Arimidex and side effects

Arimidex and side effects

Arimidex and side effects Hi,
I’ve been taking Arimidex for about 3 and a half months. Started taking it about 3 weeks after having an oophorectomy. Since starting it I’ve been having quite intense hot flushes and night sweats, especially now. I’m hoping that they will somehow resolve themselves rather than having them for 5 years. I can’t be sure, but I think it’s the Arimidex rather than the oophorectomy that is causing this. Had quite mild symptoms post oophorectomy and pre Arimidex.

The other side effect (besides being very absent minded - have lost my multi tasking skills!) is aching joints - much worse now. I really enjoy walking and swimming but I’ve been finding it harder to do regularly in the last few weeks. And as I seem to be losing my waist post menopause I’m concerned! My bone density test was good so I suppose I can afford to give a bit away, if I have to. Also tire much more easily, none of which helps in my job. I’m a teacher and have lots of correction to do at night.

I was wondering if others had similar side effects and how they dealt with them. My understanding is that anything which mimics oestrogen shouldn’t be taken, such as phyto-oestrogens (soy?).

I’m also wondering about the long-term side effects of Arimidex and aromatase inhibitors in general, beyond 5 years, as the medicos don’t seem to know. I have read about some concerns about the effects, long term, on memory and brain function, but again it’s all quite vague. Aromatase inhibitors haven’t been used long enough for this to be clear. What are the effects of stripping your body of as much oestrogen as possible, much more than natural menopause?

Had a check up with my surgeon a couple of weeks ago and she suggested that I was still recovering from the whole ordeal of bc -diagnosis, treatment during the past 5 and a half months, which I think might be a factor. Can’t really ask my onc. many questions. She tends to side-step them. My surgeon and GP are wonderful.

Sorry about so many questions in this post. I don’t post much but have learnt a lot from this forum and gained comfort and courage from reading about all of your experiences.
Lesley xxx

hot flushes I’m on Tamoxifen, but have the hot flush problem. The only thing I’ve found to help at all is the chillow - have you come across that? It’s probably available through your hospital but you have to buy it. It gives you a cold pad under your head at night - very good for night sweats. While teaching, the way I dress has had to change radically so I can strip off quickly (but decently!) in the classroom.

I’m full of admiration that you can keep teaching full time after all this. It’s such a demanding job mentally and physically that I think it must make it that bit harder to ‘work through’ the after effects of the treament - you get very little time for quiet reflection and recuperation.

Nearly finished Hi Marie, I have just one more month of Arimidex, after two years of Tamoxifen and three of Arimidex. I think I have been quite lucky; major problems on Arimidex have been intense and frankly sick-making hot flushes! But not all day every day , sometimes i have gone days without any, and then a few bad days. But very little joint pain (if any, mainly knees and thumbs). Tomorrow I am having a bone density scan to see how my bones have held up (was at the lower end of normal range to start with). I have been taking calcium supplements and doing weight bearing exercises, so I hope all will be well. Am really looking forward to stopping them though, but they haven’t been too bad at all for me. I hope it will be the same for you.

Thank you both of you, for your advice. Well done, Carling on having almost finished your course of treatment. It must be such a relief. The fact that you have experienced very little joint pain must be a good sign in terms of your bone density. I hope the results of the test are very positive.

I’m wondering if I’m worrying too much about the aching joints, sort of talking myself into it. Had a swim yesterday and though I don’t feel as strong as before bc I suppose it’s only to be expected. Will try to adopt a more positive attitude. Every little ache and pain seems to be magnified since bc dianosis.

Lennox, I will look into getting a ‘chillow pillow’. I googled it but it seems to be available only in the UK or USA. I live in Australia and will inquire further here. Not sure about admitting I live in Oz as the context of the UK is a bit different, but this forum has been brilliant for me.

Dressing in layers - I have been worrying how I’ll cope as the weather gets colder here. You know, overheated classrooms - my students will just have to deal with me flinginging off layers (always remaining decent, as you said!)

Yes, it has been tough starting back at work full time. Very tired, and forgetting things that normally I wouldn’t have, but as a friend at work said, ‘Be kind to yourself’. It was important to me that I started the school year on 31 Jan. to try to return to some sort of a ‘normal’ state. I think I over-estimated my ability to do this. If I could go part-time, I would do it - financially not possible. I didn’t have chemo which meant I didn’t have to deal with all of the after-effects of that, but now just realising that the rest of the treatment has taken its toll. The good news is that I’m now on holiday for the Commonwealth Games and when we return to work at the beginning of next week, I only have another 3 weeks until Easter. After that, I have long-service-leave for the whole of Term 2. I plan to go travelling and relax a bit.
Thanks heaps xxx