I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy one month ago with clean margins and 1 out of 7 nodes positive. My HER2 was negative and my Oncotype DX was 23 (intermediate risk of recurrence). After 6 weeks of radiation, I will start on Arimidez. I have read about all of the side effects from Arimdex (high cholesterol, bone/joint pain, trigger fingers, fatigue, GI - diarrhea/vomiting, bone loss, liver problems. What medications have you been presribed to assist you in managing the symptoms and what types of tests do you have on a regular basis to determine health issues from the medication. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
I have been on Arimidex for 2 1/2 years. I was also worried about side effects. None of the side effects that I have experience have been that serious. Each person is different and you may not have any of the many side effects listed. I have some of the "typical" side effects... ie elevated cholesteral and osteopenia (bone loss). My cholesterol was already slightly elevated before starting the Arimidex so am not sure the Arimidex is to blame. I do take a Statin, and it has been effective in bringing the cholesterol level down. I might mention that I take Co-Q-10, which can help reduce statin side effects. My cholesterol is monitored (Lipid Panel) every 6 months. I also have had some bone loss... now have mild osteopenia (before starting it was normal). I am trying to do the best I can to prevent further loss (Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6 rich foods and supplements) and to avoid taking Fosemax. The more of these vitamins/minerals you can get from foods the better (I try to get 2000 of Calcium, 2000 of Vitamin D, and 750 of Magnesium, and 25 of Vitamin B, but dosage should be worked out with your Doc, in case any reason you should not take these amounts). Again, get as much of these amounts from your diet as possible (I would not take 2000 calcium as supplement... research has shown possible heart side effects. I try to get 1000-1500 from food and supplement to get the rest). There are several diet programs that can help you estimate how much dietary intake you are getting of these, so you can figure out how much you need to supplement. I've not had any bone/joint pain, fatigue, liver problems. Bone density done every 2 years. Liver enzymes done every 6 months. By the way, I have heard that the bone/joint pain, if it occurs, is soon after you start on the med. Good luck with the Arimidex! In my opinion, it is worth the risk!
I had a bi-leteral mastectomy July 2009. Lymph glands positive 19/23 with extra-nodal spread - lobular carcinoma. BRCA positive. I am 47 years old. Started Arimidex in November (along with Zoladex injections as I was pre-menopausal). Had Ooperectomy (total hysterectomy) after chemo and radiation (approx 1 year ago) to stop Zoladex. Since using Arimidex (now 19 months) I have had no crippling side effects, how-ever bone pain, raised cholesterol levels, arthritis symptoms (mainly in my fingers) and low grade nausea have occurred. My onco says chance of recurrence without Arimidex in 5 year term: 72%. With arimidex 58% - so I'm living with the side effects - which is not unbearable enough to warrant stopping using it. I believe use it and see ... fight this horrid disease with everything you possibly can and handle side effects a day at a time and see for yourself. Every-one is different and their bodies respond differently. Rather try than not??? Am using a sleeping tablet for insomnia, cyclizine for nausea and bone loss not bad to warrant meds. Do full body bone MRI scan, liver and lund CT scans every 6 months and bone density annually. Be positive about Arimidex for as long as you can handle it ... it does have the best results for post menopausal breast cancer adjuvant therapy! Hope this helps :-)
- Arimidex Information for Consumers
- Arimidex Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Arimidex (detailed)
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