User Reviews for Femara to treat Breast Cancer
Femara has an average rating of 6.3 out of 10 from a total of 30 ratings for the treatment of Breast Cancer. 43% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 20% reported a negative effect.
“I have been on Femara for 9 months. First few months were tolerable, as time progresses, I am miserable. In beginning, I experienced nausea and diarrhea. As this went away, the bone and joint pain began. I would be awakened from my sleep in tears, as my hips would ache just from lying in bed. My hands/fingers hurt to make a fist, or do any type of extended writing. My knees ache horribly. When I get out of bed in the morning, I need to stand still for at least 2 or 3 minutes until I can get my legs to work. Same thing when sitting for any length of time. I am 45 and feel like I am 85. ”
“I am 65 and have been on Femara for 2 years. Side effects quite severe. Joint pain, lost libido, dry vagina. However it is what it is and we must continue to take. So, I decided to fight the effect, dry vagina improved with a non hormonal lubricant. For joint pain, fish oil, magnesium, zinc and calcium twice a day, big improvement. Also each morning no matter how stiff you are, go walking, it warms up the joints and gets you going for the rest of the day. I also do weights 3 times a week to increase muscle to protect bones. All have made big a difference. No weight gain. Vitamins have certainly helped keep hair and skin in good condition. Three more years of it so it's best to just keep trying to counteract the negative effects.”
“After a lumpectomy for stage 1 Breast Cancer, I was prescribed two other aromatase inhibitors prior to Femara. I had occasional head pain in one spot from all of them. I also had trigger finger and terrible knee pain from Arimidex. My doctor then put me on brand name Femara and the joint pain, head pain, and trigger finger all went away. What is bothering me now is the hair loss (can see my scalp!), memory loss--constantly groping for words. Sometimes I do feel like I'm "foggy" but mostly I just can't remember words. I feel it is getting worse as time goes on and I do not understand why others report the same but there is no mention of this in the patient information leaflet.”
“I have been taking Femara for almost two years now after my second surgery for estrogen receptive positive breast cancer with no lymph nodes involved. Sure there are multiple side effects, some pretty tough to deal with sometimes but I am 66 years young and I love living. Give it a GO and keep on living.”
“I am 46 yrs old, stage IV MBC to lungs, been on femara for 1.5 years. My tumors were 40% down after one year and I am about to do next ct-scan soon. My side effects are minor muscle pain (and possibly some anxiety but may be unrelated). I have simultaneously adopted vegan life style and do regular exercise (yoga and walking). I have so much energy I don't know what to do with it. I don't gain weight either, and my muscle pain is usually gone after a brief stretch or walk. I highly recommend vegan diet and exercise to those who want to minimize pain. Thanks all and good luck.”
“I've been taking Femara for a little over 5 months and have yet to experience any side effects whatsoever. I'd been warned about hot flashes, night sweats, joint pain, muscle pain, and so far nothing. I have two smallish tumors in one breast that we caught very early on, and at my 4 month ultrasound they've decreased by about 50%. I'll have a nipple-sparing mastectomy in about 2 weeks with DIEM flap reconstruction...the grossest part of this whole episode in my opinion...followed by radiation. No chemo here, just a very healthy mostly vegetarian diet and tons of walking. I'm 69, 5'6", 135, and so far consider myself about the luckiest cancer patient anywhere. Maybe I'll start feeling sick at some point but not yet. Hang in there ladies!!”
“I have been on Femara for 3 months. After taking Tamoxifen for approximately 2 years, which I could not tolerate any longer, my oncologist put me on the Femara. While my hot flashes have pretty much disappeared, the joint and bone pain I am suffering is unbearable. My elbows, hands, fingers, knees, ankles and feet are the worse. In the mornings I cannot get out of bed. I take thyroid medicine in the morning and cannot open the bottle. It takes about 20 minutes before I can close my fingers or bend my toes. Nighttime is also bad. After sitting for short periods I cannot get up. I have never felt better in my life except for the constant agonizing pain. I am a very active 49 year old but feel like I am 90. This pain gets worse every day. I can only imagine what it will be like in 3 more months. I I am seeing my oncologist this week and am going to tell him I am stopping this drug. I believe the quality of my life is more important that the quantity.”
Frequently asked questions
- How many cycles of letrozole are needed to get pregnant?
- How does Femara affect your period?
- When do you ovulate on Femara (letrozole)?
- Does Femara make your hair fall out?
“I had many side effects- including, hot flashes, confusion, stomach problems, vaginal dryness, tired easily and bone weakening. On the bright side-I have had no recurrence and it is now 12 years since my diagnosis with lymph node involvement.”
“Had Grade A Breast Cancer that was caught early. Had a mass and one lymph node removed. Went on Femara on Nov. 8, 2014, the day after I finished radiation. At first, I didn't notice anything. Slowly the pain in my feet started, then other joints in my body. I felt like I was having trouble getting air into my lungs. I started feeling like I was in a fog. I already had been diagnosed with depression years ago which was under control with medication. I started experiencing depression a couple of weeks ago which included waking up and crying. That turned into suicidal depression. Without pain medication, I couldn't move around well. The bottom of my feet were killing me. I work full time. I quit the Femara 2 days ago.”
“I have been on Femara for almost a year. At first I had nearly constant hot flashes/night sweats. Was started on Effexor with nearly immediate relief. Have had increasingly painful joint and muscle pain, especially in my knees. Nothing seems to be helping much with that and it has been a major detriment to my quality of life. Have recently added Magnesium, Fish Oil and Glucosamine/Chrondroitin to the Calcium and D3 I had been taking. Hopefully this will ease the joint stiffness and pain. I am 52 and some days feel 92. Still I am cancer free so far, so I will continue to take Femara.”
“I have been on Femara for 3 years now, following 5 years on Tamoxifen as part of the Tango treatment for breast cancer. I have experienced severe joint pain, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, etc. But thought it was worth the effects in order to keep me 'cancer free'. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. I have also issues with bone problems i.e. broke my foot 4 years ago & chipped my knee joint. But hey I'm still here. Keep persevering girls!”
“I've been taking letrozole(Femara) 9 months, after a right side mastectomy for stage IIA breast cancer. I'm ER & PR positive. No radiation or chemo. I'm 58 & this is the only drug I take, besides vitamins. The first 6 weeks I had trouble sleeping, occasional dizziness, some joint pain, & mild headaches. Around 4 months in, I started losing hair. I'd guess approximately 25% of my hair has fallen out. Besides the hair loss, I have dry eyes, genitals, & skin. There's some stiffness & joint pain in my hips. These side effects are tolerable, especially, knowing that the drug is preventing a cancer recurrence. None of these side effects are enough for me to stop taking letrozole!”
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage 2) - underwent 6 months of chemo and 6 weeks radiation. My hair regrowth was pretty quick but began thinning significantly after about a year of Tamoxifen usage (could see my scalp pretty clearly in the front and on top of my head). My doctor switched me to Femara about 2 months ago - side effects include lots of hot flashes (about 6-10 daily) and weight gain which I am combating by working out everyday and cutting my calories. I am prayerful that I don't experience anymore hair loss or the joint pain that I keep reading about. Everyone hang in there!”
“I was on Tamoxifen for 2 years following breast cancer and doing fine. My oncologist wanted to try Femara because it could be a little better. I was on it for about 3 months when I awoke in the middle of the night with horrible joint pain, It had been coming on slowly, but I thought it was carpel tunnel, maybe arthritis. Then I realized that my doctor had said that joint pain was a possible side effect of Femara. I was also gaining approximately 2 pounds a month! I have been off of it for a month now, but am still having pain. It is worse in the mornings and evenings. Trying to grip with my hands is very difficult some mornings. My doctor said it could take a few months to get this out of my system. ”
“I'm 4 years status post breast CA and doing well... no recurrence for my Stage IIIA. I started taking tamoxifen, then my oncologist switched me to Femara. I do have frequent hot flashes ((whew!) and joint and bone pain that worsens with being tired. Overall, I am able to tolerate the medication, and my oncologist believes it is the treatment of choice for me. The side effects of being without estrogen are worse than the Femara side effects. I know the drug is working as having no estrogen produced results in atrophic vaginitis, decreased sex drive, and other female issues that are bothersome. But, in the big picture of life, it's a small price to pay to be, and hopefully stay, cancer free. I will continue to use Femara!”
“Had lump removed April 2014 15 treatments of Radiotheraphy then Letrozole. The Doctor only warned about making my already present aches pains worse but felt this was the best for my age now 70. I went out with Daughter Friday felt had to drag myself around so wiped out I feel need to sit down all the time. Go upstairs to bed time get top of stairs sweating very hot feel like running out of air have to sit down on toilet whilst I cool down. During the day constantly fall asleep. Feel this is a poor life with no energy to do anything.Wake in morning headache. sometimes feel sick.”
“Stage 4 HER2 positive breast cancer was found 2011. After a double mastectomy, ( additionally 6 other surgeries due to Staph infection and failed reconstruction attempts) 6 months of 2 types of chemotheraphy, including Newlastin booster shots after each infusion.. total of 1 year of Herceptin chemo infusions. 6 weeks of daily radiation, then... 8 years of Femara. Been taking this medication daily since August 2012...hot flashes/night sweats are awful. Anxiety occassionally. Easily out of breath after any activity. Difficulty maintaining focus and frequent forgetfulness. 3years with this medication and chest, bone and joint pain is intensifying. 5 more years to go. CANCER FREE STILL.”
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“Caused me weight gain, serious hot flashes, did not have joint pain, headaches, or dizziness before starting this medication. I know these are listed possible side-effects, however, these do cause some functionality issues.”
“I am 52 years old and I too feel older than I am. I already have problems getting out of bed and I suffered with Sarcoidosis which affect the organs and causes joint pain, sending me constantly to different Specialists. Now I am taking Femara and it's not only causing me more pain, but it's causing my hair to fall out or thinning! I also notice that my vision is impaired sometimes when I'm driving and I only drive when I have too, but sometimes I find myself trying hard to focus. This is scary! I am calling my Oncologist tomorrow morning first thing. ”
“Hi everyone, in 2011 I was diagnosed with stage 3A invasive ductal breast cancer - I went through chemo for 4 months and had double mastectomy in March 2012 - followed by 6 weeks of radiation. I was put on tamoxifen for a year and then femara which I currently take now. The biggest thing with femara is being like I am constantly tired and "foggy" - I can handle the hot flashes ( we live in Minnesota - where the winter lasts for 6 months) - I just walk around outside with a t shirt on and I'm good to go! Lately, I have been experiencing hair loss and I don't know if its due to the femara? Anyone else have this problem? Please let me know. Hang in there beautiful ladies (& men)”
“I have been on this drug for about 3.5 months now. I was on Aromasin (exemestane) for 2/5 years prior to starting letrozole. I was so hopeful that some of the horrible side effects would not affect me like they did on the exemestane...and for a while, it was not too bad. Now, in month 3, the side effects of severe joint pain, brain fog and shortness of breath are back with a vengeance and the last 3 times my blood pressure was taken, it was inching back up even though I started BP meds after the exemestane raised my BP. I never had any issues with my BP prior to taking these aromatase inhibitors. I guess my PCP will have to raise my dose of BP meds. I am also peeing constantly on letrozole and my hair is coming out more on my brush! UGH!”
“diagnosed May 2014 with Stage 3 Breast cancer after chemo, removal of the tumor & lymph nods, radiation I started Femara been on it almost 6 months and I have daily joint & muscle pain, fatigue, hot flashes, and most of all weight gain, Im really trying to eat healthy and exercise, but working a full time job its a tough routine to keep up with everyday, (55 and post menopausal). But hey Im still here and hopeful the medication does the good job of keeping the cancer at bay. Doing my best with the symptoms.”
“I have been taking Letrozole for one year now after a diagnosis of hormone related breast cancer. Initially my consultant (UK) said I would need a right sided mastectomy. However two weeks later when the biopsy results were back he said he did not think surgery was possible because the tumour appeared to be attached to the muscle. However, CT scan and MRI revealed a 1mm plane between the tumour and the muscle - phew! Letrozole was so effective that it shrank and softened the tumour and by January 2015 I was able to have a bilateral mastectomy. Lymph glands and bone scan were clear. Side effects: persistent hot flashes, so I always wear blouses with buttons and carry an ordinary fan in my handbag; it is a life saver.”
“stage I breast cancer. I Had lumpectomy no nodes involved. No chemo I chose no radiation.... Been on zoladex and famera so far very few side effects.... But of course I'm just now starting on my second week of use..... I recommend u to get blood work done to check for vitamin deficiencies... And address them it will keep your side effects at a minimum.... ”
“1.7 years, loss of hair, hot flashes, shoulder, elbow, hip pain, dry mouth, high cholesterol, high glucose, high BP...but if it keeps Cancer from returning the side effects, hopefully temporary, will have been worth it”
This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare professionals.
Learn more about Breast Cancer
IBM Watson Micromedex
Symptoms and treatments
Drugs.com Health Center
- Breast Cancer Guide: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis
- Breast Cancer: Treatment and Prevention Options
Mayo Clinic Reference
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