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Arimidex - Coping with the SE's

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  • pj12
    pj12 Member Posts: 18,108
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    Arimidex just went generic the first of July 2010. Until then I was paying $388. / 30 pills and that was a little less than full price due to insurance. So price was not a factor in RXing one over the other.

    pam 

  • Annabella58
    Annabella58 Member Posts: 916
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    Hi sweetie pies!  Thank you for keeping the thread up and running....in answer to a few posts back, yet, you can just go to the profile page of whomever and hit the "block this person" button and it will just show up blocked.  Hope that helps?

    I have this bizarre o thing going on since lack of estrogen.  I had a hysterectomy and an oopharectomy and my vaginal walls are falling in (great, huh) calling it a "prolapse"....it can be treated with estrogen pills (ha ha).  Arimidex is keeping all the estrogen away, but it's not that bad.

    I am waiting on thyroid results (mine went wacky on me, first too high, waiting to see if it's right now) and I will absolutely ask about vitamin D when I see my onc.

    Did anyone else see the news story on Fox and all over the media re: calcium supplements and heart issues?  Going to ask about that one too.

    I was told no no to generic arimidex, as it hasn't been out there long enough.  I get mine from Canada at half price anyway, name brand, same cost as generic would be here in the states.

    PM me anyone for how to do it....I get it by mail and it's great, so far!

    Have a lovely day gals.  I second the treadmill and elliptical or walking. 

  • Medigal
    Medigal Member Posts: 183
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    anniealso:  Who or where did you get the info that generic Arimidex is a "no no"?  I would be more concerned getting mine from Canada where I was told they do not have the same FDA regulations as we do in the US.  Even if they are in Astra Zeneca packages, AZ themselves told me they do not have to follow the same "quality regulations" there as they do if made here.  I guess that is one reason they can be sold so much cheaper. 

    Also, what good does it do to get generics of "any" drug if we are going to be afraid to take them?.  My feelings are that as long as I research the company making the generics and they are qualified without a lot of problems on their records, I am not concerned about using their meds.  In fact, if you have a mail pharmacy with your insurance, you are probably using drugs from the same companies now putting out generics for Arimidex.  I use the TEVA Anastrozole and have other TEVA meds I have been using without any problem for quite some time. I just got a refill on my generic Clonazapam and it is made by Mylan also another maker of Anastrozole.  I could go on and on but my point is that we either trust our FDA and the manufacturers of all these generics or we don't.  Just because a few people have a problem with a certain drug does not mean everyone should discard their pills.  I cannot take the OTC drugs like Advil etc. or even an aspirin due to my stomach problems yet millions of people receive great pain relief with these drugs.

    I for one, am not going to waste time waiting to see who  if anyone has a bad side effect from the generic I select.  I am just grateful after all these years, we finally have access to Anastrozole at affordable prices and I will continue to take the pills I have chosen to use.  We are fortunate to have about 13 or more companies to choose from so I suggest people do  their homework and then use the manufacturer they feel more peace of mine with.

    BTW, have they made it legal yet to get your pills from Canada?.  I was told it was not passed yet when I contacted my Washington reps before Arimidex became generic.  Now I don't have to be concerned about it but was just wondering. 

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    No offense taken, sunflowers :)  I just got back from looking at both and decided on the capsules -- I know it's not as cost-effective  and that had me hesitating -- but I don't like fishy taste anyway, so I decided there was no point buying something I wouldn't take if I couldn't stand the taste.  I was glad to see Nordic brand and I'm hoping this helps; if not with joint pain, maybe with some of my other issues!

    Generics have the same active ingredient as the brand Arimidex; I realize there may be quality control issues from some countries/manufacturers -- but I've been taking generics of scripts for years with no problems and am failing to see why this should be any different.  There are different inactive ingredients, yes, and some small percentage may react to the difference in those -- but most won't.

    I read the calcium supplements/heart attack research, but it begs a lot of questions, which maybe I'll get to another time, but my wrist is saying I've had enough typing for now! :)  I, for one, won't rush to stop taking them.

  • cowgirl13
    cowgirl13 Member Posts: 774
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    Hi ladies.  This is such a nice forum.  I just wanted to jump in the pool here--i've been on Arimidex for 5 months.  Had side effects immediately--mostly terrible, terrible joint pain.  I was sure wishing I had one of those toilets that are taller.  Getting out of bed was really tough as was almost everything.  after a while, I was so desparate,  I decided to cut out all sugar and it worked!  I can't believe it.  Just wanted to pass that along in case it can help someone else.  Finished last chemo last week and had my port out last friday.  So its Arimidex now and thank god I can take it!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,927
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    I think between them, Claire and Nature have made a wonderful point; we should be doing things that make us feel good, happy, and even sexy, and doing them for OURSELVES (if there are other people who enjoy the results; well, lucky for them! Wink). Light those candles and take a bubble bath, get a regular facial, massage or pedicure, get a great haircut (or wig, or scarves or go bald with big hoop earrings and red lipstick), wear sexy lingerie (even if nobody else knows, you know you're wearing them), buy some fun new clothes, get a makeover (if you are in active treatment, be sure you do an American Cancer Society 'Look Good/Feel Better' event). Really celebrate all the good things about yourself.....something we can easily lose sight of with all the yucky stuff!
  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,927
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     I was so excited thinking of a candle light bubble bath, that I accidentally copied this post twice! Sorry about that.........

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    Question: so I had a flare-up of joint pain earlier this week, still tolerable except one night I had trouble sleeping, and yesterday morning it was all a lot better except one place:  now the bone(s) at the base of my left thumb into my wrist hurt so bad I can't use my left hand... at all... can't even get toothpaste out of the tube... it's like all the pain accumulated into one spot!  I took lortab last night and that knocked me out so I slept but it didn't get rid of the pain at all.  I'm taking ibuprofen this morning to see if the anti-inflam. piece helps any.  My question is, is this kind of isolated, one-sided (not both wrists) normal with Al's?  I would swear I have broken bones except I know I don't.  I'm hoping it subsides pretty durn fast (especially since I'm taking a few vacation days but how much can you do minus one hand?) (I can't even close my car door with my left hand).  Any thoughts?  I started fish oil last night too but don't expect immediate help from that.  I don't want stronger pain meds because I want to be able to function.  Crapola. 

    Ruth, great post, and your bath post made me laugh :)

  • don23
    don23 Member Posts: 213
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    Ruth- great post. Sometimes we do forget to do things for ourselves that make US happy. Thanks for reminding me!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,927
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    Would it help if you massage it? What about ice and massage?( I know that sport trainers are using ice, staying away from heat pretty much all together.)

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    I did ice it last night and that helped for a short while (it felt so good to have cold on it!) but when the pain came back it was still bad.  I'll ice it and massage it again later.  I really don't expect it to last, Pollyanna never gives up! but boy is it bad.  Complete empathy for those who've had unbearable pain in many joints.  At least I can still walk!
  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,927
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    Keep icing it on and off all day and take an asprin (asprin goes straight to the source of the pain).

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    Thanks, Ruth.  I will!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,927
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    I will send you my bill Wink!
  • flash
    flash Member Posts: 129
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    any chance that it is trigger thumb? That's a known se.  It's really the base of the thumb that is affected where it joins the hand.  If it is, you don't want to leave it too long or it can have some longer term consequences.  Worth getting it checked out.

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    what is trigger thumb?

  • chrissyb
    chrissyb Member Posts: 11,438
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    NatureGrrl, I had the same thing but in both thumbs and it really is a pain but it does go away.  At it's worst it lasted about 10 days before subsiding and then a further week or so as a dull ache.  I have no problems now. I just took my normal pain meds and did hot and cold compresses when ever I could.  Hope this helps a little and just know, for me it didn't last that long hopefully it will be the same for you.

    Love n hugs. chrissyb

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    Thanks, Chrissy! I just remembered I went on a knitting bender Sunday-Tuesday.... oops... wonder if that set it off??? I've had my carpel tunnel in my right arm set off from knitting.  Durn!!

    edited to add, I think I'll ice and do the anti-inflam thing a few days; if it isn't getting better I'll contact my dr. Monday.  Does that make sense?  I can bend my thumb fine but I can't grip or use it for any kind of pressure.

    Maybe chocolate would help :)

  • pj12
    pj12 Member Posts: 18,108
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    I wonder why the joint pain so often settles in one spot? Mine is chronic in the pinkie and ring finger of my left hand. I don't remember ever injuring those fingers. But it does seem that most of us have one special place that bugs us the most. Actually my fingers seem better lately but now the toes of my right foot are hurting! Weird .   Aleve works well for me.

    I have intermittent episodes of trigger thumb or finger. Unscientifically, it is when the joint locks and you are not able to bend the finger from its locked extended position. Usually you can unlock it by bending it   with the other hand. I don't know the medical explanation. It is a SE of Arimidex.

    Good luck to us all!

    pam 

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    Ah.... OK.  Thanks, Pam!  Then I had a little trigger finger in my right hand when I first got SE's from A (3 months ago) but never bad, and never in my left hand.  And right now I can bend my thumb and it hasn't locked up on me at all.  So I'm still thinking too much knitting + A = pain in wrist/thumb area.  Live and learn!  I sure hope I don't have to give up knitting for 5 years... you should see my yarn stash & list of knitting projects!  Plus I'm still finishing up Christmas presents from last year.  I'll just have to pace myself, I guess.

  • chrissyb
    chrissyb Member Posts: 11,438
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    I still knit, but when I feel my hands getting sore I put it down.  Needless to say sometimes I can knit longer than others.  I also crochet and it's the same with that.  You definately need to pace yourself.

    Love n hugs

    chrissyb

  • claire_in_seattle
    claire_in_seattle Member Posts: 2,793
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    Anything you haven't done in a while is likely to give you major pain if you go from ZERO to 24 straight hours.

    I did a hike with two friends the day before surgery.  My joke is that I woke up the second night in terrible pain and rubbed Aspercreme into my right knee!

    Because hiking uses different muscles than cycling.  If we had gone cycling, my friend who hasn't cycled in years wouldn't have been able to help me, or even get out of bed.

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
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    Yeah, Claire, I just wasn't thinking, and I didn't have any unusual wrist pain until WHAMMO!  I knit somewhat regularly but I started a new project (after about 2 years of planning and saving yarn) and knit for a couple of hours too many days in a row.  Live and learn!

  • lakewoman
    lakewoman Member Posts: 221
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    Speaking of SEX yep it is me again,,Here are some of my old posts for those that inquired in this new forum. 

      I am in the experimental stage of upgrading my libido ! MY lab...OUR bedroom. More on test results after the first of the year!! Blessings to you all! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL...TEST RESULTS IN !!!!! ,REGARDING LIBIDO!!!! I TOLD YOU I READ ARTICLE IN CURE BY DEBRA JARVIS..FROM THAT TO A WEBSITE AND A BRAVE MOVE ~FOR ME~ TO BUY A PRODUCT...IT IS CALLED ORGASMIX AND IT HAS WORKED EVERYTIME I USED IT!!!! I AM SO GRATEFUL!  AM I YELLING??? NO MY CAPS WERE ON BY ACCIDENT, SORRY. BUT IS SURE IS SOMETHING TO SHOUT ABOUT!!!  lakewoman wrote: Oops forgot to mention it is just a lubricant and unlke some lubricants very little needed . Good thing  expensive! found it much cheaper on amazon...
    Dec 20, 2009 09:03 pm lakewoman wrote: http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/1246I emailed Deb Jarvis author of article in CURE magazine,,this is how you can access the article ,,Remember Deb Jarvis is a minister . Bur if her openness to her libido ,...or lack thereof at one time,, is offensive to anyone please just stop reading it...TODAY....Hey turning 70 and B/C are not going to get in my way of life!
  • MTG
    MTG Member Posts: 337
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    Lakewoman - You are SO COOL !!!!

    Naturegirl - Chocolate always helps. .......The only significant pain that I still have is in the same spot, that soft tissue between the thumb and forefinger;  I simply can't grip things tightly any longer. Two things that have helped the logistics aspect re: opening tight bottles: (1) I've got one of those silicone/rubber things to help me get a better grip and (2) I keep a small flat head screw driver in the kitchen as well to help with jars; just tuck it under the lid to break the airtight seal and it works like a charm.

  • BrendaAreYouA4
    BrendaAreYouA4 Member Posts: 40
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    Has any one taken R-PTH (Forteo) to build BMD.  I am 48.  I had osteopenia prior to starting chemo 11/09 to 2/10.  In February I had my ovaries removed and started A in March.  In May I was Dx with heel fracture.  In June DEXA scan (orderd by PCP) revealed 11% bone loss in spine with -2.67 T score.  Now I have 'severe established osteoporosis' because of fracture.  Onc referred me to bone endocrinologist who suggested the Forteo for 2 years and then Prolia after that.  I am so mad that my BMD was not addressed prior to starting chemo given the osteopenia.  (Onc never told me that chemo causes a one-time 7% bone loss) in order to prevent this loss.  When I started A (which causes a 2-3% bone loss each year) he said it was not necessary to treat my BMD at that time.  Since he was the professional I just listened and didn't insist.  Silly me...I feel like I have to me my own doctor sometimes.  So that's why I turn to you all ... for your collective wisdom and insight ... I don't know what to do.  I don't like the thought of daily injections but it seems to be the only thing that actually builds bone mass.  Any thoughts anyone???

  • meadowlark
    meadowlark Member Posts: 6
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    Dear Lowrider

    I have a very personal question that you may or may not wish to answer. It is't about side effects, but I was wondering   since your first diagonsis in 99 until your present diagonsis in 09,what kind of screening did you have each year  to watch for signs of reoccurence? That is something we all are trying to be aware of. Thanks, Meadowlark

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,927
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    Brenda,  a friend of mine already had severe osteoporosis when she was diagnosed with BC; she and her oncologist involved an endocrinologist from the start, and she ended up taking tamoxifin instead of an Al, as tamo actually builds bone density. Worth checking out anyway.

  • BrendaAreYouA4
    BrendaAreYouA4 Member Posts: 40
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    Ruthbru,

    I think I will be switching to T but not until November but they are still recommending the r-PTH for 2 years followed by the rank lignand (prolia) or a biophosphonate, in addition to switching to T.   I'll miss the A-Team though.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,927
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    Once you have joined the A-Team, you have a lifetime membership!!