Side effects of hormone therapy

No one talks about the side effects of hormone therapy … 10 years ago, I had a pulmonary embolism following this one, at the time, I was replaced by enantone that I I have tolerated well … unfortunately, I had a relapse in March and this time, I have no alternative, I must take femara …. When I read all the women who “crack” under the effect of these drugs, I do not understand that we can not do anything! Some women develop cancers of the uterus or the thyroid …… some women are forced to stop working, or so to make therapeutic windows a few weeks ….. we are told that these for 5 years and that it must hold, that it’s worth it! But to live like “zombies” fill with pain and others … ..Is this normal ??? Is there not an alternative, see a dosage adapted to each person? We all have the same dosage despite a different weight.

We thank her

Unfortunately, there is no natural alternative to this type of treatment. You can still relieve yourself with fresh water on the legs and daily sport to limit the effects (pains) on the lower and upper limbs.

Regardless of the treatment, it is still possible that some side effects occur. However, they do not affect all the sick people and, if so, each of them do not feel the same way. The side effects of hormone therapy depend mainly on the following factors:

  • type of hormone therapy employed
  • dose of hormonal drug administered
  • overall health status of the person with

Side effects can occur at any time during hormone therapy, immediately after or only a few days or weeks later. Occasionally, side effects diminish as the body adapts to hormone therapy. Most disappear once you stop taking the hormonal drug (it depends on the duration of treatment and other factors). However, some side effects persist after the end of treatment. Late effects may occur months or even years after hormone therapy. Some effects may take a long time or be permanent.

It is important to report any side effects to the health care team. Doctors may be measuring the severity of some of them. Sometimes the dose of the drug administered may need to be adjusted if the side effects are significant.

The various hormonotherapies generate different side effects. The following effects are the ones that people are most likely to experience during hormone therapy. Some people may experience all the side effects, while others will feel only a few or not at all. Still others will experience different side effects.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting can occur when taking certain hormonal medications. In general, these side effects diminish as the body becomes accustomed to the drug or decreases on its own. Taking medications with food or at bedtime can help relieve these effects.

Nausea and vomiting may also appear a few hours after radiotherapy to the abdomen. Consult the doctor or your health care team if these side effects persist.

Swelling or weight gain

Swelling of the hands or feet is sometimes caused by fluid retention. Some hormonal medications can cause weight gain, which can be controlled through diet and exercise. Consult the doctor or your health care team if these symptoms persist.

Decreased interest in intimate relationships

Some hormonal therapies may make people less interested in intimate relationships. This side effect may be permanent if surgery has been used to block the production of hormones. Decreased interest or total loss of interest in intimate relationships may also be caused by hormonal medications. This side effect can last as long as the hormonal drug is given, but sometimes it is also a long-term effect. If the decrease in interest in this concerns you, discuss it with the doctor or your health care team.

Hot flashes

Some hormone therapies may cause hot flashes and sweating. In general, these side effects diminish as the body becomes accustomed to the hormonal drug or stops taking it. There are ways to alleviate the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes. Consult a doctor or a member of the health care team before taking any herbal products to relieve hot flashes, as some may have hormonal properties that may affect a hormone-sensitive cancer.

Taking hormonal medications in the evening can help some people relieve hot flashes. If these puffs are more present at night, take the medications in the morning.

Consult the doctor or a member of the health care team if these symptoms persist or become bothersome.

Menopause caused by treatment

Menopause caused by treatment may be permanent in women whose ovaries have been surgically removed (ovariectomy) or irradiated. When taking a hormonal drug, the menopause caused by the treatment may be temporary. In some women, this effect may become permanent, especially if they are approaching the age when menopause occurs naturally when they begin hormone therapy.

The symptoms of menopause caused by treatment are identical to the symptoms caused by natural menopause, but they may be more important since the menopause caused by the treatment occurs quickly.

Consult the doctor or a member of the health care team if these symptoms become bothersome. There are ways to control the symptoms of menopause. For example, dietary supplements such as calcium and vitamin D may be used to help reduce bone loss (osteoporosis) associated with menopause.

Swelling or tenderness of the breasts

Both men and women may have swelling or breast tenderness because of certain hormonal medications. Consult the doctor or a member of the health care team if symptoms become bothersome.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is the inability of men to maintain an erection sufficient to have sex. DE can be a long-term effect of hormone therapy. There are men who are at risk of ED if they are taking some hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer:

  • removal of both testicles – usually permanent
  • taking hormonal drugs – sometimes temporary D
  • From 3 to 12 months may be necessary after hormone therapy to regain erectile ability.
  • If the erectile capacity does not return of itself, one can resort to several treatments.

Ask the doctor or a member of the health care team about ED treatments, such as implanting a penile prosthesis, using a vacuum pump, or taking medication.

Tumor outbreak reaction

Symptoms of cancer, such as bone pain, may worsen with the initial use of a luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LH-RH) analogue or tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Tamofen). This is called a tumor outbreak reaction. This is a temporary side effect that usually resolves within a few weeks. Consult the doctor or a member of the health care team if these symptoms persist or become bothersome.

In some cases, anti-androgens may be given before or at the same time as the LH-RH analogue for 4-6 weeks to reduce the tumor outbreak response.

Fertility disorders

Fertility disorders can be temporary or permanent. Permanent loss of fertility (infertility) can be caused by surgical removal of the testes or ovaries. It is possible that the taking of hormonal drugs also causes a temporary or permanent loss of fertility.

Discuss options with your doctor or healthcare team if you are concerned about infertility.


Diarrhea occurs when the number of evacuated stools is higher than usual and they are more liquid. It is the result of certain hormonal drugs that affect the cells lining the digestive tract (gastrointestinal tract). Factors that increase the risk of developing diarrhea include the type and dose of hormonal drug administered.


Fatigue makes a person tired more than usual and can interfere with daily activities and sleep. It manifests itself for a variety of reasons including anemia, specific medications, loss of appetite, depression, or toxic substances that are produced when cancer cells decompose and die. Fatigue can lessen over time. It is also possible that it is prolonged well after the hormonal treatment is finished.

Muscle or joint pain

Muscle or joint pain may appear a few days after the start of hormonal medications. It is slightly less common with antiestrogens than with aromatase inhibitors. Taking medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help alleviate this side effect. Consult the doctor or a member of the health care team if these symptoms persist or become bothersome.

Blood clots

It is possible that a blood clot forms in a leg or lung during hormone therapy. Symptoms include tenderness of the calf, hardening of a vein, leg pain or swelling, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. Blood clots are treated with blood-thinning medications called anticoagulants.

Loss of bone density (osteoporosis)

Osteoporosis is a long-term effect that may occur with some hormonal medications, such as aromatase inhibitors and luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues. It is possible that the doctor prescribes bone densitometry before starting certain hormonal therapies. This examination provides a reference value at which the doctor can compare the follow-up exams. Bone loss can be prevented and controlled with supplementation with vitamin D and calcium, physical activity and medication.

Unfortunately, no natural treatment has the effectiveness of hormone therapy in preventing recurrence of breast cancer. This is the only therapy that, for five years, limits recurrence statistically. It has few disadvantages, except that of eliminating female hormones and thus induce menopause and its attendant troubles, such as hot flashes, possibly irritability and dryness of the mucous membranes.

Some non-hormonal plants such as Actaea racemosa or Actaea cimicifuga may limit side effects without inhibiting the action of these antihormones. Several studies show indeed their effectiveness without interfering with conventional treatments. I invite you to read this article to find out more / /

Note : Other side effects may occur with hormone therapy. For information on specific drugs, see the Drug Information Sources section.

Warning: The advice provided in this article does not exempt you from consulting a practitioner

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