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Topic: Doing Well on Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs)

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: Apr 22, 2017 06:51AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 11:09AM by Moderators

Butterfly1234 wrote:

I read a suggestion that someone should start a topic for women who are NOT experiencing severe SEs while taking Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin. I'm about to start taking Arimidex and when I read about the potential SEs I get discouraged. Maybe others would also like to hear about positive experiences. We would love to hear from you!

Edited by Mods to add content from the main Breastcancer.org site on:

Aromatase Inhibitors

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 2/27/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/11/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/9/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 16, 2021 09:16PM CeliaC wrote:

Well, husband picked up my generic anastrozole refill at Walgreens today. It is in my records to only dispense TEVA, but they switched it to Zydus, which is manufactured in India. I am extremely reluctant to take these pills due to all the rampant COVID in India and also since this manufacturer has had FDA warning letters in re: deficient manufacturing processes (and even some recalls of other meds). Does anyone have additional knowledge of this manufacturer they can share? I will be talking to the pharmacy tomorrow about this switch (scrip package is unopened/stapled shut) and attempting to return it. If they won't take it back, I will likely suspend taking the pills and try to find an alternative. This scrip is only 25 pills & I will need to get a refill from the MO. Anyone know the current price of brand name through Eagle Pharmacy?

Dx 12/2/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 17, 2021 05:16AM keywestfan wrote:

Celia C- The cost at Eagle is $180 for a three month supply of 90 tablets. I have them automatically delivered every three months.

Arimidex, June 2019 Dx 2/14/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 3/24/2019 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/30/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Jun 17, 2021 09:54AM - edited Nov 13, 2021 02:45AM by Emily21

This Post was deleted by Emily21.
Dx 9/4/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/31 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/23/2020 Lumpectomy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Jul 11, 2021 12:44PM Castigame wrote:

very silly comment. To my chagrin, I almost ran out of Arimidex. I was a nervous wreck and embarrassed that I almost let it happen. This was over the July 4th wind. Paid extra $12 to have it 2 day air. Crisis aborted. And just as a back up I had generic filled. Full charge for another 3 plus yrs. (7yr minimum and almost 4 yr mark)

Mimi Dx 1/11/2017, IDC: Papillary/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/11/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes Surgery 2/15/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/21/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/31/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/30/2017
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Jul 11, 2021 01:49PM - edited Jul 11, 2021 01:57PM by trudy-erl

Hello:

My Doctor told me never to take a generic for "very important" medical situations. What is more important than cancer? I take Femora but not the generic. Apparently generic tend to have more fillers and less of the needed drug. Financially it does cause difficulty as I pay $123.00/month and the generic would have been $38.00, but I gladly pay the high amount because technically I should not even be here anymore to complain. I feel very blessed to be here, eventhough the Femora side effect has zapped 90% of my energy.

You all have a wonderful day! :)

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Jul 12, 2021 05:05AM muska wrote:

@ Trudy-erl

Generic drugs are chemically identical to brand name ones. Please read here: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/generic-drugs/what-approval-process-generic-drugs

Dx at 54 Dx 5/9/2013, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 7/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 6/13/2013, LCIS, Both breasts Surgery 6/13/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/25/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 3/12/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/23/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone
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Jul 13, 2021 04:49PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

muska - identical? I doubt it. For example, I had fewer SEs on brand name Arimidex than generic anastrozole. A freind taking a brand name drug (not cancer) has had the same experience. Better control of the condition as well as far fewer SEs. Her DR also told her that generics are allowed to have a +/- range of the dose listed, and brand names do not have that range. Supposedly the "active" ingredient is the same, but sometimes I wonder. "Bottle of Lies" by Katherine Eban describes the corruption and boom in the generic market. Probably the original drug manufacturer is no better................

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Jul 14, 2021 11:45AM Polkadot1 wrote:

My MO said the very same thing...that many people do better in regards to side effects on brand name Arimidex. I am one of those people. I was ready to give it up altogether when she suggested that I try the brand name first. I am very glad she did as I have tolerated it much better.

Dx 5/20/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 9/7/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 14, 2021 09:34PM KIDI919 wrote:

Thank you for the info. I have been meaning to down load that book. It's on my library list. I don't believe they are the same only because I don't trust ANY drug company to be honest. They are all in it for the money.

Dx 9/17/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
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Jul 15, 2021 06:01AM Denise-G wrote:

I have been on anastrozole for 9 years. My sister has been on it for 5 years. The first couple of years we had a lot of joint pain especially in the winter months. There were definitely times I wanted to quit but I knew I just wanted to tough it out.

The last five or six years I rarely get any side effects and my sister does not either. Our bodies got used to it I guess.

Our oncologist says we will be taking it for as long as we can. I just had my 10-year check up this week from a really difficult diagnosis and I am doing great.




www.denise4health.wordpress.com my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts about all aspects of BC - stop by! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/22/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/26/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/27/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 15, 2021 12:46PM KIDI919 wrote:

Denise-G Great news!!!

Dx 9/17/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
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Jul 15, 2021 04:19PM Juju-mar wrote:

congratulations Denise-G! So nice to hear good news 😀 I've been taking anastrazole since March and wanted to change meds around the 3 month mark, but MO said to give it at least 6 months. Glad to know the side effects can get better with time.

Julie

Dx 8/27/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/27/2020 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 6/14/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 25, 2021 01:53PM Castigame wrote:

Dennis G,

That is fantastic!!

Mimi Dx 1/11/2017, IDC: Papillary/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/11/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes Surgery 2/15/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/21/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/31/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/30/2017
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Jul 31, 2021 11:31AM cangold wrote:

I just saw on the Arimidex website, they have a program for 90day supply delivered to your home for just $180. It reads $2 a day

Here"s the link https://www.arimidex.com/about-arimidex-patient-di...

I'm going to talk to my MO about this because Anastrozole is giving me way too man SE's


Dx 2/5/2021, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/7/2021 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/17/2021 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/21/2021 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 1, 2021 10:09AM MicheleH57 wrote:

Hi Julie! Same here with the joint stiffness and on anastrazole.

It's "only" in my hands, and upon awakening.

I don't feel 80 (I'm 64), but it sure is weird. Also asking the oncologist about the stiffness and any remedies. I'm just 6 months into taking

the Rx so do want to give it more time. But I sure know what you mean!

Very, very infrequent "warm waves" that have gone down to almost nothing. Yay!

Dx 10/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/30/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 1, 2021 11:51AM Juju-mar wrote:

MicheleH57,

I have noticed the joint stiffness doesn't seem quite as bad as it did for the first few months. I'm 4 months into taking it and find that I need to stretch and just keep moving. Mornings are just slightly less stiff. I now feel 70, not 80😀 (I'm 55). I may participate in a 4 month study for joint pain and CBD through our local University cancer center - I will ask my MO on Tuesday if she thinks it'll be ok. I also need to ask if I will take the anastrazole for 5 or 10 years. Hope you are doing well. I just completed radiation last Friday. So now onto follow up care. Fingers and toes crossed the cancer does not return!

Jukie

Dx 8/27/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/27/2020 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 6/14/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 1, 2021 01:58PM KIDI919 wrote:

Juju-mar, I use the topical CBD (brand name Medterra)-----there are other brands of course..... on my hands and hips when need be. Kind of expensive but you only need to use a little bit. Dr's know that I use it and no one has said not to. I have quite a few clients that use it too with good relief.

Dx 9/17/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
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Aug 2, 2021 10:05AM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

JujuMar - if you participate, let us know what you use/how well it worked.

KID - I will look for the product you mentioned. I've tried a couple, but no releif. If it has any THC, I will need to go out of state. Even if it is only CBD, if nobody local carries it, current state laws may prohibit internet sale. WYLD THC/CBN (Cannibinol, created as THC ages) Elderberry gummies, and Gron(with an umlaut) THC/CBD/CBN strawberry-melon gummies help with sleep.

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Aug 18, 2021 10:55AM Mimie wrote:

I have been on anastrozole for 3.5 years. I have moderate joint pain in my right SI joint. Daily exercise is critical to reduce the discomfort. I used to take naproxen as well, but worried it has made me anemic so have stopped taking it. I also am on Prolia. My oncologist said yesterday I will have the Breast Cancer Index done next year to see if I will benefit for more than 5 years of AItreatment. I had planned to be on it forever, as the discomfort is manageable. Will wait and see what the testing reveals

Dx 6/13/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Aug 20, 2021 08:39PM Suz-Q wrote:

I completed 5 years at the end of December. I had to change from anastrozal to Exemestane due to joint pain after a year. Had no pain with Exemestane. If one type is causing pain try another. Best wishes! I did notice my bad cholesterol increased when I was on these

56 at diagnosis. Oncotype DX 10 Dx 9/17/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/3/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/14/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/21/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/4/2016 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Hormonal Therapy 10/7/2017 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Sep 9, 2021 08:34PM - edited Sep 9, 2021 10:32PM by ubershop7

This Post was deleted by ubershop7.
Dx 5/2016, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Nov 1, 2021 04:16PM MicheleH57 wrote:

About that hand pain: I've tried a number of remedies - Aspercreme and Voltaren and Advil and Tylenol and CBD balm - and NOTHING has worked to ease it.

But I have just started wearing compression gloves *to bed* and that has been a bit helpful. A bit. Better than the creams and OTC's.

At least I now have the sensation of my painful hands being cradled and cared for overnight. It's like wearing an Ace bandage on a sore ankle or the swaddling that comforts a baby.

In the morning I still have stiffness, especially in my left hand (lumpectomy was on the left breast), and it's eased by running hands under warm/warmer water for a minute or so. Using my hands and fingers loosens them up and I'm better through the day.

But I have to say, I cannot really imagine dealing with this for another 6.5 years. YUCK.

Dx 10/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/30/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 1, 2021 06:07PM CindyNY wrote:

I shower at night so in the morning I use a hot washcloth to wash my face. That super hot water ringing out of the wascloth feels the best on my hands.

dx at 58, no family history, onco = 19 Dx 10/6/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 11/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 12, 2021 04:58AM Butterfly1234 wrote:

I haven’t tried this yet but my massage therapist recommended melting hot paraffin wax and soaking my hands for arthritic hand pain,

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 2/27/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/11/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/9/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 12, 2021 05:34PM CindyNY wrote:

I think they sell a machine that heats paraffin wax and you put your hands into it, then wear plastic gloves. Until you peel it back off.

dx at 58, no family history, onco = 19 Dx 10/6/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 11/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 12, 2021 06:38PM KIDI919 wrote:

This might sound weird but has anyone noticed that their underarm sweat does not smell? I actually think I noticed this before my dx but can't swear to it. Not that I'm running around sweating but noticed it during the summer. Other than that I have the usual SE, joint pain, feeling exhausted at times. I take Letrozole. Jan 2022 will be 2 years

Dx 9/17/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 12, 2021 07:50PM LillyIsHere wrote:

Kid919, now that you mention, I do feel dry since on letrozole and my sweat doesn't smell. I always used baking soda for my underarms and I still do but there isn't much sweat, tears, etc.

“Within five years, cancer will have been removed from the list of fatal maladies.” That was the optimistic promise to U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1910 when he visited Buffalo’s Gratwick Laboratory, “What’s taking so long?” Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/30/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy
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Nov 13, 2021 02:47AM - edited Nov 13, 2021 05:45AM by Emily21

Apologies castigame, I'm afraid I posted the reply on the wrong thread. 💐

Dx 9/4/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/31 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/23/2020 Lumpectomy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Nov 13, 2021 06:29AM ThreeTree wrote:

Re sweat and underarm stuff - I find what those of you who've said you're underarms don't smell very interesting, as I have found the opposite. Ever since I started letrozole, I sweat more and my underarms in particular smell extra bad, and a whole lot like Letrozole! Like the bottle full of pills smells when I open it. Even with regular showers, I have to sponge a lot too, just to get rid of the underarm Letrozole stink.

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Nov 13, 2021 08:58AM KIDI919 wrote:

Lilyishere and ThreeTree : Interesting how we are reacting to this med. I have noticed my tear ducts itch. ThreeTree: I bet the med is secreted thru our skin.

Dx 9/17/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)

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