Yes. If you have a hormone-positive cancer, anastrozole inhibits hormone production and significantly reduces the chance of a recurrence.
Is it as bad as they say? You have to bear in mind that those of us who post on here usually have a problem. It’s not often someone comes on and says ‘Hey, I don't even notice I’m taking it!.’ They don’t need to use the forums and they know it won’t go down well with the sufferers. So you get a biased picture here about how bad anastrozole can be - and it can!
However, my own experience shows that the blame can be wrongly placed. I’ve learnt that I tolerate anastrozole well ( a brief hot flush an hour after taking it is my lot). I have excruciating joint and muscle pain in my hands, feet and knees and blamed anastrozole. But two periods (4 weeks and 6 weeks) off the tablets made no difference. Despite all my cursing, anastrozole was not the culprit. Nor is old age and decrepitude, as someone suggested. Nor do I have rheumatoid arthritis, though I have many of the symptoms. It’s hard with the pandemic, but it’s still being investigated.
Basically, the only way to see if anastrozole is the cause of any significant problems you may have is to try different brands (it DOES often make a difference, despite experts’ scepticism) and if that fails, discuss with your oncologist taking a break from it for a set period To see if the problems go away. If they do, they can try you on a different AI or look for other alternatives.
In terms of hand pain, exercise to build muscle strength is the answer. Ask for a referral to physio. Best of luck x
I used voltaren cream two times a day. I did stretching hand exercise and no longer have any thumb pain. None. Good luck. I heard voltaren is now over the counter. Mine was by prescription
I had thumb pain. However using voltaren helped. My oncologist said it was not the anastrazole but rather arthritis. I am now fine. I did thumb exercises and it helped. I can open bottles caps again and shuffle cards.
I’ve only started Anastrazole a week ago and am very apprehensive about how it will affect me.
what I did notice in all the research I did is that both medicos and research routinely assume pain is not related, that it’s because we are a pack of old women who ought to have pains, (even me who has zero pains at all pre this drug) and incredibly dismissive of the large body of actual
users and what they are reporting. I don’t see how a future reliant on pain killers is an answer and only someone facing cancer would be told such a thing so quickly. If I have this pain develop I will squarely blame the drug and be entitled to do so. I hope you find relief. It’s not affecting me yet but then it’s only been a few days.
My oncologist doesn’t think it is the anastrazole. Try voltaren gel also soaking hands in warn also helps. Don’t get shots.
Hi the shot helped slightly and it was sooo painful!! My hand is still the same the thumb joint is very stiff and sometimes painful but I've learned to Live with it now!! Just got the results of my 2nd year mammogram...all clear!!! So I'm happy sticking with anastrozole. Good luck everyone 💗💗💗
I have a question. Did the cortisone shot help. I was considering it. Mine only gets worse later in the day and if I use the thumbs to play cards. Are you pleased with your results. This is my only side effect from anastrazole
I have been using Voltaire’s twice a day. I got relief from that. If I play cards for a while it feels painful. I would live to try the cortisone shot. I see oncologist next Tuesday. She will say it is not the anastrazole. She always tells me to stop reading. I hate that she says that. You guys are my only safety net. Try the voltaren. Need prescription
I have been using Voltaire’s twice a day. I got relief from that. If I play cards for white it feels painful. I would live to try the cortisone shot. I see oncologist next Tuesday. She will say it is not the anastrazole. She always tells me to stop reading. I hate that she says that. You guys are my only safety net. Try the voltaren. Need prescription
I have been using voltarin generic brand. I rub it in my thumb and thumb joint twice a day. Does give relief. I cannot open anything jars etc with my right thumb. I have learned to adjust. Reports on how great anastrazole is that I try to get by
Ladies I had to have the cortisone injection in my thumb in the end as it got too much to bear!! The injection itself was horrendous. Like being tortured!!! It has given me pain relief in my hand though and it's not as stiff when I wake now. If I ever have to get another injection I'm going to ask for it doing under guided ultrasound at the hospital as I have been informed its relatively painless. My GP did mine at our surgery and he admitted they dont use any numbing agent, just cortisone in the injection. I felt violated when I came out. It was worse than anything I've ever had before!!! 😮
Hi Alibobs. I am on Tamoxifen plus I have lymphodema in my affected arm & wear a sleeve. I have recently been diagnosed with inflamed tendons in my wrist. I had a steroid injection 10 days ago and all my pain has gone. The injection itself was a bit uncomfortable & the cortisone was mixed with anaesthetic so my hand felt numb for a while. I wouldn't hesitate having another injection if I needed it. Prior to the injection I found the only thing that gave me some relief was using athletic tape over my thumb/wrist. Michele
I know this is an old thread but I've just been to my gp about pains in my hands. I've been on anastrozole for 16 month now and generally ok until about 2 month ago. My finger joints have started locking up overnight and my thumb joint in particular is very painful. The gp sent me for xrays which showed loss of cartilage in my finger joints, basically old age and dry rot!!! He said the pain and lumpy bone in my thumb joint is most probably arthritis. I have been prescribed gel to rub in and referred for physio. He suggested the cortisone injection but as my hubby gets those regularly into his knee and says they are extremely painful, I chickened out of that for now!!! It can't just be coincidence that so many of us on anastrozole are experiencing this side effect can it??
Hello Rosie, could you have trigger thumb? - where it clicks when you bend it, v painful. I had been taking anastrozole for about 18 months, and had trigger thumb in Dec 2016. I had a cortico-steroid injection (at my docs), which stopped the pain and then allowed normal movement after a few days. Due to other s/e I stopped anastrozole last Sept and started exemestane & hoped bone problems were in the past. No, of course not. Had trigger thumb again last Nov, but looked up trigger thumb exercises on youtube, and doing those and constant ibruprofen gel, my trigger thumb has now gone. It would have been quicker to go back to the docs, but at the time I'd had enough of constant doc appts. It did take until only a few weeks ago for my thumb to feel normal, but then have also developed peculiar sore pain right across both wrists, and found it difficult to do anything at all, except trying to rest my wrists all day!! Any movement could be excruciating. Kept using more ibruprofen gel and gentle wrist exercising, and have now begun to feel more normal again.
Would suggest getting to your doc asap, also trying ibruprofen gel, and no, you should never have to put up with pain. (I regret not taking my own advice and seeing my doc again.) Hope you feel better soon.xxx
I have been on Anastrozole for just over four months. Just over a month ago, I started getting pain in my right thumb joint and it is getting worse and worse. The thumb joint is stiff and painful, plus I am now really sore in the wrist bone immediately beyond the thumb joint. Knocked it a couple of days ago - only a glancing blow - and it was really painful.
Unfortunately I am right handed, so this is all now affecting me a LOT on a day to day basis - holding a mug, holding a pen, gripping the steering wheel etc. etc.
Is there anything I can do to alleviate this, or am I just stuck with it?