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Femara Joint Pain

Posts: 23
Joined: Oct 2011

I have been on Femara now for about 6 months. The main problem I'm having with it is moderate to severe joint pain in my fingers and feet. I am 50, hobbling around like I'm 80. Femara is still better than Tamoxifan, which almost killed me via horrible hot flashes and weight gain.
I've been taking Glucosimine for the pain, which helps a little. Does anyone have any other suggestion?

Posts: 177
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Carrie,

My problem is the opposite of yours, but with ths same results. I started on femara, but it was so awful, I was switched to tamoxifen. Pain is not as bad, but istill suffer from joint pain and night sweats. Over the counter meds don't help me, so my onc. prescribed tramadol, which he said he is fine with me taking. I take 2 at night to help me sleep. I try to move as much as possible and get lots of rest.

It is a never ending struggle, but we do what we can. Hope it gets better for you,


Ritzy's picture
Posts: 4382
Joined: Aug 2009

Carrie, I am not on Femara, nor have I ever been on tamox, but, I know that the pink sisters here will post a lot of info and help for you.

Just wishing you good luck,

Sue :)

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010


Aromatase Inhibitors are known for their bones and joints pain. I have used them more or less for over a decade.

I wear fentanyl patches but, I do have a lot of other problems as well.

You might change to Aromasin or Arimidex.

When I was on Arimidex, I did not have bone or joint problems.



MGNS's picture
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm also on Femara and experiencing alot of joint pain in feet, knees and lower back. I have found that exercise of walking helps. My oncologist keeps reassuring me that this pain will stop once I'm off of Femara. I've been on it for two years and am counting down the next three years. I just keep telling myself that I can put up with the joint pain better than having the cancer.

Posts: 66
Joined: Nov 2011

They call it joint pain. I call it "my body hurts all over" pain. I've got Percocet for the pain. Some days I don't take any. Other days I'll take it every 4-6 hours. I don't take it every day because I don't want to get dependent upon it.

Right now, I'm on a vacation from Femara. I get to go off for 4 or 5 weeks. I've been off one week now and I'm feeling significantly better. My oncologist said that sometimes if you take a vacation that you can go back on it and the symptoms won't be as severe. That's what I'm hoping for. If this doesn't work then I might have to think about taking Tamoxifen instead.

Posts: 71
Joined: Feb 2011

Hello friends,

I watch the discussion boards almost everyday and want you to know your all in my prayers even though I don't comment much. I saw this topic and just thought I could help a bit. I had a lumpectomy in 2010 at the age of 42, then chemo, rad, herceptin for a year and started out with Tamoxifen. After a couple months, I had my ovaries removed (instant menopause) so they switched me to Arimidex. That is when all my problems started. The pain and stiffness became unbearable. I couldn't get off the couch. I felt like 100 yrs old! I walk almost everyday but it didn't seem to help at all. After 14 months, the chemo doc switched me to Aromasin. Although the stiffness and pain was still there-it was in different places (fingers, toes, knees, hips). After about 4 months of this, I told the doc I can't take it anymore! I was giving up. Then he prescribed Cymbalta.....30 mg to start, then 60mg. WHAT A RELIEF!! I feel normal again. I know everyone is different, but if this message can help just one person, I would be very happy. There is no need to suffer, talk to your doc and get them to give you something.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2015

Hello I just watched this and found that my case is similar to yours!!

I guess you are having wonderful life now as years have passed since the conversation here. Laughing

I had a lumpectomy in  Sept 2013 at the age of 53, then  rad and  started out with Tamoxifen. Then I had my ovaries removed too and started out with Femara. As you said the pain and stiffness become unbearable and I can't get off the couch now!  I told the doc and he said it was like that in my case.. ...You said your doc prescribed Cymbalta. I can't understand as I google Cymbalta knowing it is for depression. You mean you feel normal beacause of this? Does it have side-effect on you? 

Thanks a lot!

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010


There are many medicine out there that are useful for treating different condions. There are some anti depressents that work for pain relief, hot flashes relief, etc.

For instance, I am on Gabapentin which is actually an anti seizure medication, but I take it for nerve damage pain (neuropathy) relief.

Cymbalta can also be used for pain relief (http://www.drugs.com/cymbalta.html) "Cymbalta is also used in adults to treatfibromyalgia (a chronic pain disorder), or chronic muscle or joint pain (such as low back pain and osteoarthritis pain).

Cymbalta is also used to treat pain caused by nerve damage in adults with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy)."

Everyone reacts differently to medications. Some get side effects, some don't, some get different side effects than others. There really is no way to tell if one person will get side effects until they try the medication.

Hope this helps.

GlowMore's picture
Posts: 794
Joined: Feb 2008

I started reading your post today Annalee which was in answer to one from three years ago....only I didn't notice it.....until I realized that some of the women above are no longer with us.  SIROD (Doris) passed away just a month or so ago and she was a wonderful and brave lady who fought this battle with style and grace.   

I have not been able to use Tamoxifen because I am Triple Negative.....but I did have a lot of joint pain during chemo and radiation and I found that Extra Strength Gel Cap Tylenol helped to ease the pain and then I had a sleeping pill for the night time....however the prescription sleep pill made me extremely depressed.          I hope you find an answer to the depression and the pain and send you prayers for strength and courage in your battle.

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