Tamoxifen versus Arimidex?

DJC Member Posts: 52
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm due to complete my regimen of chemotherapy post radical mastectomy/reconstruction December 10th (4 cycles of AC/4 cycles of Taxol). Radiation will not be required and due to having been thrown into early menopause, I'll then be required to start estrogen suppressive therapy shortly thereafter. The pathology of my tumor was as follows: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, ER-positive/PR-positive, 3.7 CM, 1 Setinel Node minimally involved, HER-2 negative, no lymph node involvement, first occurrance, staged at IIb. I'd like to solicit reactions from users of both Tamoxifen and Arimidex. From my research, Arimidex seems to have been judged as slightly more effective and tolerable in and for first occurance postmenopausal women. And has anyone been treated with a coupling of these two drugs concurrently? Your responses, as always, are most appreciated. Donna :)


  • QQN4answers
    QQN4answers Member Posts: 16
    I have been on Tamoxifen since June of this year and have been lucky not to have any side-effects except hot flashes. I do notice that it is difficult to lose weight on Tamoxifen. My Onc. just this week switched me to Arimidex so it is to early for me to be able to tell if there are any major side effects. My Onc. thinks its a better drug. Who Knows. I'm not sure if they finished the 5 year trials before putting Arimdex on the market, so it will be interesting to see if it works as well as the Dr's have been saying. Hopefully they will have some numbers soon so those of us choosing to take it will know if we made the right choice. Sorry I can't be more definitive. Liz :-)
  • obliva
    obliva Member Posts: 18
    I tried using tamoxifen the first time I got cancer. My hot flashes were unbearable...to the point I decided that cancer wasn't as bad as the "cure". I quit after taking it about six months. Of course, this time round I told my doctor I couldn't go back on it. I'd rather take my chances again. So I am on arimidex. Started this just over a month ago. So far so good. I am having some hot flashes but they aren't as strong as the last time, I have fewer and they don't seem to last as long. I had 4 of 8 positive nodes, bilat. mastectomies.
  • marytres
    marytres Member Posts: 144
    Hi Donna, don't know if I can be of help or not but I took Tamoxifen when I finished my chemo in 2000. After doing research on internet, I found out about Arimidex. I asked my oncologist when I went for bloodwork in 2002 and he said to wait for my results. When I got my results back, all clear, the nurse gave me the ok to take Arimidex. I did discuss it with my oncologist and he also thought it was a better drug. I don't have too many side effects as I did with Tamoxifen. I would opt for the Arimidex but maybe you'd like to talk/discuss it with your oncologist first. Good luck. Hugs, Marie
  • jake10
    jake10 Member Posts: 202
    Hi, my pathology was very similar to yours but I had a very small tumor (0.6cm) and no node even sentinal. I required no chemo.
    Arimidex - I have been on it for almost a year now. I was post menapausal at time of Diagnosis. I choose it over tomoxifen because of the decreased risk for uterin cancer. I had a family history of uterine ca.
    The way it was explained to me was: Arimidex works by blocking the synthesis of estrogen, while tomoxifen blocks the receptor sites. So physicians are feeling like the Arimidex is a surer bet.
    Side effects: I have noticed hot flashes, worse in the summer and leg pain/stiffness. I have also noticed on this site a lot of comments about foot and ankle pain. I find that the pain eases up if I don't sit for long periods of time, but if I do the pain eases up as I move around.
    Hope that helps, Beth
  • epgnyc
    epgnyc Member Posts: 137
    Hi Donna. I'm ER/PR negative so can't take either of these drugs. But my best friend started directly on Arimidex after discussions with her oncologist - he thought it was the better drug. She said her side effects are minimal (a few hot flashes and some minor bone pain). Talk to your oncologist about it - but if it were me, I'd opt for the Arimidex. Ellen
  • TylersMom1
    TylersMom1 Member Posts: 57
    Hi Donna,

    My diagnosis was very similar to yours and I have been on tamoxifen for one year. When I began taking it, I took it in the morning and was a little sick to my stomach. I changed the time of day I took it; now taking it at night before I go to bed. I have not had any other side effects. Hope this helps. God bless...Cheryl
  • cinder
    cinder Member Posts: 50
    Hi Donna I had a lumpectomy in 1993, went thru chemo & radiation. I then went on tamoxifen for 5 years(had very little problems with it, except some hot flashes)Had a return of my cancer in March 2003, am now on Arimidex with little side effects except some hot flashes but not too bad to handle. Hope this helps, Prayers to you.
  • Kathy713
    Kathy713 Member Posts: 6
    I was diagnosed with DCIS Sept 2000. Two lumpectomy's latter, they found a small 7mm tumour and I was then IDCIS. I had my masectomy and tram flap reconstruction Jan 2001. A couple of months later I began taking Tamoxifen. I asked about Arimedex, cause I had heard that it didn't have as much of a problem with hot flashes. My oncologist at Duke feels that Tamoxifen is tried and true and will recommend it until Arimidex has been out there longer. Other than hot flashes (I prefer to think of them as "power surges" or my personal summer moments")I have not had any trouble with the Tamoxifen. I'm more than 2 1/2 yrs. into my 5 yr regimen. We joke about my being "one of the lucky ones". Most people get passed the hot flashes after 6 mo. or so. I guess that I'll just continue to dress in short sleeves and light layered clothes all year.