I finally had my ovaries removed. I wanted to switch to an AI. My ovaries indicated I was in menopause. At this point my oncologist didnt know how much more benefit there would be for taking an AI and when I read that the side effects of the one she suggested included blood clots I decided enough was enough. I have a family history of blood clots and I had issues with clots on tamoxifen. 

My story still has not ended. There are still issues with my uterine lining and I am being monitored. Even with my ovaries removed my bloodwork still does not show me to be in menopause. There is no explanation.

Ironically I have not had anything like hot flashes. There were a few early symptoms but they went away with my first surgery and never came back. 

My whole experience is not typical. Nothing in my medical has been typical. It just goes to show you that while cancer has common elements there are lots of things that are different.


Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Ineke on Feb 8, 2019 2:11 pm

I'm on Tamoxefin.  I started it in April of 2016.  I was pre-menopausal and went straight into menopause with it.  I ended up having severe bleeding about 6 months after I started taking it.  It was discovered that the small fibroid I had, had grown into the size of a 14 week fetus.  It was decided by myself, doctor and gyno that a hysterectomy was the best course of action.  Getting rid of any risk factors for Uterus, Ovarian cancers.  I basically got rid of all my 'girl parts' and that is okay by me.  My menopause symptoms are very manageable and am doing well, still, on the Tamoxefin.

Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Hollykins on Feb 8, 2019 2:45 pm

Thank you for all the responses, ladies! I got the idea for the Zoladex & A. I. from reading Dr. Marla Shapiro's book 'Balance.' She had a talk show called 'Balance.' Marla had several procedures & seemed to have a complication with each one. Even doctors aren't immune to things going wrong .

My surgeon gave me naproxin pre-surgery. Since naproxin can cause bleeding I developed a hemotoma. I still have a small sac of fluid/tissue (according to my surgeon). My arm is restricted but improving. I finally was able to put a t-shirt on today. I'm going to see a physio that specializes in post-mastectomy. 

I am now going to tell myself that since I've dealt with this situation I can deal with the side effects of these meds. It helps knowing that all of you have dealt with side effects and have managed. Thanks for telling your stories!  Oh! And keep them coming!
Are we supposed to Email the Moderators?' I've just been pressing 'Post.'


Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Hollykins on Feb 21, 2019 10:35 am

Hi! I saw my onc yesterday .I was relieved to find out my Oncotype score shows I don't need chemo. I asked again about my Zoladex & Aromasin plan .Apparently Aromasin is a steroid. Don't know I missed that. So I will have Zoladex for a couple months "to put my ovaries to sleep." Then we will add Arimidex. My Estriodol score is 550 (I think). When it's 110 you are considered to be in menopause .I think my ovaries will be like Sleeping Beauty for a while! Zzzzzzz

Re: Zoladex, Aromasin & Instant Menopause

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Feb 21, 2019 11:01 am


I'm so glad you are feeling relieved. Glad you have a good understanding of the rest of your necessary treatment that really helps! Thank you so much for taking the time to update us and share your knowledge.

Did you try the physio you mentioned? Was it helpful?