Just started Femera

Hello, I started Femera on 22nd May as I had a mild reaction to Arimidex which I took on 18th. So far I am having no problems or side effects to the meds apart from not sleeping very well. Has anyone else experienced this is a side effect of hormone therapy I wonder? I ask myself if this is just coincidental and is it my subconscious thoughts keeping me awake - as a kind of reaction to my ‘getting on with it’ and treatment finally being started after many weeks of diagnostic tests and operations. I’ve had WLE and SNB followed by Axillary clearance (results of that were clear thank God)within three weeks of each other.

Hi Hattie, I’m not on Femera, I’m on Tamoxifen and I started it 11 days ago. I’m normally a very good sleeper but have woken through the night virtually every night since starting Tamox. Could be coincidence I guess, but it’s really annoying! I have started having the night sweats too so could be linked with them, seems like it is the hormone therapy causing both though. Pat x

Thanks Pat, I’ve not got night sweats yet but it seems odd that sleeplessness is common to us both right now. Must be the meds. Anne x

Sorry, slip of the finger.
I,ve been taking femara for six months and insomnia is mentioned as one of the side effects.I think it comes under the 1 in 100 list. I usually have nights with disturbed sleep but otherwise I’ve tolerated femara well.

Hi Trish, I’m only a week into taking Femera and don’t know how soon other side effects should ‘kick in’ but so far all I have noticed is the poor sleep. If this is all I suffer as a result of the tablets I’m sure I’ll cope.

Hi I need some advice please

I have been prescribed Femara by my oncologist and my first lot of tablets have come from the hospital pharmacy. The presciption said O.D. which I thought meant once a day, but the instructions on the packet say one tablet twice a day. The tablets are 2.5mg.

If necessary I can go back to the hospital tomorrow but that is quite a drive. What is the normal dose? My oncologist is only there on wednesdays. As a last resort I will wait before I take them and go to my GP but that will take at least a week because the hospital letter will take that long to get there.



Hi everybody.

AndieT - I have been on Femara for 18 months now and my dose is 2.5mg per day. I would certainly check it out before taking more than that. Could you try his secretary?

Regarding side effects, I find the main one stiffness in joints when I’ve been sitting too long. My onc advised me to take glucosamine and chondroitin which I do, not sure it helps any but so far bone density checks have been ok.

Not put insomnia down to these, have had it few times, but I’m sure its been stress related.

Hope this helps

Hi Andie, as I understand it Femera is just a once a day medication and would certainly advice you to check with your doctor or perhaps you may have easier access to the breast care nurse on your team? Hope you get it sorted soon.
My insomnia seems to be the only side effect I am aware of so far - only two weeks into treatment of course.
I had my radiotherapy planning session earlier this week and start that treatment on 18th so feel that my treatment is progressing now.
Take care,

Hi Andi - I’ve been taking Femara for 18 months and I have one 2.5mg each day. You need to check the doseage before you start taking them. When I missed my dose one day recently, the pharmacist told me NOT to double the dose the following day (which I was going to do) but to carry on as normal with my usual dose. If you phone your onc’s secretary, then she can contact him/her for some clarification and hopefully get back to you.

Hi Hatti - Any insomnia I have experienced whilst taking Femara I have put down to stress and not the medication.

Take care
Jibby x

Thanks everyone

I contacted the hospital BCN who contacted the onc and the pharmacy have made a mistake. I must only take 1 a day. Thank goodness I noticed and did not blindly follow the instructions on the box


Hi Andie,
I’m glad your Femara was sorted - not good in the pharmacy department though - they should know the normal dose for this medication. Still, no harm done and you can now go ahead with treatment without further worries. Good Luck.

OD = once a day
BD = twice a day
TDS = three tims

Hi all, I started Femara in April just I was coming to the end of my rads. I suffered the odd sleepness night then it seemed to stop but now it has started again !!
It has a pattern - I get tired before bed could fall asleep in front of the telly but when I go to bed my brain will not stop working, my legs twitch and i just cant stop turning over!! I usually put up with this for about an hour then have to get up! I can be up for up to 3 hours, then go back and try again. I usually manage to sleep then (but have been known to get up again) In the morning I am shattered and the best sleep I get is between 7 and 10am.
I force myself to get up earlyish as I dont want my body clock to get into the wrong routine.
It must be the Femara but I dont know how I can cope with this! How will I cope when I go back to work, I’ll never get through the day. Also I am tempted to get sleeping tablets but dont really want to go down that road.

Megalady xx

Hi Megalady,
I am finding a kind of pattern now that I’ve taken Femara for about a month - 2 or three nights reasonably good sleep then one where I don’t sleep at all but could easily sleep at lunchtime and onwards, it is a strange effect isn’t it? I started RT last week and that is making me feel tired already but I still had a sleepless night last night, and at 11.30 pm now am just going to bed in the hopes that I sleep tonight.

Hello,Ive only taken femara for about 3 weeks,my symptons 1st week were nausea and joint pain (with a fair bit of anxiety thrown in). Ive had a mild sleeping pill since my dx last November,I couldnt function through the day if I didnt sleep at night,its called Zopliclone 3.75mg and its sent by God (via Boots). Always wake up perky and ready for the day ahead,I dont much care if Im addicted, it would be worth it to get me through these traumatic months,also it "goes with" anything else Ive been prescribed,give it a whirl, its not so bad as anti-depressants.
B.T.W. do you have to take it for 8 years like me and will your doc give you more than 28tabs at atime?
take care, love Mags x

Hi Mags,
I’ve been told I will need to take the Femara for at least five years and may need to take it for longer. My GP will not give a prescription for any of my meds (I have Diabetes)for more than 28 days unless I will be away when another month’s supply is due. I think it is the general rule with all medications that it is repeated monthly only.
I think that if every night was a sleepless one then I would have to take something to help me but at present I’m coping with the ‘new’ pattern. I don’t want to add to my list because every tablet that I do take can affect my blood sugar levels, usually making them higher, and I want to keep them as well controlled as I can.
Love Anne xx

Hi ladies

Sorry to intrude on your thread. I started Femara on Boxing Day and felt dreadful for the first week but then… nothing. No side effects at all. Makes me wonder if it’s working!

I was wondering if anyone else has any problems actually getting the pills from the chemist/pharmacy? I understand there are distribution problems and today I went to about half a dozen chemists (including Boots) before I found one with a box left. The pharmacist was telling me that they are supplied to the warehouses on a monthly quota basis and once they have gone, that warehouse will not be re-stocked until the next month.

Anyone else with problems?


The reason you can only have 28 days worth of Ferama is because of the cost of it. It costs about £85 a box, so they will not want to run the risk of some being lost. Also if someone has a bad reaction, or it stops working for those with mets, they would only have to be destroyed.

I have been on Femara for about 9 weeks and have noticed a few hot flushes. Have had trouble sleeping since being dx in Sept 07 so can’t really blame the change in medication for that, though I do feel more tired during the day. Haven’t noticed any extra bone pain.

I assume you all know that if you are having treatment for cancer you can get free prescriptions?

Hi all
Hattie my non sleep nights have changed again! Now im sleeping from going to bed then waking about 2:30 am, going back to sleep but very restless!! It just does not seem to fall into a pattern but as you say by lunch i could sleep all afternoon!
Vicki and Hattie I also only get a months supply at a time and did think it was the cost. When I went to my GP for first supply off him he was not happy. Asked who prescribed them - I said Christies and he said that they should supply them! I was quite shocked and stated that I was not prepared to travel all that way every month for tablets plus you can wait for up to an hour for the prescription!
He did prescribe them but was not happy, he is a very nice GP and I thought mmmmmmm must be the cost, you have confirmed it Vicki
How dare we put such a burden on the health service !!

Mega xx

Hi Mega,
Your GP seems to have a poor attitude to essential meds such as cancer treatments but glad that he understood your needing him to prescribe. I was lucky with my GP (who usually is very cost conscious) in that I took only one dose of Arimidex and had a reaction to it and not only did he say I needed another hormone therapy medication but it had to be started under medical supervision because of my reacting to the first and commonly used (and I guess a little cheaper) medication. I’m glad to say that my overnight stay for starting on Femara was uneventful and took place only four days after my Arimidex reaction.
My sleep pattern has changed this week but due to starting rads last Thursday I think - I slept 6 hours straight through on Thursday and Friday nights, longer on Saturday then only 2 hours on Sunday; this week I am feeling the extreme tiredness I was warned about and have a sleep when I get home from my session then am sleeping 5 or 6 hours at night too!
Anne xx