Taking a break from Femara

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sylvan
sylvan Member Posts: 66
My last dose was last Sunday night. The oncologist said that sometimes, if you take a 4-6 week break, that you can go back on it and the side effects will be less. I figure it's worth a try. Any clues what to expect when discontinuing? My joints aren't nearly as sore as they were this time last week which is great! My brain is a little "fuzzy" but maybe that's the estrogen kicking back in. It's sort of like "pregnancy brain." Anyway, I'm hoping that this little vacation will make a big difference. Wish me luck.

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  • ladyg
    ladyg Member Posts: 1,577
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    I hope you
    get the results you are hoping for by taking a break. I feel very lucky to be able to take Femara and not have any side effects (knock on wood).

    Hugs,
    Georgia
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
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    I've not been on Femara but
    I've not been on Femara but I hope that this break will make you feel much better. Let us know.

    Hugs, Noel
  • SIROD
    SIROD Member Posts: 2,194 Member
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    Femara Drug Break
    Hi Sylvan,

    I have taken several breaks on Femara. The side effects were the same once I started up the drug again.
    The first break was 7 weeks to figure out if the awful ankle pain was femara or my pttd. Off the drug, I could cope with the pttd.

    The 2nd break was for 4 weeks to figure out if the shoulder pain was the supraspinatus torn tendon or if most of the pain came from Femara. Once off the drug, I could tolerate the shoulder pain, when I went back on it, the pain was still very bad.

    I progressed last spring on Femara and took a seven month drug free break. It was heaven! I could tolerate the osteoarthritis pain, the shoulder and ankle pain with pain med. It was not over the top. My scan in December showed the tumors were back and I had to start Femara up again.

    Three weeks to the day, the bones and joints pain were back. However, for me, I was no longer loosing my voice, the coughing spasms had stopped, I could sleep on two pillows instead of a wedge & pillow. The drug was back telling cancer to move out. This is taking the bad with the good.

    I used Arimidex for many, many years and did not have any bones or joints problems. I did have vaginal dryness (used a product called "Estring" approved by oncologist), developed 3 fractures which led to using Fosamax, Boniva and then developed an auto iummune disease of the eye Uveitis. I guess it's choosing your poison.

    I have responded well to Aromatase Inhibitors, for me they are a great drug. They have kept me alive.

    Do hope you do not have a return of your bone & joint pain when you start up Femara again.

    Best,

    Doris
  • sylvan
    sylvan Member Posts: 66
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    SIROD said:

    Femara Drug Break
    Hi Sylvan,

    I have taken several breaks on Femara. The side effects were the same once I started up the drug again.
    The first break was 7 weeks to figure out if the awful ankle pain was femara or my pttd. Off the drug, I could cope with the pttd.

    The 2nd break was for 4 weeks to figure out if the shoulder pain was the supraspinatus torn tendon or if most of the pain came from Femara. Once off the drug, I could tolerate the shoulder pain, when I went back on it, the pain was still very bad.

    I progressed last spring on Femara and took a seven month drug free break. It was heaven! I could tolerate the osteoarthritis pain, the shoulder and ankle pain with pain med. It was not over the top. My scan in December showed the tumors were back and I had to start Femara up again.

    Three weeks to the day, the bones and joints pain were back. However, for me, I was no longer loosing my voice, the coughing spasms had stopped, I could sleep on two pillows instead of a wedge & pillow. The drug was back telling cancer to move out. This is taking the bad with the good.

    I used Arimidex for many, many years and did not have any bones or joints problems. I did have vaginal dryness (used a product called "Estring" approved by oncologist), developed 3 fractures which led to using Fosamax, Boniva and then developed an auto iummune disease of the eye Uveitis. I guess it's choosing your poison.

    I have responded well to Aromatase Inhibitors, for me they are a great drug. They have kept me alive.

    Do hope you do not have a return of your bone & joint pain when you start up Femara again.

    Best,

    Doris

    thanks for the info
    I've got fibromyalgia and it has been so difficult for me to determine what is the fibro and what is caused by Femara. All I do know is that I can't keep living on Percocet and Phenergan. I try not to take them at all but sometimes, I have to.

    I've recently lost about 70 lbs and I expected to feel better, and I was, until I started Femara. Now, my knees hurt more than they did when I weighted so much more. I'm looking forward to this break. How long did it take for you to really start feeling better? It has been almost a week for me. I feel some better. At least the hot flashes are a lot less. The body/joint aches are still there but not as intense.

    I hope Femara continues to work well for you, Doris.
  • SIROD
    SIROD Member Posts: 2,194 Member
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    sylvan said:

    thanks for the info
    I've got fibromyalgia and it has been so difficult for me to determine what is the fibro and what is caused by Femara. All I do know is that I can't keep living on Percocet and Phenergan. I try not to take them at all but sometimes, I have to.

    I've recently lost about 70 lbs and I expected to feel better, and I was, until I started Femara. Now, my knees hurt more than they did when I weighted so much more. I'm looking forward to this break. How long did it take for you to really start feeling better? It has been almost a week for me. I feel some better. At least the hot flashes are a lot less. The body/joint aches are still there but not as intense.

    I hope Femara continues to work well for you, Doris.

    Three Weeks It Too Fr me!
    My deepest sympathies having to deal with fibromyalgia. It is a horrible medical condition. My last attack of fibromyalgia was in 2009.

    It took 3 weeks for the effects to stop and 3 weeks for them to return. Everyone is different.

    The last drug vacation was something that came out of the 2008 SABC symposium, an old remedy to sensitize the receptors. It's buying time. I read where a lady who did this on another web site, had 6 months before tumors progresed again and going on to some other hormonal therapy. I am stage IV.

    Best to you,

    Doris
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
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    SIROD said:

    Femara Drug Break
    Hi Sylvan,

    I have taken several breaks on Femara. The side effects were the same once I started up the drug again.
    The first break was 7 weeks to figure out if the awful ankle pain was femara or my pttd. Off the drug, I could cope with the pttd.

    The 2nd break was for 4 weeks to figure out if the shoulder pain was the supraspinatus torn tendon or if most of the pain came from Femara. Once off the drug, I could tolerate the shoulder pain, when I went back on it, the pain was still very bad.

    I progressed last spring on Femara and took a seven month drug free break. It was heaven! I could tolerate the osteoarthritis pain, the shoulder and ankle pain with pain med. It was not over the top. My scan in December showed the tumors were back and I had to start Femara up again.

    Three weeks to the day, the bones and joints pain were back. However, for me, I was no longer loosing my voice, the coughing spasms had stopped, I could sleep on two pillows instead of a wedge & pillow. The drug was back telling cancer to move out. This is taking the bad with the good.

    I used Arimidex for many, many years and did not have any bones or joints problems. I did have vaginal dryness (used a product called "Estring" approved by oncologist), developed 3 fractures which led to using Fosamax, Boniva and then developed an auto iummune disease of the eye Uveitis. I guess it's choosing your poison.

    I have responded well to Aromatase Inhibitors, for me they are a great drug. They have kept me alive.

    Do hope you do not have a return of your bone & joint pain when you start up Femara again.

    Best,

    Doris

    Wishing you the best of luck
    Wishing you the best of luck Sylvan!


    Hugs,


    Lex
  • GrandmaJ
    GrandmaJ Member Posts: 209
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    Femara
    Only side effect for me from the Femara is a 20 lb weight gain, which I really did not need.!
  • mollyz
    mollyz Member Posts: 756 Member
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    GrandmaJ said:

    Femara
    Only side effect for me from the Femara is a 20 lb weight gain, which I really did not need.!

    Femara
    I have wrist pain really bad,when i wake up in the morning i have to work them until they start to move again.~~MollyZ~~
  • cctiz
    cctiz Member Posts: 47
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    HOW TO TAKE FEMARA
    Im a cancer survivor too, after chemo and rads came the pill, first tamox, couldn't bear it, then arimidex, i almost had a stroke, then femara, it was really bad at the begining, after aprox. 6 weeks, walking with a cane and when i was just about to quit it i met this chemist lady who works in a lab, who told me NOT to quit it because tumors return, she also share with me some really interesting tips, doctors prescribe medicine but they dont tell the patients how to take it, she assure me that femara has to be taken with large amounts of vitamin B12(at least 5000 units) daily and DO LOTS of excersise, bearing weights and stretch and strengh moves EVERY DAY, now this is SOOO difficult and painful but once i started doing it the pains were almost gone, at night an aleve and a muscle relaxer (cyclobenzaprine) help me to sleep like a baby and i get up to work a full time job, like many of the warrior sisters - I suffer from the same pains in the knees, shoulders, elbows etc., but i manage them very well with the tips this lady shared with me, besides, excersise helped me to keep just 10 extra pounds that im learning to embrace, it is tough but is a new life, we have to live and exist and love ourselves the way we are now.
    Im profoundly grateful to this lady who shared those secrets, i'm cancer free (officially on remission) after an entire year battling this monster, is worth a try, love and good luck to all the femara takers.
  • NJMom10
    NJMom10 Member Posts: 176
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    cctiz said:

    HOW TO TAKE FEMARA
    Im a cancer survivor too, after chemo and rads came the pill, first tamox, couldn't bear it, then arimidex, i almost had a stroke, then femara, it was really bad at the begining, after aprox. 6 weeks, walking with a cane and when i was just about to quit it i met this chemist lady who works in a lab, who told me NOT to quit it because tumors return, she also share with me some really interesting tips, doctors prescribe medicine but they dont tell the patients how to take it, she assure me that femara has to be taken with large amounts of vitamin B12(at least 5000 units) daily and DO LOTS of excersise, bearing weights and stretch and strengh moves EVERY DAY, now this is SOOO difficult and painful but once i started doing it the pains were almost gone, at night an aleve and a muscle relaxer (cyclobenzaprine) help me to sleep like a baby and i get up to work a full time job, like many of the warrior sisters - I suffer from the same pains in the knees, shoulders, elbows etc., but i manage them very well with the tips this lady shared with me, besides, excersise helped me to keep just 10 extra pounds that im learning to embrace, it is tough but is a new life, we have to live and exist and love ourselves the way we are now.
    Im profoundly grateful to this lady who shared those secrets, i'm cancer free (officially on remission) after an entire year battling this monster, is worth a try, love and good luck to all the femara takers.

    thanks cctiz!
    I just posted about taking Arimidex rather than Tamoxifen (my Onc just switched me to Arimidex). And your post is giving me some hope. I was already having joint and muscle pain on the Tamoxifen, so when the onc said I might experience some achiness on Arimidex I almost flipped! Because that's pretty much the only side effect that was bugging me so far! I've started again at the gym and am working up to weights so your advice on doing that is great. So grateful for this board and all you wonderful ladies who plug away at this miserable disease every day. Thanks. Barbara