Acupuncture and Vitamin D for the Management of Aromatase Inhibitor-Induced Arthralgia

Kartik Anand, Polly Niravath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia (AIA) is a very common syndrome which significantly affects breast cancer survivors’ quality of life, and it often leads to non-compliance with aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy. However, the treatment of AIA remains a clinical challenge. Here, we will review the current data for acupuncture and vitamin D in the management of AIA. Recent Findings: Acupuncture has been shown to improve AIA symptoms, but it has not consistently been proven to offer significantly more clinical benefit than sham acupuncture. Similarly, while some vitamin D trials have shown benefit, the studies have not consistently shown improvement in AIA symptoms. Summary: Neither acupuncture nor vitamin D can be touted as standard treatments for AIA. However, many patients do experience subjective improvement of their symptoms with these therapies. When other treatments, such as exercise and duloxetine, are not feasible or not effective, it is reasonable to offer a trial of acupuncture or vitamin D to patients who are suffering from AIA, as the potential harms are very few, and they do offer possible relief from AIA symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatase inhibitor
  • Arthralgia
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer survivors
  • Quality of life
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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