Prickly skin

Anyone have any experience of this as a side effect of Arimidex?

I’ve been on Arimidex for 6 months and everything seems to be going well. I can feel that the tumour in my breast has shrunk a lot, the last scan showed lung and liver tumours at worst stable, at best reducing. However I find that if I’m hot my skin often gets very tingly and prickly - which makes me wonder about liver function ( I have one smallish liver met). I have no sign of jaundice and am feeling really well apart from this. I’m not due another scan until September as things seemed to be going so well and part of me is tempted to just ignore this. Am I just putting my head in the sand? I’d really like to get through the summer chemo free…


Hi Barbara

Glad to hear you’ve been stable and feeling well other than this skin problem. I have liver & bone mets, and have been stable for most of the 4½ years since my mets dx, on Bondronat, Aromasin (Arimidex for the first two years) & Xeloda. My skin has definitely become more sensitive since starting aromatase inhibitors in October 2003, but I’m 58, and our skin changes as we age with or without BC drugs.

Whenever I experience any new “problem” (I’ve had several episodes of new bone pain), I wait a week or so to see if it goes away. If it’s still with me after that, I contact either my onc team or see my hospice doctor or nurses to ask about scans and/or further treatment. So . . . I hope you’ll feel able to talk to someone involved in your care & support about this skin problem – I have always found my onc team is happy to bring forward appointments or scans, or schedule new/different scans, if I’m having problems.

Good luck, and I hope this is resolved for you quickly.

Marilyn x

Hi Barabara

Thats really good advice from Marilyn

I would just ask …how prickly ? when my liver mets were first diagnosed the first thing I really realised is that I was scratching myself in my sleep, I hardly even realised I was doing this even though i was leaving marks…so if it was just the odd prickly sensation, if it was me i would mention at the next visit, but if its causing you real discomfort I would mention before then…

Hope you get the answer you need…


HI - just reading this posting. Since being on Herceptin if I get hot and bothered my skin seems to prickle. I am a bit worried now - do you think it’s worth mentioning ?

Liz xxx

I juat wanted to add that Im a sun lover but unfortunately on my current treatment my skin is so sensitive, Ive had prickly heat for the first time ever, if you are worried then do mention it to your onc but it could just be a reaction to the sometimes sunny, warm weather the chemo nurses are also a fabulous source of info so do mention it on your next appointment. Ive had liver mets since 05 and never had any skin type reaction to them.

Sue xxx

This is good advice and reassuring -it’s only when I get hot and sweaty so maybe it’s just the combination of age, aromatase inhibitors and the (very occasional) hot days… I’ll save it till my next visit unless it makes me really uncomfortable or I get any other symptoms.
I hate the way this disease makes you question every ache and pain. I used to be totally casual and confident about my health!

thanks all


Hi Barbara

I had ascites (fluid build up) 2 years ago with my liver mets plus awful itching around my middle which wasn’t prickly just needed scratching all the time and it sounds that what you’re experiencing is different to what might happen if there’s a progression with liver mets.

The District Nurse was really good and prescribed some awful gloopy stuff that I had to drink but it relieved the symptoms.