Herceptin and Taxotere Muscle aches

Hi I have just had 6 chemos of Taxotere and Herceptin and have no more Taxotere but to continue with Herceptin. I had a recurrence 5 years after my original diagnosis and treatment of mastectomy, chemo, radio and tamoxifen. I am extremely tired but the worst thing is the muscle aches. They are so bad I can hardly walk any distance . Will this stop or will it continue with the herceptin . DOes anyone else have terrible muscle aches?

Hi… I have had 6 chemo… 3 X FEC and 3 X Taxotere and am currently receiving Herceptin with dose number 11 due soon. I started to experience joint pain in my knees last December which I blamed on the Herceptin and my oncologoist agreed saying that “flu like symptons” were a side effect of Herceptin. I can’t walk any distance and if sit for to long knees stiffen up… Also find due to the inability to exercise… walking was one of my hobbies I am finding it impossible to shift the excess two stone which I have put on since diagnosis in April 2008. I expect the aches and pains to last until the Herceptin is finished and until it leaves the body completely…

I had the same combo in 2006, joints and muscles really ached. I carried on with the herceptin and the aches did disappear so I think the taxotere was to blame .

I’m currently back on herceptin alone (just had my 4th cycle yesterday) and am not experiencing any muscle ache this time round.

good luck,
Jackie x

hi there,

Just had second Tax and herceptin last Tuesday. About 4 days in I get terrible aches and flu symptoms! Don’t know what to blame it on? I have one more cycle then 3 FEC , then herceptin for a year. I’m hoping when Back on herceptin I don’t get achey symptoms!! The symptoms are such a pain. And the not knowing if or what you’re going to get really drives me nuts!!

Luv n hugs

Fiona xxx

I had FEC & Tax in 2007, followed by rads, and didn’t start herceptin till after the rads. For me the aches & muscle weakness definitely came from the tax. Apart from weak nails I had no side effects from herceptin until about 9 months into it. Then I started getting tired - I just felt really worn out. This is quite common I believe - it’s a cumulative effect of months of herceptin. I finally finished herceptin Dec 08, and now feel well, although I don’t seem to have as much stamina as I used to. But then I had 22 months of continuous treatment, so it’s not surprising. I am running the 10k race for life this year, so the stamina issue is very much a relative one. And a lot of it is probably down to the broken nights with hot flushes.

I had severe muscle aches for several months after I completed the taxotere. Eventually it goes away but it may take some time. It was very painful and debilitating…hang in there!

I am only on herceptin now and was feeling some joint aches in my knees and wrists. I also do not have the stamina I had a few months ago. I’m glad to hear that others have experienced similar side effects with the accumulation of the treatments (even though I was told there were no side effects)!

I’m planning to do the Avon 40 Mile Walk in October and have already started my training. I’m almost at the end of my treatment, and hope that these symptoms will dissipate soon! Any one have any thoughts about this?

hi guys
just wanted to say that i have completed my courses of chemo n radio and i am on my 4th course of herceptin x and im finding im suffering with terrible aches and pains x they actually came on whilst i was on the infusion this time x i could barely walk and went straight home to bed and have been really tired for a couple of days after x does anyone know if its likely to get worse as i didnt think you could get these side effects x its like havin my tax chemo all over again x lol x

I finished my chemo before Xmas and have received my 3rd dose of herceptin.I get muscle pains all over but particularly in my thighs.I try and walk 2 miles a day ,which seems to help and am careful not to dash upstairs as this seems to trigger off the pain.I haven’t taken anything for pain as it’s bearable.My right big toe joint is really sore from arthritis.It went away with chemo-oddly enough.Perhaps it was the dexamethasone I took before and after the docetaxel?
I do feel much better and more energetic since chemo however,so I have a lot to be grateful for.

this is an interesting thread - I had my last TAX on 16th Nov and just had node clearance surgery and I have done 4 out of 18 herceptins. Since the surgery, my right leg constantly aches, from groin to toes and my ankle is very sore and stiff. I am imagining all sorts of sinister things but maybe it’s the herceptin. Its a different feeling from the nerve TAX pains that I had. Am seeing GP tomorrow, so will go from there. Keeping me awake at night and it feels like a dead leg!

Hi All,

I had my last Tax in August and still having Herceptin. I posted a few weeks ago about joint and muscle pains. Mine kicked in as soon as the weather turned cold and were really severe at first. My Onc is convinced it’s a hangover from Taxotere. The pain has eased a bit now but joints are still swollen and stiff. My muscles still hurt after doing anything but that might be down to lack of exercise. I’m hoping it will all get better along with the weather!

Jan xx

V interested to hear postings on muscle pain. I have just finished fec and then TAX chemo and will go onto herceptin after radio. Last week I noticed my thighs were really weak and achey on exercising. I am really frustrated by it as I have kept a high level of fitness through my treatment though it got progressively harder near the end. I have gone from running 5k to struggling to run 1k and it feels like the blood isn’t getting through to the muscle. I don’t have any pain otherwise except when I stretch in bed!
I believe it’s the Tax which has done this and am just sickened if Herceptin is going to do the same. Interestingly,I was unusual at the hosp for suffering muscle pain on Tax but from reading this thread I wonder - Is it only those who experience muscle pain on Tax who also get it on herceptin?

I had 3 sessions of Tax finishing a year ago and I have had 14 of my 18 herceptins now. I had awful muscle and join pain during the tax - some days walking down the stairs reduced me to tears, but I have been fine with the Herceptin. The only side effect I have from the Herceptin is tiredness so it does not follow that pain with tax = pain with herceptin. I returned to work just before starting herceptin and have managed ok.

bone scan tomorrow as leg is no better. ONC thinks it may be down to the herceptin, but goin to check it out … will keep you posted.

i am suffering with severe muscle pain after 3rd fec. due to start on tax and herceptin in 3 weeks. chemo nurse said paracetamol was ok but it doesn’t help i feel like i have been kicked by a horse. is this usual and will it continue with the tax.


Hi Dixons,sorry your having the pain,I had horrible muscle and Bone pane with tax I took co-codamol and I think others have used tramadol
It did ease the pain but made me very sleepy.I am a bit surprised that your chemo nurse said it was ok to take paracetamol I was told not to take it as it can lower a temperature which could be infection. Hope your feeling better soon, love Melxx

It is so confusing when different units give different advice. I was told to take codeine and paracetamol as you could take more than cocodamol, because of the paracetamol content. I was led to believe that ibuprofen might be v effective but as I already had digestive problems it wasn’t a good idea.

Hope you find something that works.

I finished Chemo in oct and still have aches in lots of muscles, mostly in the morning, but I don’t know if that is herceptin or still Chemo after effects.


Hi All, I have just done final chemo, 3 FEC, then 3 Tax with herceptin. I have had a lot of muscle/ joint aches, but as yet, cannot compare them to how they would be from the herceptin alone. I also have a Neulasta jab, which causes a lot of aching, esp in your back. The only other thing I can add, is from the experiences of a good friend who did the same regime as me, but without the herceptin. She had a lot of aches and pains that hung around afterwards, and was told it was the Tax ‘hangover.’
Good luck everyone,

bumping this up as I finished tax in early feb and am now on just herceptin and tamoxifen. I am nearly at pre chemo weight, force myself to be active! walk 3-5 miles per day but flipping heck do I ache! even my fingers ache.

GP suspects its the herceptin as its listed as a SE…anyone else got aches n pains and if so any ideas as to combatting them??


I had tax, then herceptin. I know the aches started with tax, but I find my feet and calves ache in the morning. I hobble downstairs. It does only take about ten mins before they get loose, but it is v uncomfortable. I feel like 39 s a bit young for feeling like this but hope it goes after I am finished. I do know others on herceptin who have pain a lot worse than mine. Sorry, I don’t have any cures. Hopefully some others will…