We are 144,874 members in 73 forums discussing 114,700 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment → Topic: Alternative drug to Arimidex

Topic: Alternative drug to Arimidex

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Jul 4, 2009 01:06AM

wblibrary wrote:

Has anyone been taken off Arimidex due to side effects and found something "natural" to use in its place over a long period of time? 

Log in to post a reply

Page 4 of 4 (112 results)

Posts 91 - 112 (112 total)

Log in to post a reply

Feb 18, 2011 06:11AM annettek wrote:

i am going to report it to the fda - they have a section for adverse events...and while they never used to pay much attention to them they do moreso now and it will be more impactful due the fact there are generic versions available so they have to watch it closer (although I took the branded drug)...i am so itching to get to BIO ocnvention this summer to talk with the researchers from the big companies...we do so at receptions which are more laid back and they become very honest....

Surgery Stats: BMX 11/2010 with immediate reconstruction with 450 TEs Exchange 3/19/11 Mentor 550 HP Smooth rounds

Dx 10/17/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 18, 2011 10:54AM jp3 wrote:

Women are P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-A-L.  Three cheers for your courage.  From the beginning of time we have been bullied by a male dominated world and have learned not to trust our insights, our hearts or our bodies.  Each time I've had to jump some big hurdle along this breast cancer road, I've come to the breastcancer.org forum and have found the wise counsel of women.

The latest is my struggle with Arimidex.  From the very beginning of my diagnosis, my greatest grief was the hormone receptor positive status.  I was told that this is good news because I would not require chemo and do not discount each good fortune, negative nodes, early stage, good insurance, competent surgeons, etc.  However, I am a huge fan of estrogen and it's connection to vitality and bone health, etc. and have grieved the loss.  Since Oct. I've had much to deal with (3 surgeries including 2 lumpectomies and finally a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction) and put the issue on the back burner.  I saw my onc yesterday for his 15 minute lecture on Arimidex (with no room for questions), was handed the RX and out the door.  He told me to stop reading the internet, this was the only way, you need this, etc...wham, bam, thank you mamm.  I didn't take it personally, actually felt sorry for him..judging from his defensiveness I know it must be a difficult job. 

Bottom line...I'm left to make my own decision between conventional and unconventional.  I'm just glad I'm not alone thanks to all of you.  Remember, that women from the beginning have pushed science toward more humanistic, whole-istic methods. 

Man's courage is defined by short intensional acts...Women's by long periods of suffering

Dx 10/21/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 20, 2011 06:13PM annettek wrote:

jp3...I gotta tell you...I still have not shook the last of the arimidex crap off from that one dose. It isnuts that one pill could slam me like that. I am curious as to what the new onc will be like. I will find out. It just ticks me that so many of us have to *wing* it....

Surgery Stats: BMX 11/2010 with immediate reconstruction with 450 TEs Exchange 3/19/11 Mentor 550 HP Smooth rounds

Dx 10/17/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 20, 2011 06:29PM Member_of_the_Club wrote:

All of this is very individual.  Some, not all and not even most, women have bad reactions to Arimidex.  I'm taking it and having a good reaction.  I have more energy and feel stronger than I have in some time and my theory (supported by my onc) is that because arimidex prevents the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, I now have a bit more testosterone.  So I feel great.

 If you find arimidex intolerable (and other AIs as well -- sometimes women do badly on one and well on another) there's no reason not to take tamoxifen, even if you are post-menopausal.   The effectiveness of AIs over tamoxifen are minimal and not worth bad side effects.

Finally, most of the side effects are from the depletion of estrogen, beyond even menopause.  Any alt drug that mimics an AI would, it seems to me, do the same thing because of limiting estrogen, the whole point of the medication.  And if it wasn't producing the same estrogen-depletion side effects, I would wonder what it was doing. Which brings me back to tamoxifen because if your body cannot tolerate the lack of estrogen, it is another alternative that acts completely differently.  

Dx 9/30/2004, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 2, 1/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 20, 2011 06:56PM JanetinVirginia wrote:

annettek - You are not alone.  I had an immediate reaction to one Arimidex pill too.  About an hour after taking it I had an irregular heartbeart.  I didn't pay much attention because sometimes that happens if I have too much caffeine.  But about 4 hours later I had an extremely intense starburst pain in the middle of my chest.  I have never had anything like it before or since.  It definitely was not heartburn (I know what that feels like).  I was sure I was going to have a heart attack or something.  That was the one & only Arimidex I took.  When I saw my onc he sort of dismissed it - implying maybe I had heart disease or something.  I am not over weight, do not have high blood pressure or bad cholesterol numbers.  But I went to have a complete cardio workup - EKG, stress test.  The cardiologist said my heart was strong and absolutely no blood flow restrictions.  I KNEW there wasn't anything wrong with my heart!  It had to be a reaction to the drug.  About a month later (and it's here on the bco site) the San Antonio conference study came out to say that 26% of women will have heart-related issues with AIs!  I was definitely one of the 26%.  I'm on tamoxifen now and will never take another AI. 

Dx 9/1/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 20, 2011 08:20PM, edited Feb 20, 2011 08:23PM by annettek

I am seeing another oncologist soon (waiting on the date)...I truly wish I could have just taken the damn arimidex and been fine. I know others are and most of us who post about it are when we have an adverse reaction. I had so prepared myself for it to work...nobody was angrier than I that it ht me like that. Of course Tamoxifen may not work due to the clotting factor...anyway, I will give this onc at md andersen a try...she is big into research/speaking about side effects and quality of life issues. I am grateful that my BC was caught so early but that does not mean I do not want to fight it with everything possible. I have been more depressed since the arimidex crap than I have been since all of this has started. I wanted it to work with my body. It would be a hell of a lot easier to take one pill versus the frigging pile of supplements. The only good thing is they are bringing back all of the symptoms I had when I went through menopause...the hot flashes are a real joy...and I mean that..I was so glad they were gone but now I embrace those drenchers. I am not sure why they aren't hitting me like the arimidex did but then again, I have been cautious with them as well. I only added them one at a time and waited to see what would, if anything, happen. Of course it involves a lot of checking and rechecking to make sure nothing contraindicated but so far so good. We all have to listen to our bodies, that I do know. When my husband was prescribed Baycol 10 years ago for high cholesterol in two days he was in excrutiating pain...I feel so friggin bad now for ever doubting him...and grateful that he ignored me and immediately stopped it as it was pulled from the market following too many deaths. His brother landed up in the hospital with permanent damage from it. Those that died kept on the drug despite the side effects as the majority of statin drugs warn you of "muscle pain" and many thought they had to struggle through. He is now on a different one after literally trying everything on the market and every combo. When he saw what happened to me he knew it was real. That helped because if he doubted me,  I would doubt myself. But he knows me better than anyone. He keeps eyeballing me the past few days making sure I am headed in the right direction. I'm still not *right* but I think I will be. I am just sad about it all. For my mind goes to what if I was a higher risk? and had no choice ...what if it comes back at a higher level...and had no choice. those things keep my mind going like a clock on speed. I am a tough cookie but this brought me to my knees. I can deal pretty good ...the hot flashes, aches (the aches i remember from menopause not slam me to the floor and make cry uncle aches), dry hair, cholesterol rise I can handle it was a challenge before and is now...but it is just the super amplified version I cannot. I can't excercise away the pains and moodiness if I can't move, etc. it is odd, it is like once the menopause was over (it is actually just one day- the last day you have your period) and my symptoms started to abate was when microcalfcifications morphed into BC...so, I guess this is what I will do for the rest of my life...that is another thing...I want something I can do for the rest of my life...going back to how the BC came after my menopausal symptoms abated...nobody has anything conclusive for what comes after the AIs and tamoxifin end..except studying to see if they can keep women on it longer to offset the rise in recurrence after five, ten years. If I can hit upon the right dosages of supplements to keep my body from converting estrogen and have manageable side effects, then it is a regimen I can take my entire life. Unless of course the new onc has a magic pill that I can take. And don't you know, I am still hoping for that.

one more odd thing..the last onc who scorned supplements said...save them and take them in five years...wtf

Surgery Stats: BMX 11/2010 with immediate reconstruction with 450 TEs Exchange 3/19/11 Mentor 550 HP Smooth rounds

Dx 10/17/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 20, 2011 08:27PM DuneCove wrote:

I also had painful tingling in my hands and feet.  Oncologist said it wasn't from Arimidex even though the pamphlet from the pharmacist said it was a SE.  A neurologist confirmed I have permanent nerve  damage and that it's likely from the Arimidex.  Thanks for the link to Dr. Lee's website.  I will look it up.

Dx 2/26/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 20, 2011 08:49PM DuneCove wrote:

Yes, I read 30 - 40% stop taking Arimidex due to SE.

Dx 2/26/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 24, 2011 11:03AM lkd48 wrote:

I, too, am frantically searching for an alternative to arimidex!  I was put on the name brand drug in june 2010...began, within the month, of having horrible hot flashes, fatigue, and joint pain.  My insurance switched me to the generic in early fall...in early jan. 2011, i had an entire day of very scary heart palpitations...called my onco and reached the nurse who told me to stop the arimidex.  however, the next day, his nurse pract. called and said: 'the arimidex is not causing the heart problems at all and it must be from another medical condition you have...see your pcp and go back on the arimidex".  well, i was not convinced, and havent taken any arimidex since.  i had one more 'all day' episode about 2 weeks after that and since then(over 1 month ago), have had NO heart issues.  I am so confused if it was from the arimidex or not...my pcp said my heart sounds strong...but i am afraid to go back on the arimidex because what if it happens again???  i am post meno. 4  years, but had very min. issues till taking arimidex.  the hot flashes stopped about 3 weeks ago and i am sleeping better and just feel better overall.  what are your thoughts?  have any of you had any heart issues with the arimidex?  i am not sure how he can say with such certainty that the arimidex is not the cause of the heart palpitations when i read on the internet to the contrary! i would appreciate any/all input!  thanks!

Log in to post a reply

Feb 24, 2011 11:37AM mathteacher wrote:

Go to this page and click on SIDE EFFECTS AND DRUG INTERACTIONS on the left hand side of the page. Scroll all the way down. http://www.rxlist.com/arimidex-drug.htm

I don't know how recent that side effect profile is but more women are getting heart attacks on it in the three Arimidex ongoing trials. There is still no proven overall survival benefit. It just seems to reduce the number of recurrences.

Look back on this thread and see what women are taking instead of Arimidex via their integrative doctors.

When in doubt, read the actual studies and do the math.

Log in to post a reply

Feb 24, 2011 11:39AM JanetinVirginia wrote:

LKD - same thing happened to me  (see few posts above).   Ask to switch to tamoxifen.  Tamox has been around 25+ years and has pretty good track record altho there are some serious, but rare, side effects.   Before AIs, all women - whether they were pre or post-menopause - took tamoxifen.  It also protects your bones because it doesn't reduce estrogen - it just prevents cancer cells from getting the estrogen.

Dx 9/1/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Mar 24, 2011 10:22PM nextstepsfromhere wrote:

Hi.  I was taking Aromasin, I confronted my doctor several times over a year and he blew me off like it was all in my head.  He gave me a 3 week break and a prescription for Armidex.  I filled it, read the patient information and went to see a naturopath.  I have gone to a totally clean diet, using a vitamix for whole food smoothies 2 times a day, but also eating.  I feel much better.  I had a large battery of blood tests.  My current plan is to work with the naturalpath and see how my blood levels look in 3 months.  I just could not take anymore of the side effects from AI's.  It is a bit liberating--I feel really in control--with a back up plan--will run back to Med onc if needed, but since I feel my diet and supplements are replacing my AI, I am very good about my eating, exercise and blood labs.  I pray that this will do it.  I was so miserable from the AI's, lost 18% bone density in a year, which causes substantial pain, and I was just in a fog...as well as my hair dramatically thinning over that year.  Best wishes to you, to all of us.

Log in to post a reply

Mar 24, 2011 11:31PM findacure wrote:

Hi Ladies,

Haven't been on this site for quite a while.  Have been doing good except that am now in menopause and my onc wanted me to switch to Arimidex after being on Tamoxifen after three and a half years.  Was tolerating the Tamoxifen quite well.  Decided to try the Arimidex and have been on it for the last 12 weeks.  Can I tell you?  I hate the drug and am not happy about the side effects I have been experiencing.  I am miserable.  I have always been an active person, exercise regularly, eat very healthily, all that good stuff.  Since I have been on this drug, I have been miserable with aches and pains, feel arthritic, and low in energy.  I can't stand it.  I have made a conscious decision to go back to the Tamoxifen and finish the next 10 1/2 months on this drug.  I had such a low grade stage 1 tumor (pure tubular, 1 cm, no nodes) I don't wish to compromise quality of life.  Anybody else make this decision?

Log in to post a reply

Mar 25, 2011 05:14AM annettek wrote:

all i can say is I was particularly FURIOUS when I read the most ecent guidelines issued by NCCN advising NO AIs for someone with my stage 1 grade 1 no lymphnode involvement...FURIOUS...I will continue my regimen of alternatives and eating correctly. I can LIVE with the SEs from these as they are similar to menopause without leeching to the extreme.

Surgery Stats: BMX 11/2010 with immediate reconstruction with 450 TEs Exchange 3/19/11 Mentor 550 HP Smooth rounds

Dx 10/17/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Mar 25, 2011 06:03PM rgiuff wrote:

Findacure, I decided long ago that I would never take the AIs.  I've been on tamoxifen since November 2008, also with a small stage 1 cancer.  I was perimenopausal, but have now progressed to postmenopausal and my Onc said his plan is 2 or 3 years of tamoxifen, followed by aromasin.  Well it's not my plan!  I do not like the idea of completely cutting off my estrogen supply and told him so.  His response was that once in menopause, you are not making any estrogen anyway,  and the little bit that you do make, goes right to your breasts.  Well, I don't buy that explanation.  I actually have been considering stopping the tamoxifen for awhile to see if some of my insomnia and libido issues clear up, and if they do, I may just stay off of hormonal therapy and stick with my lifestyle changes like exercise and healthy eating.

RoseG

Dx 4/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/20/2008 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 08/20/2008 ExternalHormonal Therapy 11/19/2008 Tamoxifen
Log in to post a reply

Mar 25, 2011 06:13PM, edited Mar 25, 2011 06:14PM by NatureGrrl

wblibrary, I don't know if this will help you, but I've been on Arimidex for just over a year.  I had on again/off again SE's for the first 10 months or so, but every time they came back, they were reduced.  And now I have no SE's at all. My understanding is this is a fairly normal pattern.  So, FWIW, hanging in there through the SE's (if they aren't too severe -- mine weren't fun at first but they were far from debilitating) may get you to a better place and allow you to continue Arimidex, if that's what you want to do.

My niece is an actuarial, this would be right up her alley, I should ask her what she knows about the stats on things like this (nothing, I'm guessing, but she could be in a good place to find the info!)

Carol, living out loud! http://fire-of-our-hope.blogspot.com/

Dx 4/2009, IDC, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Mar 25, 2011 06:15PM, edited Mar 25, 2011 06:16PM by swimangel72

One of the best things you can do to help yourself in a "natural" way is to lose weight. Post-menopausal weight gain is the #1 enemy - it increases a woman's risk of breast cancer by 50%! That said, I've been on Arimidex for 2 years - last summer my onc gave me a 3 month vacation - by September I was feeling to my old self - more energy, no joint pain in the mornings, etc...........he made me go back on in October, and now after 6 months, I'm worse than ever. My right leg goes numb on me - the fingers on my right hand can't bend in the morning - generally speaking, I just hurt all over (especially when the weather changes.) I posted a question back in January on http://www.askanoncologist.com/ - here's my question and his response (which just came today - and of course, he's recommending that I continue with some kind of Aromatse Inhibitor........and I probably will, especially because my gf at work just had a new breast cancer found in the "healthy" breast after 13 years of being NED. I do NOT want to revisit that nightmare for a long long time!)

http://www.askanoncologistnow.com/cancer/question/index.php?xq=4043

Asked by swimangel72 (Female; 56; Feb 2008 dx'd Breast Cancer,(7 - 9mm) Stage 1, Grade 1, ER 90%, PR 90%, Her2++++, Oncotype DX score 22; no
lymphovascular invasion; no lymph node involvement; March 2008 - unilateral mx with immediate free tram
reconstruction; April 23, 2008 - Navelbine every two weeks for 4 months given with Herceptin; April 6, 2009
completed year of Herceptin. April 28, 2009 Arimidex started.; Relevant drugs:Arimidex - 1mg Synthroid - 50
mcg )
on Fri 21, Jan 2011 12:16pm :
<!-- </table> <table width="100%" border="0" > --><!-- <td width="25%" valign="top"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </TD> --><!-- <td width="100%" valign="top"> What is my risk of getting a recurrence if I discontinue Arimidex. My oncologist wants me to finish 5 years, but my joints and bones are feeling worse (a three-month vacation from this drug gave me tremendous relief - the side effects are definitely due to Arimidex.) I worry about continued bone density loss (no osteopenia yet, but significant reduction on last bone scan). Also I worry about Arimidex causing future heart disease. I feel I did "overkill" already fighting this very small breast cancer! Thank you! -->What is my risk of getting a recurrence if I discontinue Arimidex. My oncologist wants me to finish 5 years, but my joints and bones are feeling worse (a three-month vacation from this drug gave me tremendous relief - the side effects are definitely due to Arimidex.) I worry about continued bone density loss (no osteopenia yet, but significant reduction on last bone scan). Also I worry about Arimidex causing future heart disease. I feel I did "overkill" already fighting this very small breast cancer! Thank you!<!-- <td valign="top" align="right"> <script src="http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </td> -->
  Answer by Dr.Jyothi Narayan (oncologist) on Thu 24, Mar 2011 03:45am:

Your doubt regarding the continuous use of Arimidex in your case is understandable. Even in Early stage Breast cancer like yours, the standard guidelines recommend the use of Aromatase Inhibitors ( one of them is Arimidex - an Anastrazole ) for 5 years. There is no clear-cut data to show the percentage of women who will develop recurrent disease if these drugs are discontinued within this specified time. However, if side effects like your bone & joint pains bother you, then you should talk to your Oncologist & switch over to other Aromatase Inhibitors like Letrozole or Exemestane. For your bone density loss, you should be on Calcium & Vitamin D supplements along with Bisphosphonates. They will definitely reduce the risk of fractures & other bone related problems. Cardiac ( Heart related ) complications are not a major concern with Aromatase Inhibitors. You can have your heart monitored by the way of 2D Echo on a regular basis. You should discuss all these options with your Oncologist & decide not to discontinue the use of Aromatase Inhibitor without an alternative. All the best!

3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53

Dx 2/5/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Mar 25, 2011 06:28PM annettek wrote:

swim angel- are you HER+?

Surgery Stats: BMX 11/2010 with immediate reconstruction with 450 TEs Exchange 3/19/11 Mentor 550 HP Smooth rounds

Dx 10/17/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jun 17, 2011 03:04PM KathleenLa wrote:

Google D.I.M. or Dr. Michael Zeligs.  Education yourself on this and you will be amazed.  It's been studied for over 20 years and trials have been done.  He has a patented natural product that metabolizes estrogen and it appears that that is the problem.  All it is is cruciferous vegetables.  Get a juicer.  Buy Dr. Zeligs product which is called Bio-Response.  I get mine at our local natural Herbarium.  Cruciferous veggies is broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts.  Did you know we have "good" and "bad" estrogen?  I didn't.  But it's important.  Arimadex and Temoxafin only lower estrogen, therefore, we get all these awful side affects.  I am taking Arimadex every other day and the D.I.M. every other day, and after a little over a month, I am experiencing joint pains and fatigue.  Not good.  I am post menopausal.  I am taking myself off of the Arimadex and see what happens with these side affects.  Also, try taking Goats Colostrum.  That is good for just about everything in the body.  Read about that with joints, cartilege, bones, muscles, etc.  It's also an anti-inflammatory.  One can take as much of Goats Colostrum as wanted, its so good for you.

Have a blessed day

CntryDnc22@aol.com

Kathleen 

Dx 10/22/2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Jul 23, 2011 07:09PM el6248 wrote:

I have been on Arimidex for a little over 5 years. I have heard that you may now be able to take it for 10 years. Have you heard of this or perhaps a step down drug that you can take? I read the blog about progesterone cream as an alternative so I will ask my oncologist about that next week.

Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2011 08:19PM gardengumby wrote:

I'm post-menopausal and have been on tamoxifen for 5 months.  I've been experiencing a lot of side-effects, so am looking for an alternative.  Since everytime I talk to my oncologist she says "that's not the tamoxifen" I'm also fairly frustrated.  I certainly did't have any of these things happening prior to taking tamoxifen....  so I think that - Yes, it's the tamoxifen.  I was thinking that possibly an AI would work for me, but have always liked to at least aid my body with natural rememdies.  Suggestions???

BRCA1 & 2 negative - 3 family members. Oncotype 14. DCIS 7.5 cm, intermediate

Dx 10/28/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 10/28/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 2, ER+/PR+Surgery 12/20/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Left)Hormonal Therapy 02/15/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 08/17/2011 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Left)Hormonal Therapy 11/01/2011 Femara
Log in to post a reply

Jul 29, 2011 03:52PM wandergo1 wrote:

can you combine IC3 and Tamox?

Page 4 of 4 (112 results)