Taking Femara

maggs
maggs Member Posts: 164
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Is anyone out there taking the drug Femara, an aromatase inhibitor for post-menopausal women, especially if Tamoxifen is no longer working? I would like to talk about any side effects you are experiencing. I have been taking it for ten months, and it seems as though I have developed arthritis in my knee? Anyone else?

Comments

  • pamtriggs
    pamtriggs Member Posts: 386
    Hi Maggs
    I was on Femara for a short time when Tamoxifen failed on me. It didn't work either so I was taken off it & went on to regular chemo. There are a lot of hormone treatments out there (Femara is one of them) & they can work well. I never had a problem with arthritis but it may be something you were developing anyway & nothing to do with the Femara. Are you sure it is arthritis & not bone mets. To start with they feel the same. If it is arthritis & the Femara is working don't come off it. Try taking a natural supplement like Glucosamine for the arthritis. Medically it has been proven to work on helping rebuild the tissue round the bone that it worn.
    Good luck
    Love & hugs
    Pam
  • judy22
    judy22 Member Posts: 117 Member
    I have been taking femara now for about 5 months Also have the leg and joint pain. My e-mail address is [email protected] Judy
  • crickless
    crickless Member Posts: 14
    My suggestion is that if you think the pain is arthritis, then see an arthritis specialist to diagnose & treat it. I doubt there are many oncologists who are experts when it comes to arthritis. (Wish I had thought of that 8 months ago.)
    I have never taken Femara but experienced bone/joint/muscle pain that made me feel like I was 90 years old (I'm 60) when I was on Arimidex & Fosamax (to replace Tamoxifen, when the mood swings got so bad that I could no longer stand it). After 2 rounds of complaints to my onco (always via nurses) I was told that I have osteoarthritis and "afterall you're 60 years old, so you have to expect that...".
    Finally, I went to my family doctor, to ask for a referral to a rheumatologist to diagnose & treat the arthritis. He called the onco right while I was in his office, and then told me that the oncologist says that they are recently having lots of reports of the kinds of pain I was complaining about and that were not reported during arimidex clinical trials. Fortunately, my breast cancer was caught early, with clean margins and no lymph node involvement and relatively low risk of recurrance, so I was told to stop both drugs (arimidex & fosamax) and report back in 30 days. It's been only 2 weeks, and the improvement is dramatic. I know I do have SOME arthritis, but I've always felt this new pain was from the drugs. I'm just now learning to speak up, get 2nd opinions, etc. This discussion group has helped me make some progress there.
  • maggs
    maggs Member Posts: 164
    pamtriggs said:

    Hi Maggs
    I was on Femara for a short time when Tamoxifen failed on me. It didn't work either so I was taken off it & went on to regular chemo. There are a lot of hormone treatments out there (Femara is one of them) & they can work well. I never had a problem with arthritis but it may be something you were developing anyway & nothing to do with the Femara. Are you sure it is arthritis & not bone mets. To start with they feel the same. If it is arthritis & the Femara is working don't come off it. Try taking a natural supplement like Glucosamine for the arthritis. Medically it has been proven to work on helping rebuild the tissue round the bone that it worn.
    Good luck
    Love & hugs
    Pam

    What Chemo are you on now? I tried CMF but it almost killed me. I do wonder if the knee problem is metastatic. How did they know the Femara wasn't working? Tumor Markers or scans? Thanks for talking about it!
  • maggs
    maggs Member Posts: 164
    crickless said:

    My suggestion is that if you think the pain is arthritis, then see an arthritis specialist to diagnose & treat it. I doubt there are many oncologists who are experts when it comes to arthritis. (Wish I had thought of that 8 months ago.)
    I have never taken Femara but experienced bone/joint/muscle pain that made me feel like I was 90 years old (I'm 60) when I was on Arimidex & Fosamax (to replace Tamoxifen, when the mood swings got so bad that I could no longer stand it). After 2 rounds of complaints to my onco (always via nurses) I was told that I have osteoarthritis and "afterall you're 60 years old, so you have to expect that...".
    Finally, I went to my family doctor, to ask for a referral to a rheumatologist to diagnose & treat the arthritis. He called the onco right while I was in his office, and then told me that the oncologist says that they are recently having lots of reports of the kinds of pain I was complaining about and that were not reported during arimidex clinical trials. Fortunately, my breast cancer was caught early, with clean margins and no lymph node involvement and relatively low risk of recurrance, so I was told to stop both drugs (arimidex & fosamax) and report back in 30 days. It's been only 2 weeks, and the improvement is dramatic. I know I do have SOME arthritis, but I've always felt this new pain was from the drugs. I'm just now learning to speak up, get 2nd opinions, etc. This discussion group has helped me make some progress there.

    Thanks! I had bone pain in my feet while taking Tamoxifeen, but the onco said to go to a podiatrist. Now I do think the femara could be causing the arthritis to flair up, since arthritis runs in my family. You were lucky! I had a bad case of breast cancer, but they say my scans a re stlii clear-it's been four years, The Chemo almost killed me! I will consider what you said, since I am wondering if Femara can weaken your bones...
  • maryfsz
    maryfsz Member Posts: 31
    Dear Maggs;
    I have been taking Femara for 2 years now. I have been experiencing the bone and joint pain, but did not know that it was common with Femara users. I am very glad to know that. I just feel like a 90 year old sometimes. I also take an infusion of Aridia once a month since I have bone mets in several places. Long story. New leg, but I am now walkng and rode in a hot air balloon last weekend in Alburqueque, so doing better!
    My oncologist and I both believe the Femara is doing the yomen's work in fighting my cancer. I did chemo and radiation in the first 9 months, but have been off chemo for 17 months now and have hair (it's curly, too).
    I have been out of town, so I hope you read this message. I would like to keep track with you and other Femara users.
    Love to all who read this,
    Mary