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Tamoxifin vs Arimidex
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An_188632 posted:
My mom was recently dx'd with Stage I breast CA. Had lumpectomy with 6 wks radiation. Dr. now wanting her to start on Tamoxifin or Arimidex, but is kind of leading her towards the Arimidex. I've done research on both meds and neither sounds like a walk in the park. Has anyone had experience with both of these meds and could you give me some of the pros/cons of both? Thanks.
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kayjoedwards responded:
I have been taking Arimidex for a year now and have not really had any big problems. I have had some hot flashes but they are just a minor inconvenience. Also a little bit of joint pain but only in my hands.
I would certainly start with it and see what happens. The effectiveness is pretty well documented and if she doesn't have any big side effects it will be worth it. Even if she has problems, she can switch to something else at a later time.
kayjo
 
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rachael67 responded:
I am not surprised that the doctor is leading her toward an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex...The aromatase inhibitors were develpoped for the postmenopausal woman as Tamoxifen works primarily on the ovaries and PM ladies ovaries are no longer the main source of their estrogen.

Regarding risks vs benefits, that is a quandry to be sure. Everything has risks and determining if the benefits outweigh them is sometimes not easy. I hope after you both research the issues, a comfortable decision can be reached.

Please let us know how she is doing.

Blessings.
Rachael

Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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DiKay1024 responded:
I took Arimidex for the recommended 5 years without any significant problems. My doctor said the Arimidex is drug of choice over Tamoxifen for post menopausal women. At that time expense was considered a factor as the Arimidex was brand name only and very expensive. Now there is a generic version so that is no longer a problem.

Everyone has different side effects, but mine were some joint pain, mostly in my fingers and a bit in one shoulder, some mild hot flashes--even felt good since I'm cold most of the time!, and a slight decrease in bone density, but since my bones were good to start with it wasn't enough to go on medication for that.

Good luck to your mom. Let us know how she's doing.

Blessings, Di
 
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Susan8260 responded:
I have taken both (Tamoxifin for 1.5 years and have alternated between Arimidex and Femara for 2.5 years). I did outstanding on Tamoxifin, but my Drs. wanted me on Arimidex after my hysterectomy since I was Stage IIIA with 9 lymph nodes. I still have quite a few side effects (joint pain, neuropathy in hands & feet, IBS and Fibromyalgia to name a few). I have experienced a little bone loss but have been taking quite a few vitamins (Vitamin D and Calcium highly recommend) to help. My mom & Aunt had many of the symptoms that I do, so I believe mine is also more genetic related. I have done a lot of research in the past 4 years and there is a lot of support and many alternatives out there to help ease your decision making. I take things slower now, but I still do the things I love!!! Your family is in my thoughts and for the record.....I would still make the same decisions cause my cancer is still in remission!
 
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1jagfan responded:
I am on Arimidex - postmenopausal. Had some weird side effects the second week, but changed time of day that I took pill and now just have joint pain and vaginal dryness. Think that is the usual. Will have to be on for 5 years. Oncologist says this is the thing that prolongs your life. Better than chemo, radiation etc.
 
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miarka replied to DiKay1024's response:
Regarding costs: Arimidex just went generic, but I found that the brand name costs $454 and the generic was $429. I assume that it will continue to reduce in price. I get a 10% reduction for paying cash at the pharmacy so the last Arimidex prescription, in August, was $386. I don't know yet whether my new, pay for nothing, insurance will pay for it!
 
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DiKay1024 replied to miarka's response:
Wow!! That's not much of a savings! I thought generics were supposed to be cheaper. Figures they'd find a way to make us pay anyway!

Blessings, Di
 
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sadblossom replied to miarka's response:
My insurance company pretty well has forced me to change from name brand Arimidex to the generics. This I was opposed to tremendously but I was not given a 'reasonable' choice in the matter. On my insurance plan the generic is 20.00 for 90 days and the name brand is well over 900.00 for 90 days. It's a no brainer that I will be taking the generics. It was strange to me that 90 days ago the name brand cost me 60.00 for a 90 day supply of the name brand and as soon as the generics appear the name brand jumps to 900.00 for the same 90 day supply. This angers me enormously. But this is just another example of the impact the economy and gov. regulations are having on us in any way/area they can. As in , they have ripped us off in every other way why not hit the cancer patients now. LUDICROUS !
 
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Breezy1965 responded:
I took Tamoxifen for almost 5 years. Found out my body wasn't metabolizing it so switched me to Arimidex with a Zoladex shot since I wasnt' fully into menopause. I had bad memory loss with Tamoxifen and took Ginkgo to help that. Haven't had any side effects from the Arimidex so to speak.
 
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freefeather replied to Breezy1965's response:
Howdy Breezy! Do we remember each other from 5 years ago on this site?! Your name sounds so familiar...I changed my name (oh please don't ask what my original was!)

When I went through chemo 5 years back I was placed on Arimidex and I did a good long stretch of approx. 8 months hoping side effects would delete themselves. All of my joints ached terrible and my (Onco at that time)suggested oxycodone 3X a day or as needed. Symptoms only seemed to increase especially if I backed off on dosage.
When he suggested Oxycontin I got up and said no thank you...take me off the Arimidex and the pain meds. Within a month all my symptoms diminished.

Guess what I'm getting at is we all are faced with choices and decisions during our own personal journeys...none of which are easy & going against a doctors input is always possible. I took a chance and took myself off a drug I was told would help my chances of recurrence to be closer to nil. Hmmmm I think I made a smart decision. I was offered a different drug but declined because the side effects looked pretty much identical...why?

Oh and when my original Oncologist returned to our area (he thought he would like the Mayo clinic as opposed to private practice...heehee I just knew he couldn't stay away from all of his patients!) I made a bee line back to see him. One of the first questions he asked me was how is your memory? It was not good I forgot & I still forget alot of stuff I never had a problem with before. He told me to expect it cuz chemo brain is very real and mix a little menopause into the batch it doesn't go away. I was surprised I always thought after chemo it would just go away...forgetfulness and all! He even asked who did the fiances in our home & when I told him me! He said well you might consider changing over and I looked at him with one eyebrow up and he said well maybe not. Trust me this man has a sense of humor we adore so it wasn't a insult but we both knew where I was coming from.

I'm still fighting that DX but man I gotta tell you after 5 yrs it is not any better. But I have boot straps and I won't quit until my Lord tells me to rest!
I'm so glad Arimidex is working for you I just wanted to share my experience and I got long winded...sorry.

God Bless

We are a legacy to our strength...rejoice in your spirit daily!


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