5 Years Tamoxifen, now 3 years Femara- advice please

Hello all

Went to see my Onc yesterday and as I have had 5 years of Tamoxifen he has now said that he recommends 3 years of Femara. I am to have a bone density scan soon but he also said that a side effect is aching muscles. Any advice as to what to expect. I read on some posts about hair thinning, is that a common side effect.

Thank you

Hazel

Hi Hazel

Here’s a link to our Femara factsheet which you may find useful whilst awaiting replies:

breastcancercare.org.uk/upload/pdf/femara__upd_mar_2008_0.pdf

Best wishes
Lucy

Hi Hazel

Have been on Femara for 18 months and initially did have quite a lot of stiffness but I thought that was result of chemo. Now I find that if I sit too long then I know it (Hubby says “just keep moving” bless him!) Hair is thinner, but again thought that was because of chemo - but it’s hair, no complaints there. Had bone density test after a couple of months and will be interested to see how its changed since - not sure how often they are done.

I was on Tamoxifen previously for 5 years 1996 - 2001 and had an awful lot more side effects on that than I’ve had with Femara.

All the best
Cheers
Anne

Hello

I have just had to call BUPA up as my Onc has arranged for me to have a bone density scan before I start Femara. I needed to get the go ahead from them to pay for it. I was told that as I had not started Femara yet they would have to refer it to another area as normally bone density scans are done after the Femara has been taken for awhile. Anyway as it was a Saturday they couldn’t give an answer so they are calling me back on Monday. They did mention that they might pay for this one and one other during the 3 years, but as my Onc hadn’t said anything about any more scans. What is the norm regarding bone density scans please?

Hazel

Hi Hazel

My bone density scan was done about 5 months after starting Femara and have not been asked to return for another as yet - am seeing my surgeon in a couple of weeks and will ask about it then. I’m also with BUPA.

Cheers
Anne

Hi

I’ve taken Femara.

I had painful feet for a couple of weeks, mostly in the morning, which gradually wore off.

The hot flushes were not nearly as bad as when on Tamoxifen.

I could feel that my hair had thinned, but it didn’t show (I do have fairly thick hair).

I usually have a bone scan every two years.

Hope this helps.

X

S

Hello Again

I went for a bone density scan a few weeks ago and the result was “normal” I started Femara a week ago as I am holiday this week and as I am spending it at home thought it was a good idea. I don’t know whether it is done to Femara but I feel so tired. I’m having a few problems with my teeth so that is bringing me down anyway and I seem to have eated far too many carbohydrates this week, bread etc but wondered how long the side effects take to come out and how long they take to go!!

I was on Tamoxifen for 5 years and was quite lucky with hardly any side effects and perhaps Femara is going to be more of a challenge.

Be very grateful for any ideas/comments

Hazel

Hi Hazel

I haven’t taken Tamoxifen but have been taking Femara for 18 months. Like Anne, initially I had alot of stiffness particularly in my back. My onc suggested Glucosomine supplements. I also take Alendronic acid tablets and calcium tablets. The stiffness is much improved - much better than this time last year - and has been for a few months now. I had a Dexa scan last autumn which showed that I hadn’t lost any more bone density from when I had my previous scan which was before BC.

My energy level is pathetic and has been since finishing chemo and Herceptin. Last week I even nodded off whilst having a conversation with my daughter!! So, I don’t know if Femara has made it worse or not.

Regarding teeth - I’m interested you’ve mentioned that if you think it’s as a result of your treatment. My teeth/gums have cetainly gone worse.

Take care
Jibby

Hi all
Is it the norm to have femara after havin tamoxifen,
Lornaxxx

Hello Lorna

When I went to see my Onc last year he said that after Tamoxifen, which I have now for taken 5 years he was going to suggest a aromatase inhibitor as trials had shown that this was benefical in post menopausal ladies. Anyway when I saw him this year he put me on Femara for 3 years. I haven’t got secondaries but out of 17 nodes, 6 were affected, I don’t know if that makes a difference. I think I seen a few post from ladies who are also on Femara/Arimidex after Tamoxifen

Take care

Hazel

Thanks Hazel, i,m on tax for another 2yrs yet, but will ask to go on femara nearer the time,
Lornaxxx