Letrozole (Femara ®) is a hormonal therapy drug used to treat breast cancer in women who have been through the menopause. Coleman RE, Bolten WW, Lansdown M, et al: Aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia: clinical experience and treatment recommendations. Discover information about different types of cancer, Learn about cancer, diagnosis, treatment, coping & survivorship, Find resources & tools for oncology healthcare professionals. Integr Cancer Ther 8:123-9, 2009, Mao JJ, Stricker C, Bruner D, et al: Patterns and risk factors associated with aromatase inhibitor-related arthralgia among breast cancer survivors. This content does not have an English version. Joint pain is a very common problem with many possible causes, but it's usually a result of injury or arthritis. However, these medications are not without side effects of their own, so each patient should discuss his/her health history with the team before starting these medications. Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are a common therapy for post-menopausal women with hormone positive breast cancer. I have been on it for 5 years and will come off it and move to Tamoxifen in October. Unfortunately, studies have not found consistent predictors. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). The phase IV clinical study is created by eHealthMe based on reports of 24,728 people who have side effects when taking Letrozole from the FDA, and is … Some studies have suggested that calcium and bisphosphonate therapy (used to prevent/treat osteoporosis) may also prevent AI-related joint symptoms. While there are no studies to confirm the effectiveness of changing to another drug, some practitioners will switch to another AI or tamoxifen when symptoms are unmanageable and may lead to the patient stopping therapy altogether. Hi! Hello Yvonne I am taking letrozole and have been for four and a half months in order to shrink the tumour before surgery. The most common side-effects of treatment are hot flushes, sweating, joint pain, and feeling tired. Receive the latest resources and updates in your inbox. They may be able to offer ways of improving your symptoms. However, for some people they may cause distress and disrupt everyday life. The joint pain is usually relieved when the medications are stopped. swelling and tenderness or pain along a vein – these can be signs of a blood clot muscle weakness, pain or swelling in the joints or tendons in your ankle, calf or legs, shoulder or arms a high temperature or chills – these can be signs of an infection Joint and bone pain: Anecdotally, bone and joint pain has been a commonly reported effect of Letrozole, and in fact is a more commonly reported effect resulting from Letrozole than any of … The actual cause of AI-related joint symptoms is not well understood. Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic joint condition and affects 27 million people in the U.S. When the problem becomes chronic, patients may end up with deformity and permanent damage to the articulation, as well as joint stiffness. The Femara is an excellent drug. I’ve found that trying to as active as I can on the good days seems to help my joint pain … My doc said that letrozole affects the bursa in your joints, causing an inflammatory type response. Up to 50% of women taking an aromatase inhibitor have joint pain or stiffness. The management of joint symptoms is of utmost importance to helping patients complete their prescribed therapy in full. If you have any side effects, whether they’re listed here or not, talk to your GP or treatment team. I started taking Arimidex 13 months ago. If there was no previous history of arthritis prior to taking Femara or Letrozole, then joint pain as a side effect will eventually go away after intake. Began letrozole, experienced hot flashes/insomnia. To derive the full benefit from AI therapy, it is important to take the medication daily, for as long as it is prescribed. Joint pain: Symptom — Overview covers definition, possible causes of joint pain. The reason is not understood, but it does appear smokers suffer more pain than nonsmokers, in the back, legs, knees, and joints. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. This drop may actually lower the pain threshold, allowing the brain to better "detect" joint symptoms that already exist. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Arthritis isn't the only cause of joint pain. Common bisphosphonates are Fosamax (chemical name: alendronate sodium), Actonel (chemical name: risedronate), and Boniva (chemical name: ibandronate). 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