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

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 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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Apr 24, 2019 08:16PM PontiacPeggy wrote:

I've always taken my anastrozole in the morning - before breakfast. Never had a problem. Like many of you, I was very worried when Walgreen's switched me from Teva (because they couldn't get it) to Accord but I haven't noticed any difference. That was a relief. The only supplements I take are folic acid and Vitamin D3. I also take Fosamax, pepcid, benadryl and claritin.

Hope those of you with problems find they resolve quickly.

HUGS!!

Peggy. Diagnosed age 68., Oncotype 13. Everything is doable - not easy, but doable. Dx 6/5/2014, IDC, <1cm, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/23/2014, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1 Surgery 7/23/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 9/1/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/16/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 24, 2019 08:28PM Ingerp wrote:

HikingLady how is your energy level? I’ve been tolerating the anastrozole fairly well but I just feel tired these days. The things I’ve been doing at the gym seem harder. I’m wondering if it could have to do with the AI (I’m about five months in). (Or maybe just allergies??

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 24, 2019 10:53PM Taco1946 wrote:

I seem to be tired but I have just attributed it to age. On the other hand, I tend to take a nap when I'm bored. So do I do more or less???

Dx 11/22/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Radiation Therapy 12/28/2016 Balloon-catheter: Breast Chemotherapy 2/2/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 12/3/2017 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
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Apr 24, 2019 11:38PM HikingLady wrote:

Ingerp My energy doesn't seem different because of the AI. It's slower than 10 years ago, but not tons worse than when I started my AI. I do 1 hour of exercise every day, first thing, early. If I don't, then I'm sluggish all day. I retired right before b.c., and had noticed that normal aging (age 60 at that point) had made me feel more easily fatigued and less energetic. That's how I feel now. I sit and rest between huge exertions. I do a lot of gardening and activities, and I take rests, sit and drink a bunch of water, and I include some breaks and sitting when I get things done that are exerting. I don't feel hugely different on energy from when I was 60 before b.c. diagnosis and all these traumas started.

Dx 3/2003, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Surgery 4/8/2003 Lumpectomy Radiation Therapy 6/9/2003 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/25/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 5/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 1/2/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 25, 2019 06:30AM ed111 wrote:

I'm reading about AI effects on cognitive function. Studies, albeit limited, show that AI have more adverse effects on brain functions, particularly memory and production of serotonin, than tamoxifen. That makes total sense, cause AI block estrogen production almost completely, while tamoxifen balances it. Seems like there is no remedy for it, what can you take to 'replace' estrogen in yr brain. Thinking of switching to tamoxifen despite all the benefits of AI.

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Apr 25, 2019 07:34AM Ingerp wrote:

Thanks, HikingLady. I'd like to think this is temporary. I still work full time, although from my house, so most weekdays I head to the gym after work. I do go on weekend mornings. I much prefer that schedule--will definitely change to all mornings once I'm retired, although that's still several years away. Taco I love naps! Sometimes I schedule my weekends around them! I've read sleep studies that say humans were meant to nap, and we're more productive late in the day when we do. That's something else I'm looking forward to in retirement--naps every day!!

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 25, 2019 05:02PM HausFrau wrote:

I am quite healthy, aside from the early stage cancer that was diagnosed December of 2015. I have been on anastrazole for just over three years. Initially I did fine, just a bit of low level fatigue. Lots of odd things cropped up that couldn't be explained, things that I see listed on the potential side effects on the Mayo website. About six months ago, I started to feel that everything was getting harder: energy, emotional resilience, getting sick a lot, etc. etc. For three years I have been able to ride out the ups and downs of this medicine, but in the past 6 weeks or so, it became clear that I was feeling worse more and more. I would say it got to the point where I felt crummy about 60 percent of the time. I exercise faithfully (always have) eat a healthy diet (always have) but nothing was working to help me even out my situation. I have really had to pace myself and not take on too much, hard for someone who likes to be active and involved.

In the past when I have mentioned side effects to oncology, they have more or less said, that's not a side effect. Recently I had an oncology appt with my onc nurse practitioner. I printed out and brought a list of side effects from Mayo and ticked off all of the things I am dealing with. One of the most challenging symptoms now is brain fog, not feeling focused. It feels like I have ADHD. I have done some research on the effects of AI's on brain function, and it stands to reason that the fogginess many of us feel in menopause might come back on this drug, or be pronounced, since our estrogen levels are very low on this drug. This has been coupled with anxiety to a degree that most things that could roll off my back in the past now tend to become anxiety provoking. My oncotype was low, and in the end my onco NP suggested taking a 2-3 month break, then evaluating to see if I am feeling better and whether it seems that drug is causing the issues. At that point, we might consider switching brands or just call it a day. I am disappointed because I was all-in for taking the drug and getting the benefit. Everything I have researched online seems to suggest that the 5 years is necessary to get the benefit. I am actually surprised that my NP suggested that I consider stopping altogether, since their job has been to keep me going on this drug. I am also surprised that I haven't been offered some kind of addition, like a low-dose antidepressent, since many women seem to get these to help. I mentioned this to her and she said then there are other side effects to worry about. I am VERY sensitive to meds and may have just maxed out. Wondering if anyone else has gone through this and what choice you made. I have a high tolerence for discomfort, but this has become tough even for me.

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Apr 25, 2019 05:16PM tlfrank wrote:

I took Tamoxifen for 1 year. I was experiencing a lot of side effects, so my MO tested me to make sure I was post menopausal then switched me to Anastrozole. I have been taking it since February. I started spotting 4 weeks ago and am scheduled to have a trans vaginal ultrasound next Friday. I'm feeling "full and bloated" like I used to when I was still menstruating. I don't know if this is a remnant of the Tamoxifen or because of the Anastrozole. Anyone have insight to share?

Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 10/3/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/9/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 11/13/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 25, 2019 05:50PM HausFrau wrote:

HausFrau here. I have also experienced pelvic pain amd some spotting along the way. Had two uterine biopsies in the past two years, and two pelvic and trans vaginal US. Nothing abnormal was ever found. This has not happened now for about a year. It can be frustrating when things crop up and no explanation

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Apr 25, 2019 07:45PM HikingLady wrote:

HausFrau I think you are right to question your care at this point. I have never seen an NP, only an oncologist, through all my treatment. If I were you, I'd ask for a consult now with an MD, a Medical Oncologist at that clinic. Your issues are serious, and this is a timely decision, and a big one to make, whether it's stopping the AI or whether there's a different solution ahead.

My own daughter is an NP, actually, and I have huge respect for that training, and I realize that an NP in oncology knows a ton. But, for the complicated, ever-changing world of breast cancer treatment, research and complicated medication decisions, I've wanted only the most totally trained and qualified care provider possible. A Medical Oncologist.

My MO told me all along: I need to be on this drug for 5 years or maybe longer (the jury is still out--some research might eventually show importance of 10 years for my particular diagnosis, and I just started my AI 6 months ago)---it's my most powerful weapon against a recurrence. He said that if side effects became impossible to manage, we'd first have a 1-2 week 'vacation' from it, which he says (and I see research confirming this assertion) does a 're-set' in many cases, and those same side effects sometimes recede or disappear when you re-start. Then, he said, if that didn't solve the problem, we'd try the other versions of the medication. In other words, there's a whole plan ahead for me if there are huge struggles for me with side effects. Nowhere in his plan was the idea that if it's a problem I should just go off my AI.

Brain fog and anxiety sound awful, I'm so sorry you're dealing with all that.

All of your research and listing of your side effect struggles and your question about being offered something like an anti-depressant or other help for managing those seems very valid. I don't think this NP gave you complete information nor a complete discussion of options, if she simply said "there are other side effects to worry about." Well, of course there are. But the whole picture of everything always includes that discussion, the pros and cons, so you can be in a position to understand the cost/benefit ratio and be educated about it.

By the way, "my oncotype was low" doesn't seem relevant to your care at this point. The OncotypeDX score is a decider for importance of chemotherapy, and that's an initial treatment decision way back when, in early 2016 probably, for you. You're on an AI for the sole reason that your pathology report shows ER+ My MO says "any % is important, no matter now small." My ER+ percentage is low, and it's still a super important medication for lowering my statistical risk of recurrence.

Dx 3/2003, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Surgery 4/8/2003 Lumpectomy Radiation Therapy 6/9/2003 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/25/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 5/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 1/2/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 25, 2019 08:33PM MexicoHeather wrote:

My gynecologist said that I would not regret the hysterectomy/ooph because of the peace of mind it gives against uterine/ovarian cancer scares. He was right.

Dios es Amor. Dx 10/1/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/5/2016 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 5/10/2017 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/10/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 12/6/2018 Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 25, 2019 11:06PM Taco1946 wrote:

HausFrau - I second the "get a second opinion and talk to your MO about your SE's." I think anyone who dismisses our SE's needs to be questioned. Fortunately, I have one who really has worked with me to find the right fixes. I switched from anastrozole to letrozole at 6 months because of bad all day headaches. About 6 weeks ago, they started again. Took a week's break and really did experience a "reset." I also take a mild anti-depressant which has also stopped my hot flashes.

Dx 11/22/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Radiation Therapy 12/28/2016 Balloon-catheter: Breast Chemotherapy 2/2/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 12/3/2017 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
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Apr 25, 2019 11:21PM JosieO wrote:

HausFrau,

I echo the ladies here in encouraging you to get another opinion, preferably from a good MO focused on breast cancer. If we have to rely on AI’s as our best chance for preventingrecurrence, it’s vital that we find the best combination of AI, supportive medications, and other products, services, and techniques to help us. So advocate for yourself, and keep at it until you get some relief.

Thankfully I have not had major SEs, but I am also thankful for an intelligent and caring MO who checks with me on any SE each and every visit, answers all of my questions, and contributes solid information to continue to educate and inform me. He support has helped me so much.

We wish the same for you. You deserve it.

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Apr 26, 2019 07:03AM Ingerp wrote:

HausFrau--have you tried either of the other AIs?

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 26, 2019 06:37PM Cowgirl13 wrote:

HausFrau, I would suggest that consider changing manufacturers. Many women have been helped by changing manufacturers...it seems that the problem can be with the filler. Hope this helps.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says: 'Oh crap! She's up! Dx 5/28/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 6/16/2009 Chemotherapy 8/3/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/21/2009 Hormonal Therapy 2/22/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 27, 2019 07:01PM CBK wrote:

Haus Frau

That’s totally nuts ; common side effect brain fog and anxiety on Arimidex, yes!

I canned my last MO because this ridiculous attitude, all she wanted to hear was I had hot flashes and joint pain, anything else I would hear “huh that’s strange” 🤬

I have dizziness with the med... she would just say “huh that’s odd... for a year I struggled with the dizziness .. until I fired Ms. “huh that’s strange” .

Went to hematologist because my MO kept consistently ignoring my low WBC and neutrophil count with no explanation, well explanation was from former MO was “sometimes I see that”. Really? Then called in the psych department on me as I began to shed a tear. Dismissed me like I was a mental patient!!

Well wouldn’t you know my hematologist that happens to also be an oncologist drew extensive bloodwork to make sure nothing was going on that I should be worried about; lymphoma or leukemia. On follow up visit he said “ there’s no reason for you to be seeing both of us for your oncology follow-up. I said I never want to see that other oncologist again... and he said” I can be your oncologist “ Score!

He was worried about my dizziness and had me take a mini vacation from Arimidex; dizziness did not totally disappear so he sent me for scans. Damn that was scary, but necessary And negative!

If someone is not listening to you and it’s not setting well with you, move on! So many tremendous Doctors out there; don’t settle for anything less!




Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/22/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Apr 30, 2019 06:32PM DenvMom wrote:

Hi,

I have been on Anastrozole for almost 3 years now.  I take a cocktail of supplements to keep the pain away and it has worked so well that I finally am down to taking the supplements only 3 days a week. My big problem is I am TIRED!  I work 5 hours a day, I am 69 but that should not make a difference on my energy.   I am fine when I wake up but after working 5 hours working with children and shelving books I am so tired when I get home I sleep 1 to 1.5 hours and still go to sleep at 10:30.  Will this get better or get worse?    

Dx 7/9/2015, DCIS/ILC, Left, 1cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Apr 30, 2019 07:14PM Spookiesmom wrote:

Have you seen your PCP lately? Maybe something else is going on. Good on you for still working! I couldn’t do it at 69, and certainly not now😍 at 70.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Apr 30, 2019 11:55PM Taco1946 wrote:

I will be 73 next week and certainly couldn't keep up your schedule, Denvmom. I agree that a check-up wouldn't hurt but I have had to admit that I too feel more fatigued than I did at diagnosis. On the other hand, that has helped me rethink my priorities and how to use my time. Could you work a little less time or do some task switching with someone?

I know it sometimes sounds counter-intutive but I fatigue less when I get some exercise. Could you find a friend or neighbor who would do a before dinner walk after your nap? Find an early evening low impact exercise class? Senior centers often have low cost exercise programs but they are usually during the day. I admit I that I have to work at doing either of those and DH is out right now alone with our dog who loves it when I come too so I appreciate it's hard to get moving.

Dx 11/22/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Radiation Therapy 12/28/2016 Balloon-catheter: Breast Chemotherapy 2/2/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 12/3/2017 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
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May 1, 2019 08:37PM DenvMom wrote:

I was just at my WO and she said it was pretty normal to be tired but I was wondering if I was alone...guess not.  I love working lost my DH 10 years ago and working keeps me going especially the little children...love them.  Thank you for your response to my question.

Dx 7/9/2015, DCIS/ILC, Left, 1cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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May 1, 2019 08:42PM DenvMom wrote:

Taco 1946. thank you for your response, love your suggestions.  I am going to start walking with my dog as soon as it stops snowing and raining.  I don't walk in the winter too cold for me and in snow slip and fall is not my idea of fun.  I get so much exercise at work I am up and down on the floor shelving books it is better than a work out and I do that about 1 hour a day.  I would not do anything different in my job I love it like I said in my other post.  But again thank you it is good to know I am not alone.

Dx 7/9/2015, DCIS/ILC, Left, 1cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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May 3, 2019 11:24PM PhoenixCruiser wrote:

Denvmom, like Taco walking has really helped me. When it started to get hot I broke down and got a treadmill in March and have used it every day (usually several times a day) since.

Good luck!

Dx 8/2017, Right, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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May 4, 2019 07:47AM Rosanne7 wrote:

Started anastrozole this week.

Taking in morning (8 a.m.) -- by 12 noon -- irritable & dizzy w/ changes of head position (e.g. bending down to get produce from refrigerator). Needless to say, this impaired functioning for the afternoon.

Next day, I skipped taking pill (as a way to ease into habit) however, felt nauseous @ 8 a.m. & couldn't eat breakfast until 2 p.m.

Today, I'll take pill again w/ breakfast -- has anyone else experienced this type of dizziness w/ anastrozole?

Any tips/remedies?

With Love & gratitude,

Roseanne7

Dx 5/2007, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/2007, LCIS, Left Surgery 2/29/2008 Lumpectomy Dx 8/2011, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 11/1/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery 2/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Saline implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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May 4, 2019 08:47AM - edited May 4, 2019 08:48AM by ed111

Hi Rosanne7 -- try taking it before bed. Try to add bunch of supplements, especially magnesium, melatonin and vit D going along with it.

I take my anti-cancer supplements in the morning, but take those with anastrozole at night before sleep, plus niacin and turmeric. I take 2 vit D x 5000 twice = 20000/day, in a morning and at night. Our vit D level suppose to be > 50 with cancer, and it also helps SE from AI.

Another great thing is vit C IV infusions to bring your C levels to 350, which helps both, starving the cancer cells and alleviating the SE of any treatment. Boost of energy, clears brain fog.


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May 4, 2019 08:49AM HikingLady wrote:

Rosanne7 For me, all the weird sensations of every time gradually went away over the first weeks, until after a few months I can barely notice any of them. My MO predicted that this would be the case, and it's been true for me. Joints, dizziness, sleepiness....everything just improved until those weird sensations were all gone after awhile. My Mo said "see how you are after 3 months," and I was better in all ways at that point. I share this to give you hope!

Drink lots of water! That always helps our body manage and absorb everything, of course. I have always taken my Anastrozole right after breakfast, so my stomach is coated, and with plenty of fluid. One more thought: quite a few times on these postings, I've noticed that women report a weird thing which later turns out to be caused by some other thing, not this medication. Other weird things can crop up, coincidentally, so don't rule out that slight possibility.

Dx 3/2003, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Surgery 4/8/2003 Lumpectomy Radiation Therapy 6/9/2003 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/25/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 5/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 1/2/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 4, 2019 10:58AM Tappermom383 wrote:

Rosanne, I was getting terrible bouts of dizziness - to the point where I had to hold onto something. But, as HikingLady said, this SE passed. I only occasionally get dizzy now.

Has anyone had diarrhea with anastrozole? Mine began in mid-February - not frequency but consistency (sorry for the nasty image!). My PCP has referred me to a gastroenterologist - couldn’t get an appointment until mid-June. I don’t know what’s causing it - no change in my diet or meds.

BTW - I switched to taking my anastrozole in the morning and I am sleeping better that when I took it at night.

M

Diagnosed at 70 after four excisional biopsies over the course of 47 years. MammaPrint came back Low Risk. DexaScan: osteopenia. Cancer removed was 1.8 cm. 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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May 4, 2019 11:33AM HikingLady wrote:

Tappermom383 YES to diarrhea, for awhile, and sporadically. I started taking an expensive (in Whole Foods refrigerator case, many millions of live cultures, etc.) probiotic daily, and system got back to normal. It happens again if I eat a sweet dessert, or chocolate dessert, or if I drink 2 alcoholic drinks in one evening. I hardly ever do any of those three things, but I've noticed a connection....

Dx 3/2003, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Surgery 4/8/2003 Lumpectomy Radiation Therapy 6/9/2003 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/25/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 5/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 1/2/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 4, 2019 03:37PM - edited May 4, 2019 05:54PM by Cherryi3

Hi Tapper,

I could have written your post. I had major diarrhea on Arimidex and switched to letrozole. More of same. Maybe worse. Now on vacation from all meds and supplements and upcoming appt with GI this Tuesday. Hmmmm been off meds about 3 weeks and pooping like a champ (sorry friends) MO says it's not a common side effect of the AI but I'm pretty sure it is for me. I normally have IBS but this was different. No warning or cramping just a sudden urge and watery yuck. I'll let you know what the GI doc says. Hope he doesn't want to poke around back there

Dx 10/1/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/22/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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May 4, 2019 04:57PM - edited May 4, 2019 05:03PM by ed111

Yes to diarrhea, too. Not terrible, but present. But. Since cleansing is a part of my naturopatic protocol ) it does me only good, so I'm not objecting. It's crucial to have clean colons, w/o accumulated toxins, so I actually can stop taking expensive Dr Tobin laxative and skip hydrocleansing all by simply taking Anastrozole )

Dizziness, yes, could happen at any time when doing exercise walking and then stop, now know to stop near a poll or something to hold onto )

Muscles and joints... Maybe. I have mild sciatica, so it's hard to say, whether tights are puling cause of stretching payback, or cause of anastrazole. All tolerable. Three weeks now.


-- on Anastrozole for 3 months as neoajuvant before lumpectomy, left ++/- 1.5cm core tumor with 8.6cm (inconclusive) elongation.



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May 5, 2019 08:53AM - edited May 5, 2019 08:54AM by Rosanne7

Hello ed111, HikingLady & tappermom,

Thanks for the good advice! :)

Yesterday, while out walking/shopping w/ friend -- was literally holding onto poles & signposts to steady myself. Improvised by leaning on shopping cart handle...used it as a "walker".

Due to benefit of info/ experiences you all have shared -- I was able to explain to my friend -- that S/E are normal & "to be expected" when starting this med. Yesterday afternoon (post-walking & shopping exertion) I fell asleep @ 4 pm & woke at 6 pm! And so it goes...

Roseanne7

Dx 5/2007, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/2007, LCIS, Left Surgery 2/29/2008 Lumpectomy Dx 8/2011, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 11/1/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery 2/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Saline implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Lumpectomy: Left

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