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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

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 30, 2012 06:39PM SpecialK wrote:

I still eat beef, although grass-fed, no antibiotics or hormones.  Same with chicken, pasture raised free-range, no hormones or antibiotics, same with eggs.  I use protein fairly sparingly and try to concentrate on organic high-fiber, low sugar fruit, and organic low-starch vegetables.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Jul 30, 2012 08:19PM Lee7 wrote:

JO-5,

You can click on black tea on the list in Special K's post (thanks K!) and it will take you to a page that explains about black tea and green tea. http://foodforbreastcancer.com/foods/black-tea   I've copied it here.

I started drinking black tea as a kid. I still drink it but I've added green and red teas now.  I really like the reds.

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 30, 2012 09:09PM kjiberty wrote:

Thanks to all you ladies for the great info as a "new" arimidex user.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate this board and all your knowledge.

Karen Surgery 3/12/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/19/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/25/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 7/25/2012 Breast Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 30, 2012 10:51PM ruthbru wrote:

That's why we are called 'The A Team'!! Smile
"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 31, 2012 12:00AM Msbelle wrote:

As a new member on the A team :)......has anyone had loose stools? Trying to figure out if the cause is AI or herceptin. I'm suppose to start the metformin study soon as well. I may never come out of the bathroom.

Dx 1/13/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 2/9/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy 2/23/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/23/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 6/28/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 7/18/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/10/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 12/18/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jul 31, 2012 10:01AM Mini1 wrote:

I just read somsething that has black tea on the OK list. Arghhh. Just once I'd like something to sraightforward and not contradictory to another study or list.

And MsBelle - I had the opposite issue. Of course, I had lots of other side effects, so I may not be the best person to answer your question. :-)

"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 4/15/2012 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 31, 2012 10:45AM SpecialK wrote:

msbelle - I was plagued by this through both chemo (understandable) and the first part of Herceptin alone until one of the onc nurses told me to start taking a probiotic.  I started using Phillips Colon Health, because I could find it easily - only reason, about half way through H alone and it was like a miracle.  I have continued taking it (finished Herceptin in Jan. '12) and I am the most regular I have been in 20 years.  I did have a colonoscopy consult with a gastroenterologist recently and I specifically asked him if he had a different probiotic to recommend and he said if what I am taking works for me to stay with it.  I know a few people who use FloraSmart, which you can get at Whole Foods.  Yogurt is helpful but I don't eat dairy anymore and I don't think you get enough of the probiotic unless you eat about 6 a day, lol! 

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Jul 31, 2012 12:37PM Mini1 wrote:

I use a probiotic as well. I guess it works both ways. :-)

"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 4/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 10:52AM C-squared wrote:

Starting Anastrozole today..., wish me luck!

Smile

Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 11:18AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Good luck! I have been on it for 8 months and have had very minor se's which have easily been managed and are almost non-existent at this point. Caryn

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 1, 2012 11:36AM C-squared wrote:

Thanks Caryn!  I like to hear the positive stories.  Any recommendations?  Vitamins?  Supplements? I hope to start walking (weight bearing exercise) soon.
Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 11:53AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I think exercise has been key for me. I work out at a gym and use a personal trainer to structure my work outs. She knows about my bc and lymphedema risk. I alternate aerobic and strength training ( weights). I also try to take the more physical options in everyday life i.e. stairs, parking far away in lots etc. As for supplements, I take D3, glucosamine, boswellia and DIM. I also get monthly Aredia infusions. I am babysitting my granddaughter today. They live in San Francisco in a walk up apartment and I'll be taking a long walk, pushing her stroller, through Golden Gate park. That's after I go to the gym this morning so I've got my exercise covered for today! Caryn

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 1, 2012 12:46PM C-squared wrote:

Thanks again exbrnxgrl!  Your grandaughter is adorable!!!  And yes, that is indeed exercise enough!
Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 12:48PM hrf wrote:

My worst se from Arimidex is thinning hair. Anyone else having the same problem? 

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 1, 2012 12:58PM C-squared wrote:

hrf~  that's frightening.., I'm just trying to get my hair back -LOLOL
Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 01:03PM hrf wrote:

C-squared, it didn't grow back very well but since I'm on the AI, it just keeps getting thinner. MO said it the AI. I have 2 more years to go and think I will be mostly bald by then. Not good. I've tried everything and there is no improvement.

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 1, 2012 01:35PM - edited Aug 1, 2012 01:36PM by ruthbru

Have you tried Nioxin? Haven't needed it for Arimidex, but that is what my hair dresser recommended for post-chemo hair growth.

"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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Aug 1, 2012 01:38PM C-squared wrote:

ruth~ funny I was just researching that last night.  I will be trying it!  I'm ready for hair (on my head).

Smile

Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 01:42PM Mini1 wrote:

I am trying Biotin for hair thinning. I've several threads here that recommend it. Just started so I have no idea if it will work, but it's worth a shot. I don't like the idea of Rogaine. Too many chemicals.

"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 4/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 02:23PM SusannahW wrote:

Good luck C! I'm starting arimidex soon, please keep us posted.

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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Aug 1, 2012 04:13PM hrf wrote:

I have been using Biotin for 3 years ... no help. Have been using Minoxidil for 2 years....no help. I've been to specialists - have had scalp biopsies.....nothing can be done. I use Head & Shoulders because of the zinc. The hair I have is damaged from chemo (at the root level) and my hair continues to fall out. Was told I might have some growth back when I finish Arimidex but not to expect a lot. 

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 1, 2012 07:47PM ruthbru wrote:

You could try Nioxin for chemically treated hair. I washed my scalp with the 'chemically treated hair' formula during chemo because, as my hair stylist explained, my hair was being chemically treated from the inside out. When you are done with chemo or it quits actually falling out, then switch to the regular formula until it is the thickness you like. It would be worth a try anyway.

"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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Aug 1, 2012 08:01PM C-squared wrote:

Ruth~ I picked up both the cleanser and scalp treatment today..., can't wait for hair to grow back!  They are both for chemically treated hair and I finished chemo May 31st so we'll see what happens!  Keep your fingers crossed. 

hrf~ Did you have any hair thinning prior to chemo?  Does it run in your DNA at all?  I'm a strong believer in genetics and unfortunately I was passed the BRCA gene. However, I am thankful that both my mother and father had full heads of thick hair! LOL

Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 08:49PM Lee7 wrote:

My hair is much thinner after a year on Arimidex. Frown   I do take Biotin, and I don't know if its helping or not. Is Nioxin a prescription or can you buy it in a store?

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 08:55PM C-squared wrote:

Lee7~ You can buy Nioxin over-the-counter.  You can find it at an Ulta store if in FL or a salon.  You can also buy it online.

Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 09:21PM Lee7 wrote:

Thanks!  I'm going to check it out. 

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 09:48PM ruthbru wrote:

Any beauty salon will carry Nioxin. They have a scalp massage as well as the shampoo and conditioner.

"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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Aug 1, 2012 09:57PM kjiberty wrote:

C-Squared:  I started Arimadex on Saturday. I am also taking Biotin and using a scalp shampoo and conditioner I bought at Ulta.  I was going to buy Nioxin, but the hairdresser recommended another brand: Bios?  I will keep you posted and for those of us who are new, please keep me posted on the hair growth/thinning issue. Pre-chemo, it would take up to three hours for my thick, fine hair to dry.  

Karen Surgery 3/12/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/19/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/25/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 7/25/2012 Breast Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 10:29PM hrf wrote:

Thanks, Ruthbru.

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 2, 2012 01:25AM marge33 wrote:

I just went off Letrozole because of extreme joint pain and unbearable muscle pain. I'm about to try anastrozole and I'm very nervous about it. I also had to be taken off tamoxafin because I got a blood clot in my lung. I have had a bad experience with every drug and I'm almost ready to take my chances by going off them. I'm going to try anastrozole but I have read mostly terrible experiences. Is there any hope at all with these drugs? Has anyone else decided to take a risk and stop taking the pill?

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