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AIMS: Recent evidence shows aromatase inhibitors (AIs) to be of benefit over tamoxifen in the adjuvant setting. It is also apparent that musculoskeletal symptoms associated with AIs may be a significant problem in the clinical setting. The aim of this article is to review the data on AIs with respect to musculoskeletal symptoms in the adjuvant setting. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A review on the literature relating to AIs in the adjuvant setting and musculoskeletal symptoms. RESULTS: Results of phase III trials show lower incidence of musculoskeletal symptoms than reported in the clinical setting. DISCUSSION: AIs offer a significant advantage over tamoxifen. More research is required to ascertain the cause and to define the spectrum of musculoskeletal symptoms reported in women taking AIs. Decision of appropriate treatment should be made jointly between clinician and patient after full discussion of the risks and benefits.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





76 - 79


Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal, Aromatase Inhibitors, Breast Neoplasms, Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Drug Administration Schedule, Evidence-Based Medicine, Female, Humans, Musculoskeletal Diseases, Tamoxifen