Breast cancer treatments linked to neuropathy side effects

(August 19, 2018)

It is well-known that chemotherapy drugs like Taxol may cause neuropathy side effects in the body. This condition is characterized by numbness, tingling, or burning in extremities like the hands, fingers, and feet. But other drugs used in conjunction with breast cancer treatment may also have neuropathy symptoms associated with them.

Tamoxifen, a commonly prescribed breast cancer drug, does not have reports of neuropathy side effects in our database, but the estrogen-blocking aromatase inhibitors listed below do. The official drug labels for the aromatase inhibitors include the terms "dysesthesia," "hypesthesia," and "paresthesia," which refer to a decreased sensitivity to touch. Based on AskaPatient and some FDA user reports, however, some patients using these breast cancer drugs are experiencing more severe nerve-related symptoms. Click drug name to read AskaPatient examples.

Arimidex neuropathy side effects
Anastrozole (brand name Arimidex) was approved in 1995.
The aromatase inhibitor anastrozole is approved to be given to postmenopausal women as initial therapy for metastatic or locally advanced hormone-sensitive breast cancer. This medication is also used to treat breast cancer in women whose cancer has worsened after taking tamoxifen.

Femara neuropathy side effects
Letrozole (brand name Femara) was approved in 1997.
Like anastrozole, letrozole treats early breast cancer in post-menopausal women who have had other treatments, such as radiation or surgery to remove the tumor. It is also used to treat early breast cancer in women who have experienced menopause and who have already been treated with tamoxifen for 5 years.

Aromasin neuropathy side effects
Exemestane (brand name Aromasin) was approved in 1999.
This drug treats patients with estrogen-receptor positive early breast cancer who have received two to three years of tamoxifen and are switched to AROMASIN for completion of a total of five consecutive years of hormonal therapy.