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Topic: Any remedies for Arimidex side effects?

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Feb 13, 2011 10:00AM

PinPDX wrote:

Hello

I am new here but thought I'd give it a shot.  After taking Tamoxifen for 2.5 years, I was switched to Arimidex a few months ago.  I had some joint pain on Tamoxifen but it is so much worse now.  Mostly in my feet and ankles but even the little joints at the ends of my fingers hurt!  I can hardly walk when I get up at night to go to the BR!  Stiff, achey, etc.  It gets a bit better when up and moving but when I am not at work, the grocery store or trying to exercise, I am on the couch!  I used to be an active person!  Not sure I can go on like this but don't want to jeopardize my survival (stage 2 IDC, then DIC a yr later; I am now 55)  Can anyone tell me what helped them?  And will this all GO AWAY after I stop the drug?? 

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 13, 2011 07:35PM ruthbru wrote:

Check out some of the arimidex threads, they have lots of information. It will get better once your body adjusts; but keep moving and active even if you feel creaky, it really does help that happen faster.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 13, 2011 08:01PM PinPDX wrote:

Thanks, Ruthbru.  I am finally figuring out how to navigate this amazing site.. Sure wish I had known about this right after my dx.  I am reassured that the side effects won't be "forever..."

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 20, 2011 07:13PM ritaz wrote:

Hey PinPDX - check out:   Arimidex - Coping with the SE's 

thread...Started by Lowrider54  I have been taking Arimidex since Jan '10 and was experiencing terrible joint pain especially knees and hands. I learned on that thread that to go gluten free is to go pain free...it took about 3 months for all the pain to go away...Believe me, it isn't easy, I was such a bread girl!  But, I look at that bread and remember the awful pain and I don't eat it...We live in such a gluten society!  But, it's doable...I highly recommend that thread...

Ruthbru - you ROCK girl - I see your posts all over the place and you are just wonderful!

I myself just got the news last Friday that cancer has reared it's ugly head again in only 15 months...Ahhh, just gotta go for the ride again...this time DCIS and NOT ER+ so I'm thinking that the Arimidex is doing it's job...Just a little disconcerting that my body can make two different types of cancer - disconcerting and just a bit scary...

I wish you well... 

First Diagnosis: 11/12/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- I think my guardian angel went out for a smoke. Dx 2/18/2011, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 20, 2011 07:53PM PinPDX wrote:

ritaz - thanks for the reference.  I stumbled across some of those posts today.  But I can't figure out WHY the gluten-free thing would work?  I can't imagine how I'd do it... but I guess if I really want to, I'll figure out a way.  Is there any chance that the SE go away with time and it might be a lucky coincidence??  Just sayin'...  I really appreciate your input!

 As for the DCIS, don't worry.  I had IDC stage 2 on the left, then - while on Tamoxifen - got DCIS on the right a year later!  I figured the Tamoxifen prevented the DCIS from becoming invasive.  Just get rid of the DCIS and you should be okay...  It NEVER FUN but having been through the whole thing once, the second time wasn't as bad.  Wishing you well, 

P. 

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2011 09:45PM ritaz wrote:

PinPDX - I have a friend that is an RN - she said that gluten is an inflammatory and that by stopping the gluten, I have stopped the souce of the inflammation.  I've heard that these side effects can go away with time but for most, they will go away when the Arimidex goes away :-( 
Oh, and another group of ladies suggest fish oil supplements help with the side effects as well...

Thanks for the encouragement with the DCIS - I have an MRI scheduled for Thursday and I'm hoping they don't find more of this crap...Yes, it's not so terrifying this time...I'll live thru this one too...Gotta love early detection...

Good luck with Gluten Free - it's really, really worth it and lucky for us, there's so many gluten free options these days - I can even find restaurants that have gluten free menu's...And best of all?  You'll most likely lose weight as you're not eating cookies, bread, cakes and twizzlers...

First Diagnosis: 11/12/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- I think my guardian angel went out for a smoke. Dx 2/18/2011, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 23, 2011 08:26AM PinPDX wrote:

Oh nooooo, not the TWIZZLERS!!  Those are my absolute favorite sin!

P. 

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 24, 2011 07:49AM - edited Feb 24, 2011 07:49AM by ritaz

Yeah, bummed me out too - who'd have thought that the very first ingrediant would be wheat flour?   At first, you have to read all the ingrediates of things...In no time, thou, you'll figure it out...

First Diagnosis: 11/12/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- I think my guardian angel went out for a smoke. Dx 2/18/2011, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 24, 2011 07:52AM Annabella58 wrote:

hi there, try checking your vitamin D levels.  an awful lot of my SEs went away with supplemental D as i was low.

And as Ruth says, keeping active is the single most imortant thing.  If you move, you are OK.  If you sit, you aren't.

good luck.

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Feb 24, 2011 07:55AM Annabella58 wrote:

I live for twizzlers.  :)

Not so sure on the gluten free.  My onc said that if you have a gluten intolerance already and do not know this, it would help.  If you don't, it may not.  Worth a shot?  He kind of pooh poohed it.

Also, yes, with a bit more time, those achies tend to subside.  Take some fish oil caps, get more veggies, drink lots of water, check you D levels and get thee moving, girl.

xox

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Feb 24, 2011 08:30PM PinPDX wrote:

Anniealso,

Absolutely true on the movement advice.  Every time I think I'm just going to take a whole day and stay on the couch, I get WORSE!  So no more of THAT!  Move move move is now my motto...

Helps to have the encouragement - thanks! 

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2012 10:57AM ranson84 wrote:

     Hello everyone, my wife is stage 4 Inflammatory breast cancer, she is now on Arimidex and had the severe joint pain, I researched that one topic and found a Washington University study that used Vitamin D and Calcium combination to resolve the joint pain.  She has been on this specific regimen for about 5 weeks and reports the joint pain is gone!  The study used 50,000 units of Vit D2 once a week and a daily dose of 1000mg Calcium with 400 units of Vit D3.  The Vit D2 is probably prescription, I know hers is.  The Vit D level needs to be checked from time to time so it does not go to high as this could cause kidney stones.  Now, anyone have any input on the hot flashes?

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Apr 18, 2012 12:27PM PinPDX wrote:

I find that a very small dose of Celexa (Citalopram) 10 mg every day makes a difference in the number and intensity of the hot flashes.  They don't go away completely but I am convinced they are better since I've tried stopping twice and the hot flashes became unbearably worse.

 Good Luck and best wishes. 

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2012 12:38PM ranson84 wrote:

     Thanks, I will look into it with the oncologist.

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May 3, 2012 03:39PM pitanga wrote:

Pin PDX, I had a lot of pain with Arimidex and finally my onc switched me to Aromasin. That was a year ago and though I am still a little creaky i feel MUCH better than i did on Arimidex.

Round 1-- 1999, age 39, Stage IIA. Round 2-- 2009, local recurrence and bone mets. Dx 2/5/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 3, 2012 03:48PM honkittle wrote:

Thanks for posting this.  I just made the same switch to Armomasin.  I couldn't envision going years with the aches and pains of Armididex.  I'm glad to know it is working for you.

Dx 12/23/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 6, 2012 08:48AM PinPDX wrote:

I am now also on Aromasin but find that with time the achiness has returned; it seems to migrate around - different sites/different days!  I also find that if I injure or use a muscle it take forever to heal.... sigh.  Just hoping this will all be better when I stop the drugs in about a year...

 I appreciate the input.  I guess everyone is different.Smile 

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 20, 2012 01:44PM peggy50 wrote:

I have gained a lot of weight on the anastrozole and am going off it for a month as I can't lose weight on it. I have been taking it since Jan. 2012. It has pushed me into pre diabetes and having high blood pressure. I have always been healthy so these are a big concern for me. My oncologist wants to try me on the other cancer pill but I am taking a break to try and heal some of these other issues. It put me back into menopause and that is where I originally gained my weight.

Dx 9/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage I, ER+ Surgery 9/28/2011 Lumpectomy: Left
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Jul 12, 2012 11:41AM vacationbound wrote:

I started Arimidex in May after my hysterectomy. To avoid any bone loss and Bisphosphonate drugs, I have been taking the Power 4 (Mag, Cal, Pot, Vit D3) and Strontium by Doctors Best-I also take Celebrex every morning and an aspirin. My bone pain started in my wrist and ankles, then to my back, after starting my regimen with the Arimidex the bone pain is slowly dissipating which is remarkable to me!

8/8/2011 IDC, 5 cm, Stage 3C, ER+PR+Her- grade 2, 11/19 Pos nodes; 1 Adriamycin-allergic,no more chemo; 32 Rad's; Tamo&Lupron failed, Hyster May 2012, Arimidex june-aug,Sept 2012, small mets L1/L4,May 2013 5mm tumor on left lobe of liver Dx 8/8/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 11/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 23, 2012 04:06PM Genna_mac wrote:

I too am new and have joint pain which is driving me crazy I also have developed a rash ( like sunburn) from the second knuckle of my hands to my shoulders been on arimidex since June

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Nov 12, 2012 02:43PM tonyacozart wrote:

I see this thread is old, but I thought I would chime in as I am new :)

I have been on arimidex for abou t8 months now. I had terrible joint pain before I ever started it. I had a hysterectomy several years before my BC so I was on estrogen. When my mammogram came back bad, I was immediatly stopped from my estrogen. It took a few months but then the joint and achy legs came into play. I thought it was going to be what took me down, after a mastectomy and all. I got a great pcp along with all my doctors and she put me on wellbutrin, this was a total LIFESAVER for me. within 10 days the joint pain was gone. I am doing really well pysically now, lost weight, excersising, feel fantastic. I still have some achy legs, but I take some advil if I need to, and I eat a bananna every night. (they have magnesium and potassium for leg aches and melatonin to help you sleep). HTH!

Dx 8/22/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/3/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement

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