What helps you with Arimidex side effects ????

Hi all,

Starting this for littlemrs (see Let’s something, something Arimidex thread - can’t remember title, chemo brain !!).

All suggestions welcome !!

Liz x

Bumping up…

Any ideas yet ???

I have been on Arimidex for 20 months and find that yoga and cyling on a bike at the gym really help. I also lift some weights as I know that helps prevent osteoporosis which can happen when you are on Arimidex. Walking is also good and once I have made the effort to go to the gym I honestly do feel better and much less stiff and old! I am a very fit 70 year old who first had BC at 51 and then it recurrred nearly 2 years ago in the same breast.

Re the hot flushes, I find these get better with time but then suddenly reappear with a vengeance. When this happens I sleep on a towel. I also think alcohol increases the sweats as does very spicy foods. But I need a glass of wine in the evening to keep me going.

Thanks for that - I’m 44 and completely unfit !! I’m trying to get out for a walk on the promenade every day and also on my bike (it’s electric so I don’t have to pedal if it’s too windy or I get tired). Can’t lift weights as I have lymphoedema and at the mo I am banned from carrying almost anything in my left hand.

Hot flushes - I don’t drink and hate spicy foods but am trying to drink more water. Read at weekend that you should drink water at room temperature rather than cooler cos then your body will warm up to compensate and I could see the logic in that. I do have a chillow that helps a little bit. The last day or so, they’ve started to get worse again as the weather has got relatively warmer - for once I had been grateful for the minus temperatures !

I have been on Arimidex since November 2007 and don’t find it too much of a problem. I am 56 (57 in February) so well menopausal when I started. I am taking multivitamins with cod liver oil, prescribed by me, on the grounds it will do my joints good! I do get some hot flushes at night but just chuck off the duvet and wait to cool down. Apart from that I have changed nothing and it seems all right. What symptoms are you getting then?

Much love


Thank you for your posts and for starting the discussion lizcat. I’m walking twice a day as I have an energetic puppy and this does help me get moving. I am having a lot of problems with stiffness ( my daughter had to do up my boots yesterday!) and pain in my legs and hands. I’m taking MSM (after reading a post about it on here), glucosamine & condrotin (spelling?), omega 3 oil. I’ve resorted to paracetamol in the evening as my legs get so painful and I thought that preferable to getting ratty with my family! A friend has had acupuncture for side effects which she says was very useful if you can afford it. I have 2 pillows under an open window at night and if I get hot just swap them over so the cold side is next to my skin. Most embarrassing is sweat running down my face at work but I’ve just tried to laugh it off! I don’t wear foundation ( never did anyway) or other make up on my face as i think it would run so try to go for “dramatic” eyes instead. I’m not sure if it has the desired effect but one can only try!

I too exercise three or four times a week at they gym. But the best I have come across for coping with the side effects of Arimidex - is not drinking anything alcoholic. I have now not even had a glass of wine since New Year, and the effect is dramatic - no more muscle pain, hot flushes minimal!!

I will have been taking Tamoxifen for 2yrs this coming March and the consultant originally told me I would change to Arimadex after 2 yrs for a further 5yrs. Are the side effects similar with both drugs? Presently I get night sweats and my joints ache quite badly sometimes but I guess thats a small price to pay for the benefits. Has anyone else changed from Tamoxifen to Arimadex - is that standard procedure? Be very grateful for your comments x

Yes it is if you are post menopausal.

I was prescribed calcium/vit D alongside Arimidex but the aching joints were just too much no matter what I tried (cod liver oil, glucosamine etc).

I was so fed up I asked my onc to put me back on Tamoxifen. She pursuaded me to try another brand of aromatose inhibitor and put me on Aromasin last September. I can’t say it’s brill but at least it’s livable with.

Maybe if you really are suffering, it might be worth talking about a change?

Good luck.

Caz xxx

I’m seeing the onc on Monday so I’ll ask about another brand. I was on tamoxifen but as I was taking an SSRi and was concerned about the interaction (reported on cancer research site) instead of investigating whether it was the type i take Ithe onc switched me to arimidax. Now waiting hormone test reults as I was still having regular periods until 3rd FEC. As i’ve cut down SSRi to minimum dose maybe I’ll ask to go back to tamoxifen as I didn’t have such a problem with my joints on it rather than taking yet another additional drug to switch off my ovaries.

I’ve noticed that anything that would normally make me slightly hot now triggers a hot flush but exercise is good for us and does help with my joints.

Hi i have posted many times on this site re the same problems, mine was mainly the sweating, morning noon and night, when i first started the Arimidex August 2007 they took over my whole life, at night i sweated so bad that i had to change my duvet for sheets so i could change them in the middle of the night by morning i smelt dreadful! hated it, by day i used to carry spare underwear with me as i could actually wring my pants out they were so wet! I always carried a towel with me everywhere i went to mop myself up. I have to say that now things have improved greatly, I still have a fan in every room and carry one with me everywhere i go but everything has calmed down, fingers crossed the sweats at night have practically stopped, I still get flushes and the odd sweat during the day but nothing that prevents me carrying on with my normal activities. The help for me was from Chlonidine, i had tried magnets,sage, EPO, starflower everything ‘natural’ all to no effect but Chlonidine definitely gave me my life back.

Yes i still get nausea from the sweats which i loathe but it does pass.

There is help available but when you first start Arimidex and get all these nasty side effects you think it is going to be like it for life and your whole life is going to be subject to the sweats and flushes, I used to be hysterical with them, my poor hubby went through hell with me and eventually dragged me off to my very understanding GP who told me he would try everything to give me back a normal as possible life again. There are various treatments out there and if one does not work try another, acupuncture is also meant to be very good but i have a needle phobia!

Hope this helps and yes it does get better in time though when hyou are starting out it does not seem that way.

Best wishes

I can’t say side effects have been too bad and they do seem to get better over time. I’m 77 and now take paracetamol for hip pain when I wake. I also force myself to go for walks and always enjoy them once I’m out. Weight bearing exercise reduces the risk of bone loss and I’ll probably start taking calcium and vitamin D supplements soon. But my hair is growing so slowly and although it’s 7 months since chemo finished and 5mths since I started Arimidex my hair is only an inch long and sticks up like a soft brush. I guess I’m thankful to be alive and able to have these life-saving drugs.
Happy New Year to you all and good wishes for the future.

I am new to this forum and would love to hear from anyone taking arimidex after chemo and radio to see if they suffered from, not only aching joints but a feeling of pins and needles in the tops of fingers. I have been taking arimidex since sept 08 and have been told by onc that the aches are common and to take ibruprofen but that he had not heard of any complaints of tingling fingers.

Hi All,

Haven’t posted on here for ages as since i went back to work in september i’m always too tired!Felt i had to respond to dreamsorento.I was d/x january 08 at 44,mastectomy & TUG flap recon in march and FEC chemo finished end of august.I haven’t had a period since first chemo in may and bloods showing post menopausal so glad as wanted Arimidex as meant to be gold star treatment but i am not so sure now with the aches & pains especially in knees but the pins & needles in the fingers driving me mad as wake me in the night and onc just seems to shrug it off?Hot flushes have lessened since buying the "magnopulse"although have to be careful not to stick to sainsbury’s trolley,aches much better since taking the glucosamine/chondroitin/msm but ouch the pins & needles!Dreamsorento you are not alone!!x


bling 444 - Morrisons checkouts attract me with my magnet. Sadly I don’t think it’s doing much if anything for the hot flushes but wearing it anyway in desperation !

dreamsorento - could the pins and needles be from the chemo ?? One of the chemo drugs I had gave them to me - think it was the paclitaxel (or it may have been the gemcitabine). The aches and pains affect my knees, hands and elbows plus they seem to give me muscle ache especially in the thighs, even though they’re just fat !!!

Liz x

Hi to everyone. Bling444 possibly the pins and needles are a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. The side effects listed on my pack of Arimidex give CTS as one of them.I have lots of the aches and pains mentioned before and I have to have an epidural steroid injection for a disc problem that is much worse since starting the drug. Anyway, lokk up CTS on the web and you may solve your problem but not cure it. NHS direct is useful. Jenny

Hi everyone,
Many thanks for the replies about my pins and needles. I have just started taking glucosamine/chondonitin/msm and am forever hopeful.I will look up re carpal tunnel syndrome and see whats said. I suppose these things are a little price to pay to hopefully be clear of cancer but in the middle of the night things always seem bleak. I have now had a back xray in case anything is trapped but i’m convinced that the tingleing is to do with arimidex which has also given me clicky joints especially in my hands.
many thanks lyn x

Hi all,
I am also getting clicky joints in my fingers I didnt know that it could be Arimidex.
Anyone know if lifting is banned and for how long?If I carry anything heavy my breast becomes achey and I get pain in my arm
Jackie x

Hello all,
Yes… Like lots of you have joint pains -have beenon Arimidex for only three months- just 57 months to go!! My doc has put me on diclofenac painkillers - does help but don’t really like taking them regularly.

My son has been doing a bit of research on this and has come up with an alternative that is a natural product called Celadrin -for joints and cartilage- there are scientific research papers on its success but my oncologist hasn’t heard of it so couldn’t say whther it would be appropriate - has anyone else heard of it or like to google it andsee what you think. It’s much cheaper than Glucosomine and chondritin that I have just bought.

Look forward to hearing from anyone on the subject.

Not sure I can keep taking the tab but don’t know if I dare stop!

love xx

Hello everyone on this thread - I’ve read loads on this site over the last couple of years but never posted. This morning I’m feeling like giving up Aromasin - my hands and feet are SO achey,stiff and sore and over the last few days the pains are spreading to my knees. Also have numbness and pins and needles in fingers - think it is another common side effect. I’ve been on it since last Sept and was on tamoxifen for 2 years before that. Consultant sort of shrugs and says yes…side effects can be very painful…GP looks puzzled and suggests ibuprofen - really dont want to be on painkillers regularly. I’m sure there are others on here feeling the same - can we keep each other going and try not to give up just yet???
Love Anjie x