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

  • Kartik Anand
  • Polly NiravathEmail author
Integrative Care (C Lammersfeld, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Integrative Care


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.


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.


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


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Kartik Anand and Polly Niravath declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Houston Methodist Cancer Center/Weill Cornell MedicineHoustonUSA

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