arimidex side effects

Hi All
I have just been reading the posts on this forum as i have been pescribed Arimidex, took the first one today. is there anyone who hasnt had bad side effects? when should i start to feel the effects and what might they be. I did comment to my surgeon that i thought it had bad side effects but he said it was only a small chance, reading the posts on here it doesnt look like a small chance. i am a bit scared now as i have a very small pain thresh hold. my OH has been a rock all the way through but i dont know how he will cope with a sniveling wreck if i get any pain.

Hi Tina
Alot of my complaining is because the side effects can be uncomfortable - and it would be terrific to live without the aches, pains and flushes that make me feel old before my time!
I think that your ONC meant that only afew of us have really rotten side effects, and in all likelyhood you won’t be one of them. If it does get bad, come to the site and have a really good moan - the support is great!

good luck


Hi Tina,
I started in February and haven’t had any bad side effects so far that I can pin on to the Arimidex - I was nervous too, as I’d seen all the comments about side-effects but I think it’s partly that if you’re having a miserable time you need somewhere to sound off about it, but if they aren’t that bad you don’t post about it.

I’ve wondered if I’ve been a little stiffer the past month or so, but it’s difficult to separate out from the fact that I managed to break both my arms a couple of months ago so everything has been a bit weird as I haven’t been as active as usual!
But so far, touch wood - none of the bad joint pains I’ve been reading about, a few hot flushes - long may it last!


Hi Tina
I have been on arimidex for a year now, like Lyndu said it sometimes is hard to seperate the different side effects of all treatments, got 2 weeks to go until my last herceptin (hooray) & having Zoladex injections every 3 months, but not many side effects, some hot flushes, slight aching joints mainly in the mornings, some food now giving me heartburn but that’s about all, which I think is not bad expected more so that’s good. Good luck with it all
Lovely x

I was on Arimidex for a year or so. It seemed to me that it induced a form of menopause, so the extent of the side effects probably depend on whether you have started menopause or not. I had already been through menopause several times before, so didn’t have any major problems - just very hot feet in bed!
Remember that most of us post comments about things we are having problems with, but we don’t post when things are OK.
Love, Lynn

Hi All
Thanks for all your replies. its great to know that not every body gets the real bad side effects, the only thing i have noticed up till now is the hot sweats and ive only been taking it for 4 days.I feel so mad at the moment I started my menapause in 1999/2000 and had an auful time and so did my oh what with the mood swings and the most horrendos hot sweats which i thought i had finaly got rid of only to find that i might have them all over again for another 5 years. oh well a small price to pay for staying alive i suppose. do any of you know what to do about the arm that was opperated on in relation to deoderant?I was told by the BC nurse not to shave or use any deoderant on that arm and as much as i wash it i hate to admit it but it gets really smelly, i bought a natural one from holland and barret called crystal spring which i am using on my other arm and its working a treat its just as good as my normal one but do you know if it can be used on the poorly side.
love to all

Hi Tina, I use Pitrok crystal deoderant because I can’t bear the thought that I might have ‘smelly armpit’ urgh! I haven’t seen the one called Crystal Spring but I should imagine it is on the same lines as Pitrok and safe to use :slight_smile:


I’ve just gone back on Tamoxifen. Was only on Arimidex for about 2 months, but felt dreadful, every joint hurt, I felt depressive and down, and basically felt like an old woman. Anyway put myself back on Tamoxifen, and was at Breast Clinic today and my Consultant is in agreement. I felt as if the Arimidex was doing what the cancer didn’t, defeat me basically. Since I’ve been off it, I’ve felt like my old self, Tigger in a skirt basically, springing again, ha ha.

Hello Tina

I will have been on Arimidex for 2 weeks tomorrow. Like you I took the first tablet and waited for something to happen. Can’t say I’ve noticed anything startling. I’m having hot flushes, but no more than before. Sometimes I think I’m a bit stiffer but to be honest it doesn’t seem any different to pre-Arimidex. I’m worried about putting weight on. I could do with losing it not the other way round!

When it comes to deodorant I was told not to use a spray deodorant under my “bad” arm. Sooooooooo I’ve been using a roll on under one arm and a spray deodorant under the other! Chemo and radiotherapy has polished off any hair I had under my armpits and so far I haven’t had to think about shaving. I more concerned about the hair on my head! It can’t grow soon enough for me!

Hope this has helped.


Lynda xx


I started Arimidex 2 weeks ago and did have aching back - but only occasionally - taking calcium and vitamin D tablets in-case it is osteoporosis.

Just wondered if anyone knows - if all the oestrogen is gone does that make the progesterone worse? Will I get really hairy?

Thanks Jo xx

I’ve been on arimidex for nearly 3 years. The first 6 months was definitely the worse and at times I wondered whether I could stick with it but I did. I now have no side effects, please don’t despair, it honestly does get better.



I was diagnosed with breast cancer in feb this year unfortunately i had to have a
mastechomy of my right breast 10 lymph nodes removed my operation was on apr 9
i started on Arimidex on May 14 very very bad hot flushes night sweats unbearable
i have my small fan on most nights and my chillow pillow, also aches and pains as well any good tips on coping with the side effects of Arimidex my breast cancer was oestrogen positive.


I was dx last September and went on a 6 month course of chemo.

I had a mastectomy and lymph node clearance on April 3. I started Arimidex 2 days later. Within 10 days my knees were really hurting me so my consultant suggested glucosamine and I must say it really works for me. I wish I had a remedy for the horrendous hot flushes and night sweats though! I also needed radiotherapy so what with rad burn and hot flushes I really feel I don’t want to play any more.

Re hairiness- I am definitely more hairy but just assumed it must be the steroids they gave me so I could tollerate the chemo. I hadn’t given progesterone a thought.



have been on Arimidex for almost a year - usual hot flushes, aching joints etc but have recently noted a change of shape! I haven’t put on any more weight (I know because I’m overweight and weigh myself most days in the hope I could have lost 5 stone overnight!!) but my belly seems to have become larger and dropped somewhat! I am now finding it rather difficult to get into some clothes because they pull across my stomach. Anyone else had this or any ideas gratefully received!


Hi Sharon,

I am on femera, a similar aromatase inhibitor and feel like I’m turning into a teletubby. I think the lack of oestrogen in the body causes fat to be laid down in the abdominal area and turns the body apple shaped.

I have heard that this layer of fat is particularly difficult to get rid of by dieting.

Hey ho, time for another chocolate truffle then.

Wendy x


I just want to let you ladies know there is hope! I have been on Arimidex for about 16 months and put on loads of weight…started during chemo and hasn’t stopped to be honest…but I started dieting seriously 3 weeks ago and have lost over 9lbs. It can be done if you REALLY try and cut out the naughty stuff.

I need to lose another 3.5 stone so I have a long way to go but at least I have made a start.

Sheana x

Sheana - very very well done - make Christmas your target! XX

I have been on Arimidex since last Nov ~ no real aches or pains [well the odd stiffness] but around Christmas started to suffer from anxiety and dark moods ~ PMT type symptoms, my onc said that this could happen and should ease off after 6 months or so ~ it has! although I still have my moments. Other than that I’m really well and am very happy to continue with Arimidex.

PS on the weight loss Sheana! tell us how you are doing it!

Hi Rosie,

I’m doing it by virtually eating nothing!!! I’ve cut out all the treats…have fruit instead. Doesn’t hit the spot but it seems to be working.

To be honest I have been eating a lot of Weight Watcher meals with a pile of salad or veg to fill me up. I know it’s wrong to buy these meals but it controls the portion size I have because I have been going wrong there too. I should be exercising more but I’m working on that…

Sheana x

Sheana if it works for you!
I have been doing the specialK thing.
… for a couple of years!!! my weight is pretty stable but has reassembled around my middle! I walk my dog every day [briskly] so maybe if I ate what I liked Id be house sized by now! I have recently cut down on hard cheese and am trying rice milk on my cereal… let you know how I get on.

Rosemary x