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Arimidex

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Comments

  • sue_profit1942
    sue_profit1942 Member Posts: 5
    edited November 2010
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    Wow! Taco Time, you must have really had a jerk for a first doctor. Thank God you got away from him. I've been on Arimidex for 11 months. I'm 68, so believe me, I wasn't happy about the hot flashes and joint and muscle pain. My onc suggested I stop taking the Arimidex for 2 weeks to see if the joint and muscle pain left. Well, I've been off it for 9 days now and still have the hot flashes and joint pain, so maybe I've been blaming too much on the Arimidex! He also suggested that since my general doctor increased my Lovastatin from 10 mg to 40 mg, it might have triggered the joint pain. Am going to check into that also. Either way, since I have to be on Arimidex for five years, I'm going to live with whatever side effects there are, because it's way better than the cancer reoccurring. Oh, and I quit smoking in September this year, so am also fighting the weight gain from that!! Good luck with your treatment, and keep the faith, baby!

  • Prairiemermaid
    Prairiemermaid Member Posts: 67
    edited December 2010
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    Hi all!  Just popped in to say "Hi" and ask a question for those who have switched to the generic.  It looks like my insurance company is not going to pay for the name brand anymore.  I've been avoiding the generic A because I have very few, manageable side effects (so far) and I am afraid of getting new ones or worsening the ones I have by taking the generic.  I will be so grateful to hear from those of you who have switched and how that has gone for you.  Thanks so much!

    For the rest of you, it's just good to see all the activity and the familiar faces (I'm looking at your beautiful face, Ruth, in the post above as I write this! ;-)   I hope everything is good for all of you.  I think of you often -- how brave and supportive you all are and how luck I am to have this place to come to...

  • don23
    don23 Member Posts: 213
    edited December 2010
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    Prairiemermaid  - I made the switch to the generic after only being on Arimidex for three months. I thought I was getting worse SE's from the generic because they seemed to have started about a week after starting the generic. My onco gave me a one month prescription for the non-generic that I have taken for about a month and the SE's didn't go away. He did tell me that sometimes the drug has a cumulative effect and maybe that's what happened. Suffice it to say I will be taking the generic after I'm done with this prescription. The only SE I seem to be having lately is some hip pain. It only hurts when I first get up from sitting too long. Oh well, I guess it could be worse.
  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,151
    edited December 2010
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    Hi, I'm here. Swamped with company at Thanksgiving & then my DHs older brother died (he had been ill for a long time with congestive heart failure, but still sad).

    I switched to generic this fall, was scared about doing so; but after conferencing with my pharmist who told me since it is a 'serious Class A drug', the ingredients has to be EXACTLY the same, I took the plunge. I have had absolutely NO different SE except that my wallet is heavier because the price difference is unbelievable!!!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,151
    edited August 2013
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    Just another thought about the huge difference in the price of the generic vs the patented arimidex. I remember when the company that made arimidex was fighting so hard to get the patent extended......their slogan is 'We're in you corner', whereas it should be 'We're in your corner, and our hands are in your pocket." !!

  • marilyn7
    marilyn7 Member Posts: 4
    edited December 2010
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    Hi Everyone,  I've been on a generic for 2 and half months now (Anastrozole). I have minor hot flashes, good energy.  My problem is the joint pain. The odd thing is that while I have a few minor aches and pains upon waking and some throughout the day, my left elbow is killing me.  I swear it feels like I have a broken bone in there.  There is no swelling or bruising, just severe pain.  It doesn't make sense that the drug would affect ONE isolated joint.  So, I'm going to call my orthopedist today to see if maybe this pain is NOT related to A, just a coincidence.  I did wrench my knee recently (after a month of A), so I'm wondering if not only is there joint pain, but also joint weakness and risk of injury.  Thoughts anyone??

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,151
    edited December 2010
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    I'd get it checked out. To me, it sounds like an injury type of thing.

  • kadeeb
    kadeeb Member Posts: 16
    edited December 2010
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    I was on the name brand for 3 years and switched to generic in August.  I've noticed no difference that is to say that joints are stiff in the morning but exercise helps. Sleepless, but ambien helps with that. Gained weight but that's probably 2 fold, estrogen deprevation and my elbow bending much too frequently on the way to my mouth. As has already been mentioned, my pocketbook is much heavier. I can live with the SE but I like to gripe about them anyway.

  • buddy1
    buddy1 Member Posts: 529
    edited December 2010
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    Hi Gals.  I hope its o.k. if I jump right in here and ask a question.  I have been very nervous about switching to generic.  I mean this is a serious drug  Its keeping my cancer away.  Not a time to be saving money.  On the other hand We sinply cant afford teh brand name any more.  Just wondering if most women have made the switch or not.  Also, It could be all in my mind but it seems like the generic is not as strong.  I dont seem to get the amount of hot flashes I use to get.  Maybe my body just has less hormones in it.  My Doc said if My hot flashes go away to let him know  , I may need a stronger medicine.  Have any of you ever heard of that either.  Thanks  Buddy

  • suzie14
    suzie14 Member Posts: 208
    edited December 2010
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    Buddy, I was switched to the generic and noticed that I had an increase in the headache and the nausea, which isn't as bothersome since I have been on it since September. My hotflashes (power surges) have remained about the same.

     I have not heard that if the flashes go away, you may need a stronger med.

    hope all goes well, hugs, suzie

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,151
    edited December 2010
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    Generic has to have the EXACT same formula as the patented, so as far as how effective it is.....you should be fine.

  • cybermom
    cybermom Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2010
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    I have been on the generic for the five weeks and so far no SES!!  Never took the brand name.  Saw my med. onc. yesterday and asked since no SES does that mean it is not working?? she said absolutely NOT.  Everyone is different...  good luck with your switch - keep us posted.

  • Annabella58
    Annabella58 Member Posts: 916
    edited December 2010
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    I have not tried the generic, I get my arimidex at 50% cost from canada (actually the UK) as I have some trouble with metabolizing generics ....it's not the active ingredient, which Ruth is correct, has to be exactly the same, but with the stabilizing agents, fillers, etc. 

    These can cause the SEs some gals are having trouble with.  I lost the hot flashes after three months on arimidex...I figured it meant that my estrogen was gonzo.  Told my onc and he said, that's fine, lucky you.

    I guess you could ask your onc for an estradiol level test and see where you are, but I have since heard those aren't too reliable.

    Everybody is different.  Arimidex is famous for changing it's face and jumping around the body.  SEs come and go, wax and wane, are different, or stay the same.  But I guess for your peace of mind, it's worth a mention.  It's good stuff, it works.

  • ECRB
    ECRB Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2010
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    I have been on Arimidex for about 2 months. I am finding I am depressed and am gaining weight. Does anyone else have these symptoms?

  • ananda8
    ananda8 Member Posts: 1,418
    edited December 2010
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    Please read the thread on Vitamin D.  Low vitamin D can cause joint and bone pain, depression, sleep problems. 

  • katp
    katp Member Posts: 4
    edited December 2010
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    I only took the name brand for a month when the generic came out.  I have joint pain and constipation as SE but I do pretty well on it, I think.

  • suzie14
    suzie14 Member Posts: 208
    edited December 2010
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    ECRB, I have experienced depression which I attributed to the dx, all the treatments more or less a post traumatic stress depression, I take lexapro, after going through a myriad of different anti-depressants.  As far as weight gain, I've experienced it more in my gut than anywhere else.

    Don't give up, keep working with your doctor on what you are experiencing.

    hugs ~ suzie

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,151
    edited December 2010
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    sit ups!!!!

  • alex56
    alex56 Member Posts: 20
    edited December 2010
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    I started the name brand in May and was switched to the generic in August.  No difference that I can tell and it appears to be working (last tumor marker was down to 26).  My onc said not to worry about the generic. It's amazing that at stage IV with mets to bone all I have to take is this one little pill everyday (and zometa once a month). I've had significant weight loss (not complaining) and have excercises from my OT that help the mild LE and keep the joints from locking up.  Sure I have hot flashes (would have gotten them at my age anyway), achy joints (ditto), and mood swings, but all in all, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.  My husband and I also joined a gun club and I can't tell you the therapeutic benefits of blowing the hell out of a target with an assault rifle.  LOVE IT!  Best thing ever.  Hang in there ladies!

  • grneyd5600
    grneyd5600 Member Posts: 18
    edited December 2010
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    I saw med onc today for my 30 day check on Arimidex.  Bone/Joint pain is getting bad.  He suggested Vit D and told me to take Tylenol when I need to.  He is going to watch me for another 60 days and if the symptoms get worse or don't improve we will discuss other options.  I am really hoping SE's ease.  I am going to try the Vit D. 

  • ananda8
    ananda8 Member Posts: 1,418
    edited December 2010
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    grneyd5600,

    Please be sure to take enough calcium and magnesium along with the vitamin D. 

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,151
    edited December 2010
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    A target and an assult weapon sound like great therapy to me! Especially around the holidays Wink!
  • buddy1
    buddy1 Member Posts: 529
    edited December 2010
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    O.K Gals.  Your great.  Thanks for the info.  I feel so much better now.  My pharmacy said no one else that goes there is on it.  I am thinking the hormones are gone in my body is why I am not haveing the flashes.  The joint paint is terrible,  And my Dexa scans are getting worse.  But its keeping my cancer away ...so its worth it.  Love Buddy

  • Lindaip
    Lindaip Member Posts: 3
    edited December 2010
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    I was on Arimiidex for 5 years - just a few aches and pain - but what the heck, I am now 66. I am  now on a clinical trial where I miight be getting Femara or I might be getting a placebo. I am 3 years into a 5 year trial.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,151
    edited December 2010
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    Thank you for volunteering for the trial!!!

  • bestock
    bestock Member Posts: 186
    edited December 2010
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    I really need imput regarding Arimidex. I had Ovarian cancer in 2003,and had total de-bulking (no female organs) My onc wants me to be on Armidex for 3 more years after my bilateral mast. I do not like how bad my bones are, I am on fosamax but over 2 yrs no improvement. I have osteoporosis, and am only 60. I had a lot of chemo with OVCA, and I am sure that thrashed my bones. I do not think my body produces very much Estrogen, and I know that the Arimidex depletes me even more, so I am just wanted to quit the drug that I am  not sure I need anyway. I feel much older since I started this and look older too. Please any advise. I had had 2 BC and my surgery was in 2008.

  • grneyd5600
    grneyd5600 Member Posts: 18
    edited December 2010
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    bestock - I am a firm believer that the experience each of us has on any of the drugs is unique.  For example I had very little side effects from the chemo treatments.  It wasn't til my last two Taxol that I had any and then they all hit at one time.  With that said I am on Arimidex.  I have been on it almost 60 days now.  I am having terrible bone/joint pain.  Especially bad in my feet and ankles.  It has started to affect my balance.  I am doing excercise to try and keep the stiffness at bay.  I am currently taking Aleve twice a day and Glucosimine as well.  Now I can tell you that my bone density test was good when I started.  My estrogen levels were low because I had my ovaries out last Dec before I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  You can ask the Onc to run blood work to test your levels of estrogen.  Then you could try the drug for 30 or 60 days.  You will know quickly if you are going to have any SE's.  Just a thought.

    Either way, good luck with the choice and hang in there.

  • bestock
    bestock Member Posts: 186
    edited December 2010
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    Dear grneyd5600

    I wrote  a note yesterday, but it did not  post for some reason. I have been or Armidex fror 18 mos or so, I have not had side effects except in 06 when I first was dxed(bladder infections).I took aromasin and had bad vertigo..that was awful.

    I will take your advise and have my estrogen levels in blood.

    Thank you for the advise.

     I hope all goes well for you. ..

    Do you eat well a lot of veggies and things like that??

    I really think my size, past bad eating habits and, 18 chemos caused the osteoporsis.

  • grneyd5600
    grneyd5600 Member Posts: 18
    edited December 2010
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    Bestock, I do eat aas much veggies and fruit as I can. Needless to say I have been on a sugar high with the holidays here.  Lots of Christmas cookies and treats made it in my house.  LOL.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  • pj12
    pj12 Member Posts: 18,108
    edited December 2010
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    Hi Jackie,

    Of course, Arimidex is the preferred hormonal treatment. But there can be legitimate reasons you can't or don't want to take it. You could ask your doctor to run your statistics in Adjuvant On-line and see how much percentage advantage you get from Arimidex over Tamoxifen. Then you can  weigh the benefits against the side effects of each drug.

    I hate it that I stopped Arimidex after 18 months. I am now on Tamoxifen but still hold out the hope that I can go back on A. But other medical problems just made taking Arimidex too costly in the terms of quality of life.  

    Good luck!

    Pam