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All TopicsForum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Arimidex - Coping with the SE's

Topic: Arimidex - Coping with the SE's

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After —

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: Jul 28, 2010 01:22PM - edited Oct 12, 2010 10:50AM by Lowrider54

Lowrider54 wrote:

Not just for Arimidex but all the Hormonals - se's are so similar so coping with them should also be similar and the remedies offered should work for any of the Hormonals - don't go away, read on if you are taking any of the hormonal treatments.... 

For those of us who are taking this potentially life saving/life prolonging drug, it does not come without side effects.  There are some very lucky folks who don't have any...GREAT!  But for those that do, lets share how we cope with the hot flashes and night sweats and stuff.

The 'Arimidex' thread covers more than just side effects and coping - there is much debate over it going generic and the effectiveness of its use.  I am putting this up in hopes that new users can find the answers concerning the se's easily.  Of course, please visit the Arimidex thread for more information concerning the statistics, research and controversy surrounding many of the AL's and new treatments we are being offered today.

Treatment is always a personal choice - if Arimidex is your choice, these kind folks can help you manage some of the issues that some with taking it.

I elected to take a low dose of Effexsor to aide with the hot flashes and night sweats.  It worked very nicely for me.  Water intake and walking assists with the possible joint pain.  I eliminated as much gluten from my diet as I could (that stuff is in everything....lol) and did not experience weight gain - I did experience 'weight re-distribution' however - it seems to go to the tummy.  I haven't found a good solution for that yet.  Cool

Good Luck All!

Hugs

LowRider

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva. Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 12, 2017 01:47PM LettyF wrote:

Hello

I'm new to this thread as I just picked up my Rx for Arimidex yesterday as I was previously taking Tamoxifen and by baseline blood work in March and again last week showed me post menopausal hence the change. I was hoping the side effects would be less with this new drug as I was scared to death of all the SEs of Tamoxifen and this does not seem much better. I wonder if there is a homeopathic substitute or if I would be totally being irresponsible by not taking the medication. I had no evidence of cancer in my lymph nodes and with the BMX there was definitely clear margins as the left was prophylactic and my BRCA came back negative. I haven't taken any of the Arimidex yet and still contemplating it. Any advice and if I do take it what are safe supplements that I should be taking to offset some of the SEs without contraindications.

Dx 1/6/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/2/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 3/7/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 5/3/2017 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/17/2017 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement
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Sep 13, 2017 07:15AM NativeMainer wrote:

LettyF--your best protection against recurrence and the emergence of mets in the future is the anti-estrogen therapy. Statistically it's even better than chemo therapy, and that is the reason early stage bc no longer automatically gets chemo. There are no supplements or complimentary medications or treatments that are scientifically proven to provide the same level of protection as tamoxifen or the AIs. The side effect profile of the AIs like Arimidex is frightening. It's hard to remember that the majority of women taking these medications do just fine. It's also important to know that if you do have problems with Arimidex you can try one of the other AIs, or go back to Tamoxifen. I strongly recommend that you give Arimidex a try. You can do a lot to off set the side effects with excercise. I took loratadine (an over the counter allergy medication) and that decreased the joint aches notably. We are fortunate to have this option available to us, we may be the first generation of women with bc that won't have as high a rate of brain and bone mets showing up 25 years from now as our mothers do.


"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/15/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/29/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/10/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/15/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/21/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Sep 13, 2017 08:32AM LettyF wrote:

Good Morning NativeMainer,

Thank you for the post. I've done some additional reading and called my Oncologist's office just to talk with them regarding some family history. My mother died of cancer (not breast - uterine/cervical cancer and eventually her kidneys/bones) when I was 10 and my father had a heart attack and passed away when I was 17 so I'm very leery. I also have my maternal grandmother who had breast cancer and my fathers sister as well. I really should just take the medicine and try it before getting all freaked out. I will look into taking the antihistamine as well.

Dx 1/6/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/2/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 3/7/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 5/3/2017 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/17/2017 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement
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Sep 13, 2017 08:57AM dtad wrote:

LettyF....I take DIM in leu of an anti hormone. I also do several other things to lower my estrogen naturally. Please feel free to PM me if you would like more details. Good luck to all.

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 13, 2017 11:32AM - edited Sep 13, 2017 03:02PM by BarredOwl

Letty has indicated she is not averse to trying the Arimidex prescribed by her Medical Oncologist and that she feels she should give it a shot:

"I really should just take the medicine and try it before getting all freaked out."

She further stated: "I haven't taken any of the Arimidex yet and still contemplating it. Any advice and if I do take it what are safe supplements that I should be taking to offset some of the SEs without contraindications."

By my reading, the above is not a request for supplements in lieu of endocrine therapy, but for supplements that might ameliorate the side effects of her prescribed treatment plan.

BarredOwl

Stage IA IDC, 9/2013 BMX. Right: IDC (1.5 mm, grade 2) with DCIS (5+ cm), 0/4 nodes, pN0. Left: DCIS (5+ cm), 0/1 node, pN0(i+).
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Sep 13, 2017 12:42PM wabals wrote:

HoustonAll my liver function tests were high on anastrazole.

Dx 6/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy Kadcyla (T-DM1, ado-trastuzumab)
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Sep 13, 2017 02:34PM - edited Sep 15, 2017 09:56AM by KB870

This Post was deleted by KB870.
Diagnosed at 62 when I was feeling great! Active swimmer, erger and more. Surgery 9/19/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 10/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 11/28/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/29/2016 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/3/2017 Multi-catheter: Breast
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Sep 13, 2017 03:03PM BarredOwl wrote:

Thank you for your input. I have revised it

BarredOwl

Stage IA IDC, 9/2013 BMX. Right: IDC (1.5 mm, grade 2) with DCIS (5+ cm), 0/4 nodes, pN0. Left: DCIS (5+ cm), 0/1 node, pN0(i+).
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Sep 13, 2017 03:35PM KB870 wrote:

Thank you.

Diagnosed at 62 when I was feeling great! Active swimmer, erger and more. Surgery 9/19/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 10/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 11/28/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/29/2016 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/3/2017 Multi-catheter: Breast
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Sep 13, 2017 09:09PM ruthbru wrote:

I would definitely give it a far shot. Take it planning that it will go fine and deal with side effects when or IF they occur. Most people who are doing from okay on it quite naturally aren't posting about it. I have a number of local friends (sadly BC is quite common) who take or took it (including myself) with little to no problems, and none of us had such great problems that we had to quit early. It is a huge plus that we estrogen plus women have this option. Ladies I know who are hormone negative would give a great deal if they had something they could take after the initial treatments to reduce their risk of recurrence.

"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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Sep 14, 2017 12:55AM Tappermom383 wrote:

Letty, I started on anastrozole on July 17. So far, so good. My dry eye problem seems to be a bit worse but I have drops for that. I take generic Claritin every day as folks have said it helps prevent the joint pain (which I haven't experienced). I'd go ahead and start taking it - you can always stop.

MJ

Diagnosed at 70 after four excisional biopsies over the course of 47 years. MammaPrint came back Low Risk. DexaScan: osteopenia. Dx 3/23/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 5/22/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 7/17/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 14, 2017 05:49AM MickeyB17 wrote:

Good idea, Letty. My mother passed of BC and my sister was dx'd exactly one year before me. Nothing genetic showed up in tests, but it could be an undiscovered gene. I will take the hormone and stick to it as long as possible. Two weeks in and nothing I could single out as a SE yet. Cancer is so prevalent and many more people are living with CA so much longer - just wised they could find the cause.Good luck!

Dx 4/10/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/22/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 6/22/2017 Radiation Therapy 8/1/2017 Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2017
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Sep 14, 2017 09:21AM Rebamacfan123 wrote:

I finally accepted after long internal battle that I have to be on hormonal blocker for probably 10 yrs. Rads will be completed today and I have appt w RO for the purpose of AI script. I still fight internally that I will be paying good money for something which could give me a few SEs.

Decided on brand name despite high price. I found ways to reduce brand name AIs as form of copay cards. Will be branded by Novartis or AstraZeneca by agreeing to be included in exchange for the price reduction. Well I have been marked by all insurance companies due to BC dx anyway.

Mimi

Surgery 2/15/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 3/20/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 15, 2017 11:56AM Houston2016 wrote:

Hello again everyone, I posted earlier about SE from Anastrozol, I presumed. I had general malaise, aches, in my arms, feeling tired at neck, and lower legs, calf, ankles sometime feels like weak, and the bilateral hip pain that's been there since the beginning of Anastrozol. From the start taking AI I experienced stiffness in toes, fingers and couple weeks later the hip problems. I called it hip problems more than pain because it bothers me when getting up from sitting too long, or getting down from a car, I drive a van. So in 09/05; I started to have some feelings of weakness in the lower calf, and ankles, comes and go, the hip flares up and it goes around the lower back left and right above the butts. So do the hip pains increased over time? And how does anyone alleviate that? I do stretches for the lower back and walking as much as I can. But recently, I adopted several cats and have been cleaning and mopping my house. I don't really want pain meds unless the last resort. I don't really want a bone scan unless it's really necessary. Thanks for any inputs, suggestions.

Dx 4/5/2016, IDC, Left, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/14/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/5/2016 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/13/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 15, 2017 05:22PM Butterfly1234 wrote:

I've been on name brand arimidex since May 9. So far, I've had minor SEs which I'm really not sure is associated with the Arimidex or just the aging pricess. I know yoga has kept me limber and flexible. It also helps with maintaining bone density. I do take Prolia injections every 6 months. I didn't have any side effects from the first injection. I truly believe keeping active through regular exercisie is crucial in fighting off the joint pain associated with these hormone inhibitors. I started with gentle yoga and now I mix it up with other classes. I do try to get to the gym, but right now yoga comes first. Do I get stiffness and soreness? Sure, but I had that before the Armidex. If my body needs rest I give myself a day off or two from exercise. But, now it's no longer for vanity it's vital to my well-being. Warm baths with mineral salts helps too. CVS sells one with lavender and it's heavenly,

Honestly, I'm trying to take it one pill, one day at a time and pray my SEs will continue ton be manageable.

I use retaine for my dry eyes which was recommended by my optometrist prior to my Dx,

Gentle hugs to all as we navigate through this BC maze. It "ain't" easy and some days are better than others,

No matter what you look like or think you look like, you're special and loved and perfect just the way you are. Ariel Winter Dx 1/24/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/10/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/8/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 15, 2017 08:32PM ruthbru wrote:

Yoga is wonderful, and any exercise which keeps you moving will help to keep the aches and pains at bay.

"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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13 hours ago Birdie13 wrote:

I was taking Aramosin but the SE were just horrible. Went on Arimidex in fall 2016. Didn't experience any SE's til past few months. Now I have joint & muscle pain & weakness, some fatigue, weight gain (I completed chemo January 2016 after double mastectomy ).

Positive PALB gene, Triple Neg. Strong family is of breast cancer.

I wonder if these AI's will really make a difference in my survival rate. If I stop taking them, I'd be able to lose weight & exercise more.

My quality of life is deteriorating. I'm 65, try to go to gym, take chair yoga, swim, Cancer Wellness Exercise Group.

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12 hours ago ruthbru wrote:

Birdie, if you are triple negative, there would be no reason for you to be on an anti-hormonal.

"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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