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Amiridex vs Femara

Posts: 58
Joined: Apr 2014

Hello everyone.  I just completed chemo (Taxotere and Cytoxan) and currently undergoing radiation treatments for my BC treatment plan.  I was diagnosed with Estrogen REceptor positive, Progesterone Negative, HER2 Negative.  Prior to chemo, I was pre-menopausal.  The chemo treatment put me into temporary menopause but not permanent.  About 13 years ago, I had bi-lateral pulmonary embolisms so can not go on Taxotere.  This Thursday, I am having an oophorectomy (removal of ovaries).  My medical oncologist still feels that I need to be on an aromatise inhibitor for about 5 years (I am 52).  He has suggested Arimidex - but I am seeing/hearing some scary things about Amiridex (potential for clots - rare side effect but can occur, severe joint and bone pain, etc.).  I have seen some posts on Femara and these posts seem to be more positive (not as many scary side effects). 

For those that have been or currently on Amiridex or Femara reply back to this post with your thoughts/comments? 

There is also the option of not going on an aromatise inhibitor - if anyone has chosen this route could you also respond as well? 

I want to do whatever I need to do to beat this monster but am scared to take an aromatise inhibitor for years...  Thank you for your comments/support. 



CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I did arimidex for a few years and noticed mild joint pain, but nothing severe.  I did have to take it in the evening or I felt too tired in the am.

My sister has been on femara for about 10-11 years.  She was initially treated with 5 years of tamoxifen, mastectomy and chemo (Stage 1 IDC, ER+).  She was told to take 5 years of an aromatse inhibitor after the tamoxifen, but thought it was overkill.  She then had a local recurrence and it freaked her out.  She has been on femara ever since.  She has mild joint pain and is beginning to have worsening osteopenia, so she will either have to switch to tamixifen or evista or she will need to add a bisphosphonate (boniva, prolia, etc.).  I am not sure if she even needs to be on anything anymore, but she has watched me struggle with Stage 4 and is afraid (I was Stage 3, had an 18 year remission the monster then reared its ugly head in my bones and lung and, more recently, in my liver). 

The monster is very, very sneaky, so I would do whatever is recommended and then some.

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

I did both, Arimidex first and later Femara.  Aromatase Inhibitors were not out in 1994 when I began the hormonal therapy after chemo.  I was pre-menopause when I was diagnose ER+, PR- and Her2 was not yet out either.  I went on Tamoxifen and 4 1/2 years later had a recurrence and went on Arimidex.  For a long time I was NED and in 2008 had another recurrence this time in my lungs, pleura and I went on Faslodex 250 mg (1 shot at the time) when that didn't work to well, I went on Femara which lasted 2 years.  Then I tried to reboot it but it didn't work and went back to Faslodex now 500 mg (2 shots) which lasted a year.

Arimidex and Femara are sort of kissing cousins.  Arimidex, a minor fall led to 3 cracked vertebrae (they didn't know it would do this at the time).  Femara I had bone and joint pain.  I would do both again, if I could.

Best of luck,


Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

I've only been on Femara/letrozole for the last 4 1/2 yrs with no issues from it.  I was told that its only for women who are post memopausal for a long time - not ones with it during chemo.  I was 44 when I went through natural menopause in 1990 so I was definately a candidate for it.

There are potential SEs with every thing BUT that does not mean that any of us will experience all or even any possible ones.

We are each unique but for myself, after all I did to fight the Monster (all of which had potential nasty SEs, there is no way that I won't keep fighting with everything I can.  Just how I 'see it' - not how all do.

Winyan - The Power Within




lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

I have been taking Arimidex for almost 7 years.  The SEs that I notice are joint pain, depression, and just recently osteoporosis.  I am willing to deal with all ofl them in order to prevent a recurrence.  Motrin and movement help the joint pain.  I take zoloft and abilify for the depression.  I took Boniva for osteopenia for almost 7 years, but now I have started on Prolia.  You have to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself what is best for you.  xoxoxo Lynn

fauxma's picture
Posts: 3581
Joined: Dec 2008

5 years and no se

camul's picture
Posts: 2541
Joined: Dec 2010

Mine told me that Frmara and Arimadex are brothers. I had trouble with Femara and when I asked about Arimadex, he said they were brothers, so we went with enestemene(sp), instead.

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