What about Femara

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carol41
carol41 Member Posts: 25
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Tomorrow I will have the last of 35 radiation treatments. My onc wants me to go on
Femara. Has anyone had experience with this? I'm just so tired of being tired. I
have already done the adria/cyclo and taxol chemo and have been at this since my
dianosis in May of 2008. Are there any side effects??
«13

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  • m_azingrace
    m_azingrace Member Posts: 399
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    Femara
    Dr. started me on Femara about 2 weeks ago. So far the side affects have been minimal...hot flashes mostly. However, Femara does weaken the bones, so he's also going to start me on a monthly infusion of something like Zometa. That also causes side affects in some people, so I will be monitored closely for kidney function. There's a down side to everything. I've known a couple of other people who are taking Femara, and they are doing great with it. I take one pill a day.
  • Akiss4me
    Akiss4me Member Posts: 2,188
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    Congrats Carol
    Sorry I don't have info on the Femara (I'm taking Tamoxifen) but wanted to say congrats on your last Rad treatment tomorrow. I know what you mean about being tired of being tired. It does SLOWLY get better, so set your sights on that next phase! Pammy
  • sgamtd
    sgamtd Member Posts: 124
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    What about femara
    Carol, I also want to say congratulations on finishing radiation. I will start radiation next week, be done early november and also was told I should take femara for 5 years.
    I hope many survivors that have been using it for a long will post and let you and us know how they are doing, I have osteoporosis already, a t score of -3.63, have been taking fosamax for years, and my onco doc suggested reclast IV (a yearly dose I think)since I am not improving anymore on the fosamax, but at least not getting any worse either.
    I have until early november to read up on the femara and reclast, and plan to, both have side effects, alas they can be helpful too. Sure wish more of these treatments came with GUARANTEES, lol.
    You have had a long time in treatment, I can understand you are tired of being tired, but hang in there, someone will post and let us know what to expect. Did the onc mention the improved percentage in surviving bc if you took femara ? Mine would actually only improve 1%, therefore I am still undecided. Good luck to you
    sgamtd
  • carol41
    carol41 Member Posts: 25
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    sgamtd said:

    What about femara
    Carol, I also want to say congratulations on finishing radiation. I will start radiation next week, be done early november and also was told I should take femara for 5 years.
    I hope many survivors that have been using it for a long will post and let you and us know how they are doing, I have osteoporosis already, a t score of -3.63, have been taking fosamax for years, and my onco doc suggested reclast IV (a yearly dose I think)since I am not improving anymore on the fosamax, but at least not getting any worse either.
    I have until early november to read up on the femara and reclast, and plan to, both have side effects, alas they can be helpful too. Sure wish more of these treatments came with GUARANTEES, lol.
    You have had a long time in treatment, I can understand you are tired of being tired, but hang in there, someone will post and let us know what to expect. Did the onc mention the improved percentage in surviving bc if you took femara ? Mine would actually only improve 1%, therefore I am still undecided. Good luck to you
    sgamtd

    Femara
    Thanks for all your imput and encouragement . . . my doc said that for me he preferred Femara.
    The downside is that it is quite a bit more expensive if my insurance doesn't cover. Canada Drugs has it for about half price if they won't and an even cheaper generic. There is no generic here in the states.
    Had a bone density test about 3 years ago and I do have good bones. He scheduled me for another test next month, but since I am still the same height as in high school, I'm thinking that for my age (68) it should be fine. The hot flashes are another issue . . . maybe they will stop before I turn 90!! Chemo and rads really get your hormones raging.
    Sgamtd, hope they will find an answer for your osteoporosis. In the meantime, stay off of ladders and rooftops!!!
  • arbojenn
    arbojenn Member Posts: 118
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    sgamtd said:

    What about femara
    Carol, I also want to say congratulations on finishing radiation. I will start radiation next week, be done early november and also was told I should take femara for 5 years.
    I hope many survivors that have been using it for a long will post and let you and us know how they are doing, I have osteoporosis already, a t score of -3.63, have been taking fosamax for years, and my onco doc suggested reclast IV (a yearly dose I think)since I am not improving anymore on the fosamax, but at least not getting any worse either.
    I have until early november to read up on the femara and reclast, and plan to, both have side effects, alas they can be helpful too. Sure wish more of these treatments came with GUARANTEES, lol.
    You have had a long time in treatment, I can understand you are tired of being tired, but hang in there, someone will post and let us know what to expect. Did the onc mention the improved percentage in surviving bc if you took femara ? Mine would actually only improve 1%, therefore I am still undecided. Good luck to you
    sgamtd

    Forever
    I was just told today that my onc wants me stay on Femara for the rest of my life! (I am 58.) I'll do it for five years then see. (I stopped after five years of tamoxifen and ONE year of Femara the first time. I'll give the Femara at least FIVE this time.) Anybody else advised to plan on making aromatose inhibitors a lifetime partner?
  • lanie940
    lanie940 Member Posts: 490 Member
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    sgamtd said:

    What about femara
    Carol, I also want to say congratulations on finishing radiation. I will start radiation next week, be done early november and also was told I should take femara for 5 years.
    I hope many survivors that have been using it for a long will post and let you and us know how they are doing, I have osteoporosis already, a t score of -3.63, have been taking fosamax for years, and my onco doc suggested reclast IV (a yearly dose I think)since I am not improving anymore on the fosamax, but at least not getting any worse either.
    I have until early november to read up on the femara and reclast, and plan to, both have side effects, alas they can be helpful too. Sure wish more of these treatments came with GUARANTEES, lol.
    You have had a long time in treatment, I can understand you are tired of being tired, but hang in there, someone will post and let us know what to expect. Did the onc mention the improved percentage in surviving bc if you took femara ? Mine would actually only improve 1%, therefore I am still undecided. Good luck to you
    sgamtd

    Fosamax did nothing for me
    Fosamax did nothing for me but give me acid reflux. So now I'm taking Aciphex. I stopped taking the Fosamax last Fall.
  • m_azingrace
    m_azingrace Member Posts: 399
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    lanie940 said:

    Fosamax did nothing for me
    Fosamax did nothing for me but give me acid reflux. So now I'm taking Aciphex. I stopped taking the Fosamax last Fall.

    Femara vs Fosamax...
    I'm a little confused...They aren't the same, are they?
  • sgamtd
    sgamtd Member Posts: 124
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    carol41 said:

    Femara
    Thanks for all your imput and encouragement . . . my doc said that for me he preferred Femara.
    The downside is that it is quite a bit more expensive if my insurance doesn't cover. Canada Drugs has it for about half price if they won't and an even cheaper generic. There is no generic here in the states.
    Had a bone density test about 3 years ago and I do have good bones. He scheduled me for another test next month, but since I am still the same height as in high school, I'm thinking that for my age (68) it should be fine. The hot flashes are another issue . . . maybe they will stop before I turn 90!! Chemo and rads really get your hormones raging.
    Sgamtd, hope they will find an answer for your osteoporosis. In the meantime, stay off of ladders and rooftops!!!

    FEMERA etc
    Carol41, lol, I never get up on the roof, the ladder only when my husband is standing right there holding on to me firmly. Osteo arrived in my life in 1993, I am now 68, have lost 2.5 inches in height, so I have to be careful what meds I take due to the osteo.
    I never did have hot flashes, probably because I was prescribed HRT in 93 for the osteo, stopped the HRT in 2002 or so, like alot of women did, and started the fosamax, calcium w/d which I have been on ever since. For sure all meds have a side effect, and may times we are left wondering if it's really worth it. I have never had a fracture due to the osteo.
    sgamtd
  • sgamtd
    sgamtd Member Posts: 124
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    Femara vs Fosamax...
    I'm a little confused...They aren't the same, are they?

    no not the same
    M_azinggrace,
    One of Femara's side effect is bone loss, so if you already have osteo it not good for the bones but good for treating the ER + breast cancer. So one has a choice to make.
    Hope this helps
    sgamtd
  • carol41
    carol41 Member Posts: 25
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    sgamtd said:

    no not the same
    M_azinggrace,
    One of Femara's side effect is bone loss, so if you already have osteo it not good for the bones but good for treating the ER + breast cancer. So one has a choice to make.
    Hope this helps
    sgamtd

    estrogen inhibitors
    M_azinggrace (love the name),
    Fosimax is for osteoporosis.
    Tamoxifen and Femara are estrogen inhibitors (so I've been told)
    Your pathology report will tell you if you are ER+ and one or the other is usually
    prescribed for 5 years after you finish all the other therapies. I'm ready to do
    whatever it takes never to have to do this again!!
  • alessia
    alessia Member Posts: 40
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    arbojenn said:

    Forever
    I was just told today that my onc wants me stay on Femara for the rest of my life! (I am 58.) I'll do it for five years then see. (I stopped after five years of tamoxifen and ONE year of Femara the first time. I'll give the Femara at least FIVE this time.) Anybody else advised to plan on making aromatose inhibitors a lifetime partner?

    hi, i've read on this
    hi, i've read on this website that taking femara beyond the five years does nothing.
    it's the first five years that are important! look up femara on the american cancer society treatment options. good luck.
  • alessia
    alessia Member Posts: 40
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    sgamtd said:

    What about femara
    Carol, I also want to say congratulations on finishing radiation. I will start radiation next week, be done early november and also was told I should take femara for 5 years.
    I hope many survivors that have been using it for a long will post and let you and us know how they are doing, I have osteoporosis already, a t score of -3.63, have been taking fosamax for years, and my onco doc suggested reclast IV (a yearly dose I think)since I am not improving anymore on the fosamax, but at least not getting any worse either.
    I have until early november to read up on the femara and reclast, and plan to, both have side effects, alas they can be helpful too. Sure wish more of these treatments came with GUARANTEES, lol.
    You have had a long time in treatment, I can understand you are tired of being tired, but hang in there, someone will post and let us know what to expect. Did the onc mention the improved percentage in surviving bc if you took femara ? Mine would actually only improve 1%, therefore I am still undecided. Good luck to you
    sgamtd

    hi, can you tell me if you


    hi, can you tell me if you did rads and femara concurrently? or did you start taking femara after the rads treatment.
    i will be starting radiation treatment in a few weeks and was also prescribed femara at the same time. i wonder if i could start the meds after the rads to hopefully avoid double side effects! thanks.
  • sgamtd
    sgamtd Member Posts: 124
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    alessia said:

    hi, can you tell me if you


    hi, can you tell me if you did rads and femara concurrently? or did you start taking femara after the rads treatment.
    i will be starting radiation treatment in a few weeks and was also prescribed femara at the same time. i wonder if i could start the meds after the rads to hopefully avoid double side effects! thanks.

    rads and femara
    Hi Alessia, I'm sorry I can't answer that question, maybe someone can. I hope so. Mostly from what I read others have done, they started after radiation.
    I am currently taking radiation treatments, just finished # 10, have 23 more to go, and am scheduled to start femara in November when I go back to the onco doctor. I happen to have osteoporosis, so before I start femara, the onco doc wants to give me an IV infusion of an bone builder medication called reclast first, and then she said she will prescribe the femara. I was told for 5 years. Maybe I just had to wait because I have osteo.
    Again, I hope someone can answer your question, of course you could also ask the doctor why ?
    Good luck
    sgamtd
  • mgm42
    mgm42 Member Posts: 491 Member
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    Started Femara 3 days ago...
    I started on Femara three days ago after a year and half on Arimidex, and a brief bout with Aromasin. So far, so good. No side effects. I already have some joint stiffness and muscle spasms so I can't blame the Femara for those things. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I know how important it is to inhibit the estrogen in my system. Oh - I will be checking with my oncologist this Monday and will find out about Zometa for me. So far, my bone density has been good (normal). I'm 67. We'll see what she tells me about Boniva, Fosamax, and/or Zometa. GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF US. Hugs, Marilynn
  • HillBillyNana
    HillBillyNana Member Posts: 107
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    carol41 said:

    Femara
    Thanks for all your imput and encouragement . . . my doc said that for me he preferred Femara.
    The downside is that it is quite a bit more expensive if my insurance doesn't cover. Canada Drugs has it for about half price if they won't and an even cheaper generic. There is no generic here in the states.
    Had a bone density test about 3 years ago and I do have good bones. He scheduled me for another test next month, but since I am still the same height as in high school, I'm thinking that for my age (68) it should be fine. The hot flashes are another issue . . . maybe they will stop before I turn 90!! Chemo and rads really get your hormones raging.
    Sgamtd, hope they will find an answer for your osteoporosis. In the meantime, stay off of ladders and rooftops!!!

    Generic Femara
    I have been checking the price of the Femara and also the generic (letrozole). One company in Canada has the generic pric of 90 pills for $155.70 and the brand name Femara is 90 pills for $490. I am going to check tomorrow and see if my insurance even covers it and what my co-pay would be if I have to get the brand name here in the U.S. I appreciate the info here on Femara. another 6 weeks and I will be starting it.
  • HillBillyNana
    HillBillyNana Member Posts: 107
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    alessia said:

    hi, i've read on this
    hi, i've read on this website that taking femara beyond the five years does nothing.
    it's the first five years that are important! look up femara on the american cancer society treatment options. good luck.

    Tamoxifen and then Femara?
    I wonder why my oncologist would want me to take the Femara after I have taken Tamoxifen for 5 years. I will look it up. Maybe I don't even need to take it?
  • mgm42
    mgm42 Member Posts: 491 Member
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    www.pharmacychecker.com
    Hey, girlfriends. To find the least expensive places to purchase Femara, Arimidex or their generic equivalents, use www.pharmacychecker.com. This site will give you the names and profiles of several oversees drug companies from which you can order your meds, including the price as well as shipping costs. This site is a good resource. When I was on Arimidex, my prescription was from a New Zealand company. They were professional in the way they conducted their pharmacy business and had great customer service. I use pharmacychecker.com for all of my prescription drug cost comparisons. P. S. Aromasin has no generic equivalant.

    Hope this is helpful. Hugs, Marilynn
  • Akiss4me
    Akiss4me Member Posts: 2,188
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    alessia said:

    hi, can you tell me if you


    hi, can you tell me if you did rads and femara concurrently? or did you start taking femara after the rads treatment.
    i will be starting radiation treatment in a few weeks and was also prescribed femara at the same time. i wonder if i could start the meds after the rads to hopefully avoid double side effects! thanks.

    Hi Alessia...
    This is a question you will definitely want to clarify with your Rads Onc and Med Onc. I was given my script for Tamoxifen but was told to hold off taking it until after my Radiation was completed. I think it depends on your individual treatments. So please ask prior to starting the Femara if you already have it filled. Keep us posted. Pammy
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
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    mgm42 said:

    Started Femara 3 days ago...
    I started on Femara three days ago after a year and half on Arimidex, and a brief bout with Aromasin. So far, so good. No side effects. I already have some joint stiffness and muscle spasms so I can't blame the Femara for those things. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I know how important it is to inhibit the estrogen in my system. Oh - I will be checking with my oncologist this Monday and will find out about Zometa for me. So far, my bone density has been good (normal). I'm 67. We'll see what she tells me about Boniva, Fosamax, and/or Zometa. GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF US. Hugs, Marilynn

    keeping my fingers crossed for you
    Marilynn, I am keeping my fingers crossed for you about the Femara!

    Good luck,

    Ohilly
  • lanie940
    lanie940 Member Posts: 490 Member
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    mgm42 said:

    www.pharmacychecker.com
    Hey, girlfriends. To find the least expensive places to purchase Femara, Arimidex or their generic equivalents, use www.pharmacychecker.com. This site will give you the names and profiles of several oversees drug companies from which you can order your meds, including the price as well as shipping costs. This site is a good resource. When I was on Arimidex, my prescription was from a New Zealand company. They were professional in the way they conducted their pharmacy business and had great customer service. I use pharmacychecker.com for all of my prescription drug cost comparisons. P. S. Aromasin has no generic equivalant.

    Hope this is helpful. Hugs, Marilynn

    We have to use Express
    We have to use Express Scripts with my husband's insurance. For long term use, anyway. I use CVS for short use. I already checked up on Arimidex and Femara. Both are 80.00 for 90 days. My Aciphex I take for acid reflux is also 80.00 for 90 days. So, by what i'm reading 80.00 for 90 days isn't too bad. Good luck with Femara. I'm hoping i'll be able to tolerate the Arimidex!