Pain relief for sore joints when taking anastrozole

I am 6 months into my 5 years on anastrozole following treatment last year.
I have been experiencing joint pains, especially wrists and ankles, which are gradually getting worse. I had a particularly bad night with my wrists last night which prevented me from falling asleep for several hours. The only thing that gives me any relief is aspirin but they are not recommended on an empty stomach late at night. I do take them when I have to with a little milk.
Does anyone have any experience of doing exercises to get pain relief, or have any suggestions of alternative pain relievers?

I can’t actually share any advice but I can sympathise as I suffer from joint pain, although it’s the hot flushes that stop me sleeping not the joint pain! When I get up in the morning or after sitting down I waddle like a duck (or a very old woman) until everything loosens up. Ibuprofen works for me but that’s also dodgy on the stomach. As I’ve currently aggravated an old back injury I’m taking those but my doctor has also prescribed Omezaprole to protect my stomach. Sorry I can’t help more,
Madkiki x

I get joint pain form taking letrozole and my oncologist recommended I take glucoscamine.i also take omega 3 and find the joint pain is not as bad as it was. I also use aloe vera muscle gel which is cooling and helps with pain without swallowing yet another pill.

L xx

Thank you for your replies. I really should go to the doctor but I don’t want to complain about the joint pain. I was only weakly er+ and my oncologist has written to my GP with a note to say that the anastrozole can be withdrawn if I am having side effects as he doesn’t think I will get much benefit from it. I don’t want to stop taking the tablets. As far as I am concerned, anything that might help I want to be taking.
I haven’t thought seriously about the glucosamine/omega 3. I had arthritis in one of my hips and my orthopedic surgeon was very dismissive of its benefits. Maybe I should revisit these as a possible solution.
Madkiki, Know all about the waddling duck!! Interesting to see that you are getting some relief from ibruprofen. It suggests that the pain is caused by inflammation. I know paracetamol isn’t nearly so effective.

I’m not due to start taking Anastrozole until next week but just wanted to mention, when I was on Tax chemo and also suffering aches and pains from the Neulasta booster injection, my consultant advised me to take both paracetemol and ibuprofen. I mentioned to one of the chemo nurses my bones and joints were still painful and she said the best way to take them was to take the ibuprofen tablets first, then wait half an hour and then take paracetamol. She said this maximinises the effect of the two painkillers. I didn’t notice any difference myself but thought I should mention it.

Sorry should have said maximises not maximinises.

Thanks for the tip, likeslilac. I will give it a go.

i started taking cod liver oil and garlic caps and these have seem to help me
alison x

I was also told, like Likeslilac, to take ibuprofen and Paracetomol.I must say that I’m just tolerating the pain because I don’t know whether it’s the side effects of the Anasrozole which I 've been on for about 7mths or whether it’s my rheumatism that I have in my hip and it’s just developing in other areas.I do think it’s probably side effects as well as tiredness .I told the GP that I didn’t want to take the Alendronic Acid tablets that the Oncologist suggested because I read some pretty awful things about them .I’d hoped to improve my diet to help my bone health but because of the constaint joint pain ,I’m thinking of asking for another bone scan to see if the density has worsened since the last one ,last september,which showed osteopenia.I am also going to ask GP what the risks are if I came off Anastrozole altogether.
Doesn’t help you ,I know but it’s just an alternative opinion

bumping for majelsty

Cherryorchard,I’d read up a bit more on glucosimine,I’ve heard it can make cartilidge very gloupy…not good.I’m going to ask my GP if I can have a months break from the Anastrozole so that I can determine whether it’s that or my arthritis thats causing the pain.I didn’t have chemo or rads,just a unilateral mastectomy so the Hormone therapy is my form of chemo and to stop it altogether would be a bit radical but I have to do something about the bone pain I’m currently suffering along with the tiredness.I’m seeing him next week.

I have been taking Arimidex for a year now after surgery and 15 rads last year. I also have bad joint pain in my knee. the pain starterd in my thumb first then my wrist now my knee. I take paracetamol and rub in ibruferon gel which doesnt help much. Any ideas?

Hi, I am also on anastrozole ( have been taking it for 3 months now) and I have been lucky so far with S/e - I have ‘got away’ with only having hot flushes in the evenings and I have been able to cope with them quite well. Can anyone tell me do the joint/ muscle pains start after you have been taking the tablets for a while as I haven’t had any aches and pains until this last week but have just begun to experience aches and pains in my right ankle, wrist, thumb, hip and knee at odd times and don’t know whether this is a S/E or something totally unconnected. I was hoping that if I was going to have S/E they would have started as soon as I began the therapy. At the moment the pains are not too bad - and I find it strange that it is mainly on one side of my body.

I was taking Arimidex for about 6 months before the joint pains started. They were not too bad at first but have been getting worse latley.

Thanks for the info, Di-Di, and there I was thinking I had got away with it! I will keep an eye on this post to find how others cope with the pains and also keep on hoping that they won’t get too bad! Hope that your pain improves again. Take care!

Hello, I’ve been on anastrazole for a year now. I did suffer with some arthritis in my knees before, but that has gradually got much worse and also ankles, wrists, thumbs and big toes are affected now too.
Incidentally I have been taking glucosamine, omegs 3 and garlic tablets for years. not sure they do any good, but I daren’t stop - at least they don’t do any harm. I don’t think pain killers help much, but with regards to paracetomol and ibuprofen, I heard a radio 4 programme the other day, saying that the combination was more effective for head aches than either on their own, so I’m trying that. My hobbies are dancing and walking and I’m determined to carry on despite the pain.
I, too, am only weakly Er+, so my oncologist said we would see how we go. Difficult to stop taking it though. Interested to hear how anyone who has a break from it gets on.
Best wishes to all.

Hi I’ve been taking Aramidex for a year after taking Tamoxifen for 2 years, as my oncologist diagnosed that I had gone through the menopause from a blood test. My oncologist said the joint pains would be easier with Aramidex than Tamoxifen and recently I spoke with my breast cancer nurse who advised me the opposite so I am not sure who to believe but I do know that every morning my ankles are so painful and my knees and hips feel so sore when I have sat in one place for more than an hour. This is making me pretty miserable as I am about to take part in a charity trek next month and really wanted some advice apart from just taking more painkiller pills ie paracetamol and ibrufen. I recently started taking vit D and garlic capsules and have taken omega 3 6 9 and multi vit for a long time now. Any advice anyone ?

Hi ladies - Ive’ been on Anastrazole for 2 yrs and after initially bad hot flushes, it all settled down.  Then I started getting joint/muscle pains and swapped to Tamoxifen for a few weeks, but things got no better/worse.  Back on Anastrazole.  Things were ok until a few months ago, then I started with terrible leg and foot cramps, but have always had a tendency to cramp, so toughed it out.  Now I’m getting muscle tightness/cramps and terrible pain in left hip and leg when I wake up.  I cycle quite a bit and expect the leg muscles to be tight after a long ride, but this is constant now.  I’ve done yoga for years so am probably about as flexible as I’m going to get (not very!). 


It’s always bad in the morning and gets better during the day, today I took Ibuprofen and it eased off.  I know I’m a lot better off than some of you, but it’s getting me down.  What I don’t understand is why it comes and goes as it seems to do.  Sorry no answers, just whingeing!  I do have a chiropractor-type person who does an MOT every so often, and will go and see him to see if that helps.  He’s young and really hot, so 2 good reasons to go LOL! 



I have found the only way to cope with the aching joints and shooting pains is to take daily ibruprofen & paracetamol, as others have suggested. I also take Lemoprazole to protect my stomach, plus glucosamine & chondroitin ( high strength) and cod liver oil.
I have tried taking paracetamol on its own as I think the ibuprofen may be contributing to the IBS symptoms I am experiencing, but it didn’t work effectively for me.
I was on Anastrazole for 9 months but have been switched to Exemastane as my oncologist thinks I don’t tolerate the Anastrazole well and that can also upset your tummy as well as causing aches & pains. I have only just started that so too early to tell how I will get on with it.
As I’m high ER+ stopping the hormone treatment isn’t an option.
I have also started Bihar yoga on the recommendation of my physio, but found it too uncomfortable without the painkillers. The combination of gentle stretching and painkillers seems to be working for me and giving me a more bearable quality if life. Just not sure how long it’s ok to take daily painkillers…?
Whatever gets me through! A nurse friend suggested acupuncture might be helpful but I haven’t tried it yet.
Good luck & hope you find a solution that suits you xxx

Please read this. Too much of anything is not good for you and that includes water and oxygen. The original info on 8 glasses of water a day came from a mineral wAter company and has somehow been taken up as absolute fact.
BBC news magazine " is drinking eight glasses of water a day really good for you".
Sorry- couldn’t manage to paste the link.