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For Arimidex/Anastrozole new, past, and ongoing New

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  • 123abc1611
    123abc1611 Member Posts: 2
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    I am getting ready to pick up my first prescription of Anastrozole today. I had a double mastectomy on Oct. 6th. I was wondering if it's best to take it at night before I go to bed or in the mornings. I still work full time and don't want to take anything in the morning that may have an effect on my mental alertness at work.

  • ChesterandRally
    ChesterandRally Member Posts: 7
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    Congratulations!! Did you have any of the side effects? No bones thinning issues? I just started and it scares me to think of all the things that could go wrong to change my quality of life. It is so nice to hear of someone who came thru it with minimal problems. You have inspired me.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • ChesterandRally
    ChesterandRally Member Posts: 7
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    I take mine at night. I work full time as well and it doesn't effect me mentally. Physically, I helps to start moving around in the morning because I was pretty achy first thing. Good Luck.

  • Molly50
    Molly50 Member Posts: 3,008
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    turtle42, congratulations!!!

  • Smurfette26
    Smurfette26 Member Posts: 269
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    I take mine in the evenings too. Originally started with mornings but I feel better taking it after dinner. We are all different. See what works best for you.

    Wow. 10 years. Congrats.

  • Myraknits
    Myraknits Member Posts: 191
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    I am going on 3 weeks of Anastrazole and just have to say, after being scared out of my whits about side effects, I have none that are noticable! No aches or pains, no hot flashes or night sweats. Energy is fine. I'm thinking I may not have had much estrogen to begin with since meno was 10 yrs ago. Wonder if that makes a difference.

  • Seedsally
    Seedsally Member Posts: 141
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    Turtle congrats on your last pill. I just started it in May this year but am determined to take it as long as I can. I figure it will be for the rest of my life too barbe.

  • Warrior4sararyan
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    UGH so frustrated-had my second meeting with my oncologist. She asked about my side effects. I brought in my notebook with all my side effects and documents and times I took my Arimidex. She really just kind of dismissed me. I asked her what the best OTC medication to take for joint and bone pain. I also asked if I could get something for the night time pain because I can't sleep. She did give me a rx for Tramadal so hopefully that will help with the pain and aches. I am still healing from my double mastectomy.

    The doctor took labs and never went over them with me-I had five things that were high and two things that were low. She never explained anything to me. I am new at this so I don't know how this works.

    I hope that the side effects get better...she never answered that question. I think I will be investigating other doctors who take the time to answer my questions and explain my labs.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
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    I find I get my best info online! I search what the blood levels mean and then talk my PCP as my onc won't prescribe anything but Arimidex.

    Try Loratidine which is generic Claritin. I get mine at Walmart so it's cheap. I find that helps some of the bone pain.

  • denvmom
    denvmom Member Posts: 23
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    Hi, I take mine in the morning.  Let me tell all of you my experience from the supplements I take due to some of the suggestions I found on this site.  In the morning I take Glucosamine Chondroitin, a Calcium + D and my Arimidex/Anastrozole.   At night I take 500 MG Potassium and 400MG of Magnesium and .25mg Crestor for high cholesterol.  

    I take mine in the morning because if I have hot flashes it is not at night and I sleep well at night.  I discovered at this site that some had trouble sleeping at night so I figured the effects would be less if I take it in the morning.  So far that has worked for me, you may be different.

    PLEASE READ BELOW...IMPORTANT!

    I have NO pain anywhere in my body but let me tell you why I know this is due to the supplements.  On a Tuesday I was in the grocery store and thought,  Oh, I want to try some fresh lemon sole.  Well I had it that evening and by midnight I was throwing it all up...bad fish.  I know because I work in a school and have had the stomach virus and this was not a virus since I went to work the next morning not feeling bad. 

    So being the person I am I decided to not take my supplements since I thought they might upset my tender stomach.  I still took my Arimidex/Anastrozole and my Crestor but no supplements.  I did this Wed, Thurs, Fri. and Sat.  and by Sat night my hands were hurting!  It felt like my tendons/muscles  in all my fingers where in pain...not my bones my tendons/muscles.  My hands hurt so bad that I soaked them in hot water but that did not help much.  So the next day Sunday I went back to taking my supplements and by Sunday night my hands were better but not totally "well".  It took 2 weeks for my hands to go back to normal by using the supplements.

    If you can take these supplements I would highly suggest all of you on Arimidex/Anastrozole to do this.  It can't hurt to try and it has worked wonders for me.  I started taking these supplements 2 weeks before I started Anastrozole.  So the only time I had pain is when I stopped supplements and pain disappeared when I went back on the supplements.

    I hope this helps many of you as it has me.  I would hate to be in that pain all the time as I was for that one day!  I am planning on telling my  oncologist when I see him next but I don't think he will listen and help others.  I hope this gets out to many women and it helps them.

    God Bless

     Oh, I had a double mastectomy, lobular cancer in my left breast.

  • sarahrae
    sarahrae Member Posts: 52
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    DenvMom:

    I feel ya! I have been on zoladex and arimidex for about 2 months and I credit my low inflammatory diet and supplements for my lack of pain. I take tumeric, zyflamend, quercetin, proteolytic enzymes. I avoid most dairy and wheat. I have seen a big difference in my chronic neck pain as well.

    so good to hear your great results!


  • Houston2016
    Houston2016 Member Posts: 248
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    Smurfette, did you switch from anastrozole to arimidex, did it help with the SE? I believe taking curcumin, an extract of turmeric, vitamin D, calcium, selenium, magnesium, multivitamin, all help with taking these AI.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
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    I take B12, magnesium and Loratidine which is the active ingredient in Claritin. If I run out of any of them I can really tell the difference. I used to take Tumeric but when that ran out there was no difference so I dropped it. Some of you might see an advantage though as our body chemistries are all different.

  • Smurfette26
    Smurfette26 Member Posts: 269
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    Yes Houston2016. I switched from Anastrozole to brand name Arimidex and my side effects improved immensely.

    I take Cal/Vit D and Magnesium daily. I don't take Tumeric as I take other medications that may cause interactions.

  • Nanagirl
    Nanagirl Member Posts: 21
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    I've been on Arimidex for about a year or a year and a half. I'm experiencing vaginal dryness and frequent urinary track infections. What can I do for these issues? Thanking you in advance. Nanagirl

  • Sjacobs146
    Sjacobs146 Member Posts: 155
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    I am on anastrazole, and am experiencing vaginal bleeding (like a period) starting yesterday. Is this something I should see my doctor about? I completed treatment in March 2015, started on Tamoxifen, but switched to anastrazole in December 2016. I had not had a period since December 2014, and the estriol test said that I was in menopause. All of the sudden yesterday, I am experiencing vaginal bleeding. Very light, not the same as my periods yet. Thoughts???

  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
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    Sjacobs...IMO post menopausal bleeding must allways be investigating. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
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    Nanagirl...Vaginal dryness and frequent UTIs are probably from the decrease in estrogen. I would talk to your gynecologist rather than your MO. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • Sjacobs146
    Sjacobs146 Member Posts: 155
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    checked in with my MO and she's not very concerned about my vaginal bleeding ( which has since stopped).She said to follow up with my phone or gyno. I don't have a gyno, but I will check in with pcp

  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
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    Sjacobs...I don't want to worry you but MOs know very little about female hormones or anything gynecologist really. I would strongly urge you to find a gynecologist and have it checked out. Most likely it is nothing but I would feel better knowing it for sure. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • jnu3
    jnu3 Member Posts: 56
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    I have not posted in quite awhile. My lumpectomy was 12/17/15. I stated Anastrozole March 2016. I am 1.5 years and almost two years post surgery. I have not really had any SE's, but following the forum I take note of any changes in manufacturers in medication. I try to limit to the few that I have had without any SE's. Other than that, I am here. To everyone else good luck, God bless and we can survive more than just survival. We have faith and our loved ones.

    I should add that I had a follow up almost 2 year mammo - which was noteworthy for no change and normal for the unaffected


  • Ellyn27
    Ellyn27 Member Posts: 42
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    Just got my prescription for Anastrozole today and am scared to death to take it. At least it's winter so if I get hot flashes I'll go outside!! I need to just stay busy and start eating better. New year, new me .... hopefully a good 2018.

  • BonneChance4
    BonneChance4 Member Posts: 4
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    Hello fellow Arimidex travelers! I note there are two separate threads currently active on this topic. After spending an hour or more in one with 400 + pages, I chose this one for posting in because it was initiated later (2016) and has less pages built up. Seemed easier to navigate; hopefully, someone here may have an answer to my question.

    I just found out that I won't need chemo, so now the next step is 4 weeks of radiation and 5 years of hormone therapy (beginning with Arimidex, if I can tolerate it). Can anyone offer advice on starting both at the same time? My preference would be to delay taking the AI until after I complete the radiation, so I could tell what side effects are due to radiation, which to the Arimidex. (Of course, I didn't think to ask this question when I met with my oncologist for the 1st time on Wednesday!)

    Thank you so much in advance! I always learn so much from all of you who take the time to share your experiences.

    BonneChance

  • Tappermom383
    Tappermom383 Member Posts: 401
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    Welcome, BonneChance! I imagine different oncologists follow different protocol but my radiation oncologist and medical oncologist were in agreement: I was to complete my 33 radiation treatments before starting on Arimidex (anastrozole). I was fortunate in that I didn’t suffer many SEs from the radiation - some redness and itchiness, no blistering or peeling. The primary SE was the extreme fatigue I felt. That subsided slowly over the weeks after I completed my treatments. I started anastrozole in mid-July - I have some foggy brain and crankiness (started taking magnesium for that). I’ve now developed carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist (opposite to my treatments); a night brace is helping tremendously with that. And just two weeks ago my left knee started bothering me; my MO doesn’t think it’s from the anastrozole because it’s unilateral and started months after I started taking the med. He wondered if my posture had something to do with it (???). I, however, am convinced it’s tied to the anastrozole. It’s bearable so I’ll just slog along on this unasked-for adventure.

    Best of luck to you as you start your rads. I just tallied my BC mileage and found I drove 1400 miles to and from radiation treatments!


    MJ


  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
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    Bonne,

    You are almost there. Wish you speedy healing from rads.

    Please excuse the below is my personal experience and or opinion only.

    Wait till you are done w rads. Day #14 post rads regardless of rad frequency is ideal. Especially fatigue standpoint which peaks after rads. Fatigue can be a side effect for Arimidex.

    I started w brand name from day 1. Most of insurance companies charge arm and a leg for brand name. Eagle Pharmacy located in Lakeland FL sells brand name for $1per pill straight out of pocket. They dont accept insurance. Btw the pharmacy sells many other brand name meds for less than $1 per pill. My case Synthroid from them will be 80 cents per pill.

    If you are OK w generic,I read Teva or Accord is the best.

    AI may come w many side effects. I was concerned. I turned 48. Mild arthritis to begin with. Today is about day 70 or so. I try to walk and eat right first(I do eat bad food from time to time after filling me up w good food) AI makes me more conscious about weight. So far maybe 2 pounds weight gain from it. In the beginning I ate everything in sight.

    Bone pain wise. Daily Claritin helps quite a bit. I used to take NSAID daily in the beginning but nowadays only when the weather is real bad. Yes I cannot skip lymphedemeda pump more than two days in a row.

    Moodswing wise. It could be from hormonal imbalance from chemo or aging. I felt maybe once or twice. I take 10mg celexa w Arimidex which helps.

    Brain fog I have not felt any. I dont do any special brain exercise.


    AI is a personal choice as well as extra shield against the bleeping crap.

    Good luck

  • Ellyn27
    Ellyn27 Member Posts: 42
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    BonneChance - I ended my RADs (20 treatments, 4 of which were boosts) the end of December. The only SE I had from RADs was a pink itchy patch above breast, but I used my Aquaphor religiously and later had to add hydrocortizone cream as well. I've been on Anastrozole for a week now. I know it's very early but I have not noticed any SEs. I have been eating better and exercising. They say a side effect of the pills could be insomnia, but by doing the exercises I'm sleeping like a log!!! I read here somewhere and truly believe that eating healthy protein during treatment is very important. Getting radiation is like getting microwaved and we need to heal from the inside out. So make sure you eat healthy. It was time for me to start taking better care of ME  :)  Everyone is different and their situations and outcomes all vary. I take my pills now and just try not to even think about them.

  • BonneChance4
    BonneChance4 Member Posts: 4
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    Tappermom383: that's a lot of miles from out in the wilderness! I'll be driving 35 miles each way for my RADs, most likely alone, so I'm hoping the fatigue won't get the best of me. I have sleep apnea, which causes me to get dangerously drowsy in the afternoons when I'm driving home.

    I know everyone will react differently, but I'm wondering what your advice would be on continuing to work during the month I do the RAD. I take care of a little girl (15 months old), three days a week. She's a joy to be with, and her parents are willing and eager to work around my needs at this time. My hope is to switch to five mornings with my little friend, and then head up to the Cancer Care center for an afternoon "fix". I get the impression that the fatigue is cumulative, and doesn't hit you immediately, so maybe this could work for the first week or two... Were you able to keep up your regular routines?

    The bone loss issue concerns me, because a family member had a terrible reaction to medication given to correct the problem. Did you know before all of this that you had osteopenia?

    Foggy Brain - may you be spared from too much of that!!

    Bonne Chance

  • BonneChance4
    BonneChance4 Member Posts: 4
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    Castigame: You are really doing it all, aren't you! It's so fascinating to see how our BC journeys are completely unique. I salute your staying power. And thank you for some really good information on generics vs brand, plus daily routines. I like that you confirmed what Tappermom suggested, that I wait till after RADs to start the AI. (I'm starting to get the hang of all these abbreviations. Please excuse if I mess up...) You say "Day 14" is a good time to start, after the RAD fatigue has peaked. Sounds like a good plan to me.

    Very helpful to have some ideas of what to take when problems arise - Claritin or Celexa, depending on the issue. Due to some weird mold allergies, I seem to have weird reactions to all different kinds of drugs. Luckily, before this, I haven't needed any that I couldn't live without.

    I hear you about starting the day with exercise and good eating. Right away, I dropped SUGAR as if it was poison. But my body is trying to trick me into adding it, every time I let my guard down. Do you do any vitamin supplements, like D3? That's the only one I do at the moment. Best wishes for keeping up the healthy routine!



  • BonneChance4
    BonneChance4 Member Posts: 4
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    Ellyn27 ~ I'll be doing the same # of treatments that you had - I hope I have the same outcome with SEs! Good reminder to be vigilant with swabbing on the Aquaphor, I could easily imagine me not tending to that daily.

    With my sleep apnea already causing night time issues, insomnia is not something I look forward to! If you are sleeping like a log, that gives me hope. Do you take your AI in the am or pm? Lots of exercise is what my instincts are telling me will be the best defense, and brisk walking is my preferred route. But I think I read somewhere that weight-bearing exercise will be important, due to the bone density problems associated with Arimidex.

    Good protein choices? My go-to protein is usually cheese, but another wisdom nugget for fighting cancer that I've seen here and there is to cut out dairy and fatty red meats. Hmmm....I guess that leaves chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds?

  • Omnikai1
    Omnikai1 Member Posts: 1
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    Not sure if I will be taking amiridex yet. I'm off estrogel since my dx in November. I am stage 1grade 2 IDC. I have appts this week with Rads and medical oncologist. Waiting for onco test results. If I have full breast rads no amiridex, partial breast rads, probably amiridex. Feeling awful since I'm not on estrogel, moody and flashes. Anyone relate to this. Feeling out of control with mood swings. Forgot to mention I had lumpectomy on Dec 28th