Topic: For Arimidex (Anastrozole) users, new, past, and ongoing

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During, and After — This is a safe place to share your experiences of others considering or on hormonal treatment.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 07:46AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 02:07PM by moderators

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 07:46AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 02:07PM by moderators

nancyjac wrote:

I found a couple of older threads about Arimidex, but they covered a large time span with a gazillion posts, so I thought I would start a new thread for Arimidex/Anastrozole users.

I am starting on Anastrozole today. Plan is to take it for 5 years, possibly longer. I already have osteopenia and osteoarthritis (limited to one knee at this point), so I am most concerned about the bone and joint side effects. I'm already frustrated by finally having some energy and stamina back after chemo and radiation, but now I have trouble exercising due to the bum knee. I'm concerned about that getting to be even more of a problem on the Anastrozole.

Please share you experiences, side effects, questions etc. about Armidex/Anastrozole here.

Edited by Mods to add content from the main Breastcancer.org site on Arimidex: Benefits, Side Effects and More

Dx 11/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/7/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/7/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 4/17/2012 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 4/19/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 15, 2012 12:07PM doxie wrote:

Nancyjac - I had moderate nausea off and on for the first two weeks of taking arimidex.  Hasn't returned at all in the 3 months since.

Dx 8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/2/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jul 15, 2012 12:28PM nancyjac wrote:

Thanks for that info doxie.  Very good to know.

Dx 11/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/7/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/7/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 4/17/2012 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 4/19/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 15, 2012 02:50PM ruthbru wrote:

You could try taking it with food (or not with food) or at a different time of the day to see if that makes any difference.

"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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Jul 15, 2012 03:10PM nwest125 wrote:

I have been on Arimidex for about 18 months now and I started having joint pains in my fingers and toes around the 6 months mark and thought about quitting or changing but stuck it out . I had trigger finger in my left thumb and middle and ring fingers and they would swell up so much in the mornings that I had to take my rings off. I missed them so finally got them re sized. I remember my toes aching but the more I moved in the mornings the better I felt. Also I found that running hot water over my hands first thing in the mornings helped alot. Now 18 months later I still have the aches and tiredness but nothing that I can't live with.My trigger fingers are gone and I am feeling much more like my old self.  I started out taking it at night but change to mornings much better for me .Hang in there ladies.

Nancy

IDC 11-1-10 Lumpectomy 11-15-10 reincision/ found ILC 12-16-10 BMX with no reconstrution Dx 9/21/2010, ILC/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2012 04:21PM edot wrote:

I started arimidex last november, I think. Within the first month I had stiff fingers, legs, and couldn't make a fist with my right hand. But I noticed in the last month or so, the stiffness is much less. I've been on Zoloft for a while, no hot flashes. I have arthritis in my left knee, but have been doing physical therapy and the pain is improving. I seem to be less tired, too... Still fuzzy headed at times.

If you start arimidex after chemo and rads, I do think it's hard to disentangle the SE's at the end of treatment from the arimidex SE's.

I gained at least 20 lbs on chemo, but as of this week, I've lost almost 30 since last August.... Exercise and low carbohydrate eating, and practicing mindfulness. I don't know...it's not like the angsty dieting that never worked in the past.

dx 2010, stage II, 0 nodes. Blogging at 3lainess.com Dx 12/2010
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Jul 15, 2012 05:39PM Lee7 wrote:

edot,  that great about being able to lose the weight!

Question for all...Has anyone tried taking Arimidex in the afternoon with lunch ???

I take my arimidex in the evening at the moment....I tried it in the morning for awhile too. I was hoping one time would be better than the other but it seems each comes with its own problems.  When I took it in the morning, I seemed to be more achey and get more hot flashes in the day. (hated that) When I take it at night now, I am probably sleeping thru most of the hot flashes but I'm having a terrible time falling asleep.

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2012 05:58PM Mini1 wrote:

Lee7 - I am on a different AI, but I take mine at lunch. Taking it in the evening, especially when I tried Anastrazole, gave me insomnia. I went from having it take me an extra 15-20 minutes to get to sleep, to a few hours, to not sleeeping at all. I was like a zombie after 2 weeks. Mornings didn't seem to work well either. Now I set my phone alarm to remind me to take it at 12:30. So far that seems to be working. :-)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 Surgery 4/16/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2012 06:18PM Trisha-Anne wrote:

Ok - here's my story.

I started Arimidix in March last year, and for the first couple of months had bad pain in my knees.  I was taking glucosamine, fish oil and vit e as well as calcuim and magnesium.  I started out not too bad, but progressively got worse.  Insomnia, very bad and I was used to my head hitting the pillow and out like a light for 8 hours, but some nights would be lucky to get 2 hours sleep.  Joint pain spread to my hips and elbows.  Depression and something very like chemo brain started.  I developed trigger thumb, and the palm of my hand on that side would burn for hours.

In March this year I developed very bad lower back pain and my chiro couldn't fix it.  He finally recommended I see my doctor and ask for a bone scan.  We were all worried about mets.  The bone scan showed degenerative arthritis in both feet, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, hands, right shoulder and lower back.  I'd had a bone scan in September 2010 just after dx and everything was clear.

My onc told me that Arimidex doesn't cause joint problems in the larger joints and it couldn't be the Arimidex, but agreed that I could go off it and go onto Aromasin.  I've been off Arimidex for almost 2 months now (and start Aromasin in a week or so) and the difference is amazing.  I'm full of life - my brain is working again, I'm sleeping properly, my back still hurts, but nowhere near as bad and I've lost 10kg!  I feel like a new woman lol.  I can't believe how good I feel - haven't felt like this since before dx.

I'm hoping that the Aromasin doesn't have such bad se's for me.  My QOL on Arimidex was terrible, but I'm highly ER+ and if I don't take something my chances of recurrance go up by around 9%, so it wouldn't be an easy decision to make if I decided to go off an AI.

I can finally wear my wedding ring again too - lol my fingers were like little sausages.

I know not everyone has these se's and I'm hoping that Arimdex treats you kindly.  But it clearly wasn't for me.
Trish

I have made a long journey and been to a strange land and I've seen the dark man very close ... Thomas Wolfe Dx 9/17/2010, ILC, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/17/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 11/4/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2012 07:03PM Mini1 wrote:

Trish - your storypretty much mirrors mine only mine started within days of taking it. Apparently I am extremely sensitive to something in Anastrazole. I am currenty on Aromasin and have had virtually no side effects. My only concern is the bone loss aspect. I cannot take anything oral or injectable for osteoporosis. I know that Tamoxafin is better for the bones, but I am concerned about side effects. Also I have read that the better option is 2-3 years on an AI and then the balance of time on Tamox. This would be after 5 years. All the other studies I've found show no difference at the 10-year mark whether you've taken 5 years of an AI or 5 years or Tamox.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 Surgery 4/16/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2012 07:04PM SusannahW wrote:

Ruth and Nancy, thanks for the info, very helpful.
Nancy, have you tried taking an antacid? I've had some problems with nausea during radiation, and Zantac was helpful.
Susannah

Dx 3/2012, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/27/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 6/4/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/9/2012 Aromasin (exemestane)

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