femara and osteoporosis

I have just been started on Femara but I have not had any tests for osteoporosis yet. Do they normally test before they start the pills. My mum has osteoporosis so I am concerned that I may have.


Hi ladysue- I was on(just finishing I hope) arimidex for the 5 years- I was tested for oesteo, with no history in family, without having to request it had dexa scan. Bones were a bit on the thin side so was started on biphosphinates shortly after starting the hormone treatment. Throughout arimidex-my bones continued thinning a bit,have now slightly improved again.So I personally would say, if they don’t suggest it-then request it-just in case it affects your bones and you wouldn’t know otherwise!Like everything else,as I understand it the biphosphinates have pro’s and con’s- and you have to decide for yourself whats best for you good luck

I started on Femara at the end of May - I also had a Dexa scan organised for me. I’d ask for one if I were you- you need to establish a baseline so that they can see if the Femara is having adverse effects on your bones.

Hi there

I was started on Femera in March of this year and had the Dexa scan just a couple of weeks after I was started. Following that I was started on Calci-chew and Alendronic Acid due to some evidence of bone thinning. Why don’t you ask the bcn or your GP and I think your GP would be the one to request this on instruction from Oncology. Take care. J.

I started on Femara in January and had the dexa scan about 6 weeks later. I was told they always do the scan to give a baseline because of the Femara side effects.

I didn’t get the results of the scan until the middle of June in spite of constantly asking at every doctor and hospital appointment! Anyway I was in fact diagnosed with osteoporosis and have been taking Alendronic acid and Calcichew since as well as carrying on with the Femara.

Thank you for all the responses ladies. I will ask to be tested when I speak to the BCN tomorrow.

I have been perscribed femara and have just started them at the beginning of sept. I have been diagnosed with bone mets too and have to start taking bone strengthening drugs too.

I was given a Femara between diagnosis and surgery (1 month) and started it again after rads (2 weeks ago) no-one has suggested I should have a scan, which I think is a bit remiss! It’s not up to me to find out (from fab ladies like you) what the risks are - THEY are they ones who ought to know that… grump! Will mention it to GP when I see her on Monday - no I won’t, I want to change to a different GP once the issue I’m seeing this one about is over! Onc next week at the end of rads? Anyone else see Honk at the end of rads? Says something in the leaflet about it, but no-one’s mentioned it…

Hello ladies,

I have read this post with interest- I wrote a similar one last year (Arimidex and osteopporosis) after I had been mismanaged and now have full blown osteoporosis.

There are NICE guidelines regarding the monitoring of bone density whilst women are treated with AIs - they are known to reduce bone mineral density. These guidelines can be seen at:
nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/12132/43413/43413.pdf(early and locally advanced breast cancer). These guidelines contain algorythms regarding management of bone density monitoring.

In a nutshell, women who are taking AIs should have their BMD assessed by a DEXA scan, and depending on the result, this will be repeated regularly during the course of taking the AI, and you may need to take calcium supplements/bisphosphonates as per algorythm. (sorry, can’t remember all offhand).

It is appalling that this is not followed anfd some doctors do not seem to aware of it. My GP was one of those - despite me asking for dexa scans throughout my 5 yrs treatment with arimidex, I was told they were not necessary. I insisted on one which wasn’t done until my 5 years were up, and that showed osteoporosis - at the age of 46 yrs. Not sure when it developed (wasn’t scanned!).

Good luck XX