This is an informational post.
As many of you know or have experienced, the AIs ( Arimidex, Femara, Aromasin), which are used to treat hormone-receptor positve breast cancer, often produce joint or muscle pain as a side effect. For about 20% of women, the side effects are so severe that they stop taking their medicine, which increases the risk that their breast cancer will recur.
Research presented at the 2010 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium indicated that adding duloxetine (Cymbalata), a drug used to treat anxiety and depression, to their medication regimen resulted in the women's pain scores decreasing an average of 61% after 8 weeks of treatment with duloxetine. The drug is believed to relieve pain due to the effects it has on the central nervous system.
Cymbalta is not without its own possible side effects, but for women considering giving up on their AIs, it might first be worth seeing if this drug makes an AI tolerable.