I'd been on Arimidex for more than 2 years after a recurrence when (back in January) I asked my GP if he would check my cholesterol level (never had it done before and I'm 62!) It came back as 5.6, but as the ratio of high-density lipoprotein to low-density was a healthy 1:3 he was perfectly happy with the result. I'd read that oats and some other foods can help to reduce lipid levels in the blood and we'd been having porridge for breakfast every day for some time, so I'm hoping that is continuing to help.
After almost 3 years on Arimidex I'm still getting the odd hot flush, but nothing like I was at the beginning. The worst thing is that my joints are starting to be much stiffer and often ache, a side-effect I'd thought I was going to escape :-((
My hot flushes are always but always in the morning, around 6 am. Was on statins well before BC. Such is life! Also blood pressue tablets - though with or withput the BP seems just fine. And am on Arimidex too. Thank god for it. Hey ho indeed Marionrae! Glad to be here and functioning ok!
Love to all
Hi I am on arimidex to. My cholesterol was 3,9 before I started and my gp is not to worried that it will rise.I have been on statins for a few years and also bp meds. It is difficult sometimes to make up my mind which med or disease are causing my symptoms. I think I'll just put them all in a hat and see what comes up. Hot flushes to are a real bummer. Been there done that and would rather not do it again but heyho.!
I am on arimidex and am having chlolestrol test tomorrow - I am 39, vegetarian, gave up smoking 6 months ago and try to eat healthily but I am concerned that this drug can raise cholesterol to rise.
I have posted this on behalf of new user Elaine.
Regards Sam (BCC Facilitator)
I have the same problem with cholesterol. I have been on Femara for five years and my cholesterol has shot up from 4.5 to 6.5 and my GP wants me to take statins. My ONC was non comittal about whether I should take statins or not, so who do I turn to for advice?? There has been bad press connecting statins to liver cancer, well when you have already succombed to cancer, is the risk of taking statins higher for us? I have been on a cholesterol free diet for the last two months and am having another fasting blood test in January to see whether I can lower the level myself. I am not sure I want any other side effects, there are enough with Femara. My GP had no idea that Femara can cause cholesterol levels to rise, I had to go onto the website and run off the information to show him.
Yes Harebell you are totally right - I just had a moment of rage thats all.
My first reaction was oh s*** I have to deal with possible heart disease as well - ARGHHH but I have spoken to a doctor friend of mine and she said pretty much the same as you - the benefits of Arimadex far outweighs the effects of high cholesterol and it only for a relatively short time.
I have had a jump in my cholesterol level to 6.8 that I believe is a consequence of Arimidex but my HDL (good cholesterol) is also high so the ratio is not too bad. I think all of us who have these raised cholesterol levels should get things in perspective. Avoiding a return of our cancer is the number one priority and the ATAC study has shown that Arimidex is effective in reducing the chances of metastases. If you keep your weight in the healthy range, take plenty of exercise and eat your fruit and veg I wouldn't worry too much about possible heart disease. We've got enough to worry about!
At 7.4 you need a statin. I have been on one for 5 years and absolutely no side effects. Just have to remember to take it every night so keep the packet by my toothbrush. It will become another habit!
Just got the results back and my cholesterol is 7.4 and I have no real reason to have a high result..So now what? Frankly, I've had enough of this crap!
I've had high blood pressure since the beginning of the year with various medications tried and abandoned. I was on the point of being admitted to Hospital as pulse was very high but because I didn't want to go was treated at home. I take propranalol to lower the pulse and lisinopril for bp,which is much better but still high on occasions. I am wondering whether I should have my cholesterol checked as gp hasn't suggested this. Due to see him shortly may see what he says
Have finally got round to having a fasting blood test and, surprise surprise, my cholesterol is 6.2. Pre-arimidex it was 4.9 and as my diet is probably more healthy now than it was then, I can only put the increase down to Arimidex. So I now have to make an appointment to discuss with GP as my surgery prefer cholesterol to be under 5. My onc never mentioned that raised cholesterol could be a problem - I think he was too busy telling me about possible joint and muscle pain!!
So the moral of the story is, if you're taking Arimidex, it might be worth getting your cholesterol checked out sooner rather than later!
I had a fasting blood test a year ago and was upset that my cholesterol was 5.7 ~ not mega high but considering I am a vegetarian and hadn't had any hard cheese or butter for months I was pretty fed up. Am now on Arimedex and considering another test ~ I have resumed eating cheese and butter so it would be interesting to see what it is now.Its a pity this thread wasn't around a year ago ~ it would have put my mind at rest! Rosemary
Me too! Results of blood test today show cholesterol of 7.4 I've been prescribed a statin. I was on tamoxifen for just over 2 years and have been on aromasin for 20 months. GP checked her little book for side effects and raised cholesterol is listed for tamoxifen but not for aromasin. Keeping a eye on my BP too as its "borderline".
MargaretC - just to say I am on Arimidex and a statin - just off to have a blood test after a night of virtually no sleep as my OH is ill and going downhill.
I too am due to start hormone therapy after chemo (Zoladex & Femara). I am really worried because I had high Blood pressure when on the pill.
Thanks for the info, will ask onc about this.
Its been interesting reading this thread as I have previously had to take Statins for raised cholesterol and being diabetic I have to be very careful. When I was diagnosed with bc and was on chemotherapy I stopped taking them but on my last test for diabetes my cholesterol level actually lowered.
I`m due to start Arimidex in 10 days at the end of rads so shall have to ask advice on whether to start taking Statins again.
I've been on Femara for 4 months following on from 5 years of Tamoxifen. My blood pressure has become high and my cholesterol is raised. I have been put on a statin and am seeing my doctor this week about blood pressure treatment having had a 24 hour test done that remained high even when I was asleep. The nurse is also concerned that my pulse is too fast and she thinks the doctor will have to give me tablets to slow my heart down. I suspect this is all down to the Femara but I would hate to stop taking them even if I need a few more tablets to add to my list. I also have developed gallstones which I understand 39% of women on Tamoxifen get. I don't have any symptoms of the bp or cholesterol so if the Femara keeps the cancer at bay I will carry on.
Have just re-read the information sheet for Arimidex and one of the listed side effects reads as follows:
"Raised or high levels of fatty substances called lipids in the blood".
Presume that means cholesterol? I'll definitely be asking my GP for a blood test on my next visit.
Yet another thing we may have to put up with in our quest to remain in remission.
Olivia - I've been taking Arimidex for nearly a year and find that the hot flushes "come and go" - sometimes I can go for weeks without any and then, all of a sudden, they start again. Think it's just the fluctuation in hormone levels that does it.
wow how timely to see this, I am on Tamox 4 months and my cholestrol has shot up, I have been taken off it for 6 weeks and on a statin now and have to go back on tamox, talk about a vicious circle
I am just about to have my annual blood test to check my cholesterol as am already on a statin. Having read the comments I suppose this will be up as well as my liver function tests. I think when I first saw my oncologist both these were mentioned but you don't always take in what is said. Will be interested to see any more comments. Have only been on Arimidex since May and now my flushes seem to be getting more frequent. Maybe it is just a bad day.....I hope so.
Just a thought. I was on Femara and listed on the side effects were stroke/ cholestorol/ high blood pressure / palpitations / thrombosis. As these pills do the same things perhaps side effects are similar.
Is Femara a more established drug than Arimidex and they have more side effects listed
Like you I have been on Arimidex for 14 months.
My cholesterol levels are within the limits but my Liver Function Test readings have gone sky high. I was convinced I had liver cancer. It was a very worrying time. Now it seems as, like you - after a routine blood test, that these readings may be high as a result of Arimidex. I am still waiting to have this confirmed by my Oncologist whom I see in November.
None of these symptoms - high cholesterol or high liver function tests appear in the written side effects so we are all learning as we go along.
All the tablets to combat this disease seem to have their adverse side effects - but must keep taking them!
After a routine healthy heart check up at work I was horrified to discover my cholesterol levels were very high. I was advised to have a more thorough test through my GP and the results have confirmed the worst - 8.4!
I've never had a problem with it before and the culprit appears to be Arimidex
I wasn't warned about these risks when I started taking it fourteen months ago. No surprise there,
I will now most likely have to take yet another drug to lower my cholesterol, with all the side effects associated with it. There is definitely no free lunch.
I was so upset by the results as I could be at risk of stroke or heart attack and would never have known, especially as I am due to take a flight in a few weeks.
I just want to warn others on the drug to have their levels checked regularly. I haven't seen any other posts about this so doesn't seem to be a subject that's on the radar.
stay well AW