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All TopicsForum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: DIZZINESS/VERTIGO ON ARIM?


Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After — Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications.

Posted on: Apr 16, 2009 02:21PM

JO-5 wrote:

Just wondering if any of you -- on Arimidex have experienced Vertigo and/or dizziness along w/ headache and mild congestion?

Don't think this is allergies. Mayo Clinic site and Web MD both list dizziness.



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Apr 16, 2009 06:39PM JO-5 wrote:

Sherri  and 2tzus,

Thanks so much for answering. I was beginning to think I am the only one. I always jump to the "is this ..... " but if it comes and goes like you both say and like I've had ----- it is probably the Arimidex or something else.

I had a sinus infection the first of the year and one week after the antibiotic was finished this started...... so I'm thinking maybe inner ear (which I've had before BC) but then I did some research and saw that dizziness is listed as an se of Arimidex.

I've been trying to decide whether to continue on Arimidex after my 5 yrs. (this May) and then this started. I have managed the other se's but I don't think I can tolerate this. I'm afraid to drive the car because I don't know when it will hit. It is worse when I lay down, but happens in church. If I bow my head - can't close my eyes. If I close my eyes - can't bow my head.

Did either of you mention it to your dr. and what did they say?

It does help to know someone else has experienced this. I too thought of brain mets --- but no other signs. Not weak, no vision problems or any other things listed........ Just this crazy spinning once in a while --- not severe and not all the time. Went away for a week and came right back.

So thanks for answering.


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Apr 17, 2009 12:27AM ibeejojo wrote:

From one JO to another....I'm not sure if I was on Arimidex at the time but for awhile there I was getting in bed and holding on to the mattress till it stopped spinning!  I was also on blood pressure meds but damn I was spinning all the time.  I actually got use to it and new that I had to get up very slowly and sit for awhile till things stabilized. I've just started Aromasin after a break in treatment and have been experiencing some light dizziness the past few days.....hmmmmm....I thought it was my company running me ragged sight seeing here in San Diego but maybe it's the Aromasin......Take care and hope you stop spinning soon.........JO

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Apr 18, 2009 03:45PM - edited Apr 18, 2009 03:46PM by JO-5

Hey there ANOTHER JO!

Well, this is weird! I found out the more I move the better it gets! Maybe my circulation is sludgy ---- (is that a word?)  The times it  happens is mostly when I first lay down and is only for a few seconds. If it keeps getting better ----- might not go to the dr.

I have found the Mayo Clinic to have very good lists of side effects. Just type in Aromasin and when it comes up click on side effects.

Hope you are not spinning today either!


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Apr 18, 2009 03:54PM coonie wrote:

Hey Jo! I've experienced those side effects too! Especially the sinus stuff. As a matter of fact, my oncologist did a brain MRI just to be sure.......and everything was ok. He has me taking Zyrtec in the mornings and it helps. I hate to add another pill to my daily regimen, but if it works, I guess I'll stick to it. What us ladies have to endure???!!!!! whew! ((((((((((hugs to you)))))))))

Chemo: (4 AC) (4 Taxol); 1 Year Herceptin; Bilat. Mast.; Ooph; Last Arimidex Pill 5/31/13 Dx 11/14/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 18, 2009 08:01PM JO-5 wrote:

Hi coonie!

Hope you had a wonderful vacation. I will have to look and see what Zyrtec is..... I'm thinking an antihistamine? I took Antivert for a while and some days it worked and some days it didn't. Tried Claritin --- now I'm not taking anything.

I had a brain MRI in 06 and it was ok --- PCP sent me because of headaches. I'm not thinking this is anything to do with BC except maybe se of Arimidex.

(((((((((((hugs back to you)))))))))))))))))))


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Apr 18, 2009 09:12PM Everlastpink wrote:

I posted here on a thread that had to do with hearing and arimidex, but my trouble is dizziness too.  I am 46 and been on Arimidex about 6 weeks.  I had a cold maybe a month ago and shortly after that had some dizziness. I thought it was pressure on my inner ear from the cold.  Cold got better and it went away for a couple of weeks.  Now it is back. 

 I have no congestion or other symptoms. I went to nurse practicioner who confirmed I had fluid in both ears and it should so away in 2 weeks or so.  She suggested Claritan D.  I have been on it 2 weeks and still have the dizzies.  I haven't called my onco, bc it seemed so related to my ears, fluid, cold etc.  I never thought it was really an Arimidex se, but maybe it is?

I do find it is mostly a problem when I get into and out of bed, just a flash then it's ok.  I do have troubles during the day if I turn my head certain ways.  It bothers me most getting in and out of bed.  I probably have about 20 really short (seconds) episodes of dizzies a day.  I just thought it was a sinus thing, not due to Arimidex, but now I am not so sure. Do you think I should go to my onco or to an ENT?  I have lately been thinking ENT.  The nurse pract I saw said if fluid didn't go away in 2 weeks, I should see Onco.  It's just been 2 weeks yesterday.

I am not worried about brain stuff. I am pretty sure it is my ears.  Does Arimidex cause fluid in your ears?  That seems weird.

Katherine, lumpectomy, SNB, mammosite radiation, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, Aromasin Dx 12/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2009 10:45PM JO-5 wrote:


I don't know if this is true --- but my theory is ---- if Arimidex can cause the legs and feet to swell as some ladies do -- why couldn't it cause a fluid build up in the inner ear?

It is interesting that you had a cold before the vertigo showed up. I had a sinus infection and took an antibiotic. About a week after I finished the antibiotic --- I began to have these vertigo spells. Once in a while my ears feel full or hurt --- but not really bad. I read all I could find about it and it says it can last for up to 3 weeks --- go away and come back in a day or two. That is what has been happening to me. Mine is worse at night - laying down, etc. and like you - it is just a flash.

I have had some relief from Antivert - used to be script only - but over the counter now. It is sold as motion sickness meds ----- but years ago when I had vertigo I took Antivert. I also saw where you might get relief from cutting down on salt.

I think it is like most things with Arimidex. Whatever you have going on ---- joint pain, achy, dizziness ---- the Arimidex just makes it worse.

Hope you feel better soon.


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Apr 19, 2009 11:57AM hbcheryl wrote:

I have been on Femara for 6 months with literally no se's but allergies started a couple of weeks, ago with the draining sinus and I started getting  dizzy, it passes quickly but I though it was due to the allergies but now think it may be se.  I have been taking a Benadryl at night and found myself sleeping like a top uninterrupted for 5/6 hours and it's been years since that happened,  I will find something for the daytime (no drowiseness - can't be at work with my head on the desk) also waking up with stiff joints in my hands but work that out in the warm water of the shower. 

Dx 7/25/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 20, 2009 02:25PM JO-5 wrote:

Hello - all you spinning ladies!

I started a little exercise program - no big deal - just moving more - and it really seems the more I move the better the vertigo gets.

I don't know if that is a coincidence or if it was just going to get better anyhow - but the moving won't hurt!

I have no idea if this is from the Arimidex or just me! I had said if it was not better by today I would make an appointment w/ the dr.  --- So far so good --- will wait and see what tomorrow brings. It is still happening just a tad when I lay down..... and not lasting but a second.

I just found out that my neighbor has been having vertigo for over a month - checked out by drs. and can find no cause -- told her she would have to learn to live with it. (She is not on Arimidex)

If it was Arimidex - would it come and go like this? My joint aches, etc. come and go.

Hope all of you are not spinning today!


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Apr 30, 2009 11:53AM JO-5 wrote:

Hello to all you spinners!

Well, the vertigo got better and I never made that appointment. I will tell the Dr. about it when I go for my check-up.

Once in a great while I get just a touch of it when I first lay down at night. It is only a second and doesn't amount to much. If it was mets to the brain it wouldn't have gotten better and to be honest that was what was in the back of my mind! (We all understand that, don't we?)

I have noticed it is worse when I am out in the wind and rain, and if the pollen is bad...... so maybe some sinus, some allergies, and always this messed up neck bones for years!

I am thinking the Arimidex might have something to do with it too ----- because all of my other Arimidex se's come and go ---- just like this vertigo!

Still haven't made up my mind whether to continue it longer than 5 years!


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May 2, 2009 05:28AM mcgaffey wrote:

I developed Vertigo, got the epley manuever, developed tinnitus with dizziness, had an mri, had sinus problems, use a netipot, it is getting better or maybe I am getting used to it. This began last September and on it goes. I have been on Arimidex for almost two years. I don't have aches and pains just funny ears. :)

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May 2, 2009 01:40PM JO-5 wrote:

I've read about the epley maneuver ----- Do you think that helped you? I have very little tinnitus  and only once in a while, sinus problems all the time. My ears take turns hurting and that is not severe - just bothersome.....

I'm not glad that any of you have dizziness and/or vertigo ---- but happy to know that I am not the only one. It seems like Arimidex or the other AI's are a factor.

Thanks for the info.


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May 3, 2009 01:58AM mcgaffey wrote:

Once I had the epley I have not had extreme vertigo again. But I had a very dizzy sensation for weeks afterwards and developed tinnitus. Everything has settled down or maybe my brain has readjusted. After 10 months I have a slight tinnitus that comes and goes, two days with it and two days without it. Sometimes my ears feel full. Sometimes I feel a bit off. I continue to take Arimidex faithfully. I do believe our "weak points" get hit when we take this very powerful drug to help prevent a recurrence of the cancer and these weak points vary from person to person. I am careful with my diet and life style. We do the best we can with the hand we have been dealt! My best.

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May 3, 2009 06:24PM JO-5 wrote:


Well, so much for all the websites that say Vertigo usually lasts 3 - 4 weeks, right? You're situation sounds a lot like what I've been going through (full ears, maybe a slight earache, a little tinnitus)

I think you are right on about the "weak points" getting hit with the Arimidex....... I've always had bad knees and that was the very first thing that started to get worse on the Arimidex.

I have had a tendency for years to get Vertigo with every sinus/ cold/ and allergy flare up..... so that must be one of my weaker points.

I agree --- after all is said and done --- the se's are still easier to deal with than cancer!

Be well!


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May 3, 2009 08:17PM Everlastpink wrote:

Hi Jo,

It's been over a month now and I still am having the dizzies, though not as bad, mostly just getting in and out of bed.  I do still have fluid in my ears. No tinnitis or ringing though. It's true for me that exercise seems to help all things SE from Armidex.  It definitely helps the joint aches and pains (though I have had less of those than others, mostly just stiffness for me, and not every day, just sporadically).  It does seem to help my sinus/ear troubles too.  I guess exercise just gets all the fluids moving and that is good.

I did make an appointment with an ENT for later this week just to see if  the Epely manuever might help. I'll let you know what they say.  As for weak points, my sinuses have always given me trouble, though I never had vertigo before this.

I'll keep you posted if I learn anything.

Katherine, lumpectomy, SNB, mammosite radiation, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, Aromasin Dx 12/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 4, 2009 02:12AM fire wrote:

Hello to all!

I'm taking Arimidex for almost 2 years.

I had hot flashes, night sweet,  joint pain, cold calfs and feeling like the're frozen.

I'm swimming and found out- when I swim 3 to 4 times per week I had no hot flashes or night sweet.

My join pain and frozen - stiff calfs not getting better. 

I'm weak, but recently it is became troubling- I'm walking and almost falling,

I don't know what to do.

About spinning- I remember, when my sister was on Arimidex, she was visiting me and during the night she went sleeping on the floor because she had this spinning feelings and was afraid to fell from bed.

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May 4, 2009 09:50AM JO-5 wrote:


I will be watching to see what you find out! I do think exercise helps the vertigo and it must be the fluid flows better! Exercise is good for LE -- so it just makes sense it would be good for vertigo.


I know the feeling of falling -- but if I was on the floor --- I would feel like the floor was turning over! Very weird sensation! (No need for a roller coaster ride for me --- I can get that feeling right here! LOL)

Much better right now ---- but never know when it will occur.


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May 7, 2009 02:41PM Everlastpink wrote:

Hi Jo,

Just got back from the ENT who confirmed I have BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.   He said there was no fluid in my ears now, did a hearing check, which was normal, then put me in different positions that made me dizzy and watched my eyes (which went wacky because I was dizzy!)

He did the epely maneuver and told me to come back in 2 weeks.  If the vertigo is not gone then, he will do it again.

It can be caused by head trauma (I didn't have that), respiratory infection (maybe) but mostly they just don't know why.  He did say he has seen quite a few ladies on hormoral bc treatment with this, but that so far there is no known connection.  I told him to do a study, maybe it's a new side effect!  LOL!

I guess it's good to know what it is, not something neurological etc.  He did say once you get it, you are likely to get it again.  Oh, joy!


Katherine, lumpectomy, SNB, mammosite radiation, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, Aromasin Dx 12/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 7, 2009 02:48PM hollyann wrote:

Ya  I get that from time to time....There are little bones in your ears called rocks and when they get dislodged they cause vertigo.......I can't do the peroxide in my ears like my hubby does to clean his cause I get severely dizzy and almost puke........Glad it was nothing serious for you rev..............

Hugs and Love....Lucy Dx 1-15-07 IDC stage 1b grade 1, 1.6 cm.....Also DCIS grade 3, both in left breast Dx 1/15/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 18, 2009 02:33PM pacho75 wrote:


My mother is on Arimidex for almost one year now, here in Spain. SHe is 67, and she has had 4 episodes of vertigo since she started with Arimidex. We, her sons and daughters, were really anxious the first time, cause we thought it could have something to do with a spread of the primary disease. Doctors did not pay much attention to this new event that really makes my mother's life less comfortable, whenever it happens. Today she has had a new one when she was shopping and she was about to faint. I typed in google a few keywords and found this website and all your comments. If my story (my mother's actually..) helps anyone, I'll be happy with that. Your posts have been really helpful for me...

It is my first time visiting this website, hope it is not only for women, and also for relatives. Sorry if my English is not very good, but in Spanish I could not find this kind of USEFUL and great sites.

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May 19, 2009 07:30AM JO-5 wrote:


Welcome, to these boards and thanks for posting. Relatives are equally welcome especially those that are caretakers for a BC patient.

Did the doctors ever say that the Arimidex was the cause of your Mother's Vertigo? You should always get everything checked out as you well know - but I am convinced the Arimidex is at least a factor in my Vertigo.

To all the other ladies that have been posting about this subject ---- the Vertigo that I was experiencing is gone...... so I never saw the Dr. about it - but will tell him when I see him in June. My rule of thumb used to be if a symptom ( side effect) lasted longer than three weeks I would see the Dr.  I have decided that I should make that a month or maybe 6 weeks.... because everything seems to take longer to resolve itself now than when I was not on Arimidex. The Vertigo lasted almost 6 weeks. If it was mets -- it would not get better and go away. I will try to remember that the next time something NEW pops up!

Hope all of you are having good days and not spinning!

God bless!


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May 27, 2009 05:41AM pacho75 wrote:

Thanks Jo for replying to my post.

My mother told her doctor about her vertigo. Since she had previous history of vertigo but around 20 years ago, and because she is taking now this hormonal treatment - Arimidex- the doctor said this was nothing to worry much about. She has taken a 6 day treatment for the vertigo whenever she had those episodes that almost fall her down.

She's much better now.

Thanks everyone again for these fantastic discussion boards.


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Jun 3, 2009 10:22PM Seashell49 wrote:


Does anyone know if Tamoxifen also causes dizziness?  I have just started having these lightheaded/dizzy feelings.  Just don't feel right..  Thx :)

<3 Cast all your anxiety on HIM because he cares for you! (1 Peter 5:7) :) Dx 10/5/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 10/26/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 4, 2009 06:30PM JO-5 wrote:


Just bumping this up for you --- I have never taken Tamox. so can't say. My opinion is that they are so similar --- I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find it also causes dizziness.

Hope you get some answers!


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Jun 6, 2009 12:21PM dibel wrote:

I'm so relieved to see this thread. I'm on Femara and having the lightheadness, vertigo symptoms.  It is freaky.  I notice it if I'm standing and turn quickly or look away .  Also, at the computer and when I'm out shopping.  My Dr sent me for a brain MRI  (all okay.)  Been taking Femara for about 6 months and this just started.  Sounds common to Femara and Arimidex.

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Jun 6, 2009 02:03PM JO-5 wrote:





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Jun 6, 2009 09:24PM Laea wrote:

This is a recurrance of bc for me. The first time in 1999 i had a lumpectomy & radiation & tamoxifen. This time it was a right mastectomy & first aromasin, then arimidex. With both meds I have dizzines and migraine headaches with vomiting. Decided to stop taking them. Can't do this for 5 years. Anybody else have these problems with these meds & what did you do.

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