Hello. I've been on Aromasin for three and a half years. I had no side effects at first apart from horrendous hot flushes which I've had ever since coming off HRT. During the second year I started to have joint pains. They can be all over my body but seem to be in a different place every day - one day it's hands, then the next it's legs and so on. These pains have now lessened to some extent although I'm still very stiff first thing in the morning and when I get up from a sitting position. I've also had trigger thumb on both hands.
I had a bone density scan just before starting on Aromasin which was very good. I asked if it was necessary to take calcium while on Aromasin but was told there was no need. I had a second bone density scan last Autumn which showed a marked deterioration so I've been started on alendronic acid and have put myself on calcium.
My hair has always been thick and strong and came back very well after chemo. Recently, however, the condition has changed and it now feels very fine. It's thinning noticably and I've got the beginnings of male pattern baldness. Wonderful !
Good luck everyone ! Best wishes - Anthi
I've been on Arimidex since November 2010, as my Onc. found Secondaries on my ribs, I was on Tamoxifen for nearly 5 years.
I also have Renal Failure, I have also noticed since November,that my blood pressure have gone up, has anybody else noticed this?
Hi all - your posts are extremely interesting please keep updating.
At the moment I'm experiencing continuing headaches never quite goes away ............ anyone getting these - dont want to complain to GP as seem to have a permanent booking there !! Just wondered if there was a link to Arimidex.
I have just started taking Arimedex and AdCal (2 weeks ago). I felt a bit light headed for a couple of days but now that has gone. I have taken Glucosamine for about 4 years as a preventative for joint pain as I got older. Now 60. I had hot flushes anyway and so far they are no worse. Have found going to decaf coffee and tea has reduced hot flushes. Not sure if decaf tea so important. So far so good with the Arimedex and if it helps with BC that's the most important thing. Good luck to everyone who is finding SE a problem. I hope they reduce with time. Take care Chaffinch
Couple of things that have helped me with joint pain are Vitamin D. 1,000 or 2,000 per day. Following a gluten free or low gluten diet. Gluten can cause inflammation in the joints and thus causes pain.
Arimidex Side Effects
I've been on the awful drug for about 8 months now and during the first month I nearly gave them up as I decided my quality of life was so bad. I could barely get off my chair at work and then I'd stagger with stiffness and pain.
Somewhere on this site I found that people recommended Glucosamine + Chondroitin tablets.
They work for me, I take two a day and I feel as normal as before BC - except that last week I only took one tab a day 'cause I forgot to add one to my after dinner meds and supplements that I organise for the week so the aches started to come back. I tried to get them on prescription but my area doesn't do them.
10 months of Arimidex so far. Lots of hot flushes at first, but I was having those anyway. Have felt much worse since xmas. Aching all over and feel much more tired and 'old lady-ish'. So I wonder whether this is the Arimidex or the weather. I didn't think I was having too much trouble with it but now I'm not so sure. K x
Well I've been on Arimidex for exactly 1 month and yesterday had a brief short sharp flush/flash and another today ...and so it begins. As I'm post 60 I doubt it men. so pretty certain it the meds.
Felt quite ill and disorientated for a short while but it was mercifuly brief ( sorry spelling is rubbish today) lets hope thats all I 've got to contend with.
Took my problem about Arimidex to my G.P. she said that lots of ladies had a problem with Femara but didn't have so many s/e with Arimidex or vice versa and the only way to find out was to take them, so get on with it. That really didn't help me much. The nurse who comes in to dress the rad. burns said to see another Dr. in the practice as she could see how disturbed and emotional I was over this issue - the cure seeming worse than the disease.
Initially the wound was infected and burst open which was worrying. Then developing burns from radiation treatment despite creaming umpteen times per day to try to prevent it, while trying to recover from a drug, Femara, which turned me into a gibbering idiot/invalid.
Anyway I went to see him today and he couldn't have been nicer or more helpful which was great. Basically he said if he had the same experience and options as I have had there is no way he could sign up to five years or maybe less of agony. So he will ask a friendly psychologist to see me about the emotional overload and he will try to get some answers to my questions. I have to relax and try to stop worrying excessively and see him again in two weeks.
I feel so much better already.
Hi again Annie
It is definitely not all in your mind and I am so glad that us being in touch is helping....it is helping me too; it is a lonely place if you think you are the only one.
You are right in that some research has shown that the side effects do mean that the drug is working. My consultant at the hospital said that the eide effects should eventually get better, so we can both cling to that hope. Regarding the calcium supplement Adcal-D3, my consultant recommended it as a preventative measure against bone thinning. Prevention is better that cure! My GP prescribes it for me so you could ask yours; I am sure you are entitled to have it. Keep up the good fight!
Bye for now, Jenny
hi winchester babe.
how do i go about adcal is it doctor or onc, i seems as though not a lot of ladies are on aromasin maybe because it is the latest in the AI s. its good to hear your flushes are better, again like the joints and stiffness some days they are better than others could it be our bodies build up to a point and then it evens off and gets better? all the reviews say how good it it and also how well tolerated it is, so it does help when someone is having the same experiences ,as i was begining to think its all in my mind.
Yes, lets keep in touch about Aromasin. I can say that my night sweats have stopped over the last 3-4 nights, so, fingers crossed that I am over that now. I also had a bone density scan and it was fine. My GP recommends that I take one Adcal-D3 a day to keep my bones healthy - this is relly worth doing as studies have shown that high doses of calcium make a difference. Hople this helps!
hi winchester babe,
i feel just the same as you, i have been on Aromasin since last march, 10 months now, the first few weeks were fine and thought i was going to do well, then bang, i dont think i have a part of my body that dosent hurt and some days are worse than others, i also get so tired and i think that people ( ie my manager ) thinks i am making it up as i have asked for my hours to be reviewed. i will stick with it though because of good reviews and also have read that strangly the more side effects the less likely for a recurrance ( not sure how true that is though ) would love to keep in touch as we are only a couple of months differnet on aromasin please let me know how you progress. i dont take anything else my dexa scan was ok. sorry if this does not help
hugs to all
Acupuncture is great for hot flushes whether due to menopause or breast cancer.I've had great results with it.
I guess I'm lucky that the only side effects I can attribute to Arimidex are hot flushes/ night sweats- and my very thin hair/poor re-growth after chemo. All this is horrible and the sweats disturb my sleep and I hate them - but I have to believe that the alternative might be a lot worse.
I have some joint problems but had arthitic pain before BC and although I do have occasional trigger finger, I also know many people with the same occasional symptom, who are not on Arimidex.
How do we know that all our various aches and pins are due to particular drug - especially if we are "older women" and bits of us are are starting to wear out anyway - or we have other conditions in addition to BC?
Does anyone have experience of Acupuncture for hot flushes? I recently spoke to someone who had had very good results after going for this- she had bad night sweats during the menopause- she didn't have BC .
I am in Germany and don't post very often. I am 63 now, OP 3 years ago. I started with Tamoxifen and I wrongly thought all the fluid retention and breathlessness I had was a side-effect - it must have been an after-effect of chemo, because it suddenly disappeared after a year. I hated it because I couldn't walk more than 20 minutes without getting breathless. So I changed to Arimidex.
With both, I got hot flushes, quite a lot but probably not as bad as some people. I also had hair loss - but it began to improve after a while - and a downy face, but that also seemed to improve. But after six months on Arimidex, I began to get trigger fingers/thumbs, which apparently 5% of people on these drugs get (2% in the population as a whole). It began to hurt, at the base of my thumbs. Eventually I couldn't use scissors without extreme pain. I also had the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome, and as I type for a living I wasn't happy - although I went to a doctor who gave me a cortisone injection and explained the operations to me, so I think it might have been OK. But then again, I was worried about lymph problems if I had an OP on my right hand. (My gynecologist said it doesn't come from Arimidex and is normal at my age, so no help there).
I then went back on Tamoxifen, last July, and gradually the problems in my hands went away.
These problems are swollen tendons, or swollen tendon sheaths. They aren't bone pain. I know people get bone pain, but I didn't. But I did begin to get this stiffness in my ankles that is related to tendon swelling.
If I have to stop Tamoxifen for medical reasons, I will be trying Femara or Aromasin, and I suppose I may have the hand problems again and may have to have an operation. But I understand everyone who says they would rather stop the drugs, because some side effects are really bad.
Thank you Val for hugs and kind thoughts and to other responders for their contributions. Been to see local doctor about Arimadex she says it may not have the same SE's as Femara but we won't know until I try.
I never thought I was a woose but constant pain is not for me. I don't know how you brave ladies cope. I'm so depressed
Manon, you kindly shared that your side effects from Arimadex wore off over 9 months and now you are starting Aromasin? I am experiencing very bad side effects from Aromasin e.g. painfull and stiff fingers, night sweats, general fatigue. I have been on it for 7 months. I am wondering if anyone can give me hope that these effects will lessen in time?
I also wanted to share with anyone who is taking levothyroxine (common thing for among women over 50 to have under active thyroid) about not taking high doses of calcium at the same time. I did not know this until I read reports on internet. Reports say that the calcium will block the levothyroxine and they should be taken at at the same time; at least 2-6 hours apart. My GP agrees with this. As high does of calcium are needed if you are taking any aromatase inhibitors, there must be other women like me who need to know this. Hope this helps and would be grateful for any reports of side effects of Aromasin lessening after time.
I was on Arimidex for three and a half years and found much the same to begin with - but after the first few mnnths the side effects wore off and I was hardly aware of them.. Hope the same is true for you. Just about to start Aromasin - fingers crossed its as effective and as easy to live with.
Personally I think that Arimidex and Femara are wonderful drugs. It may just be that your body needs a wee while to get used to them and that the side effects will improve after a few weeks. Give them a chance nan2high as if they keep your cancer under control they will be worth it in the end. I have been taking these types of drugs for 12 years now....and I am just glad to be around....give your Arimidex a try....Hugs Val