Switch from Arimidex to Femara (also known as letrozole) ?
I am experiencing a lot of joint pain and achiness from Arimidex. I am reading about Femara (letrozole), often the second drug recommended for estrogen positive breast cancer if one has problems with Arimidex. Has anybody switched? Would love to know if your experience was better or not with this drug. Thank you!
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@deniseestrada, this is a great question to bring up. Switching medications can always be scary. I would like to invite @cautiousoptimism, @grandma41, @tinalove, and @susanao1 who all have experience with femara (letrozole). I am hoping they will join this discussion and share their experiences with letrozole.
@deniseestrada, has the switch to femara been recommended to you by your physician? It seems you are correct that a lot of people make this switch if they do not tolerate arimidex. What concerns you the most about making the switch?
I recently switched from anastrozole to letrozol. I do find the joint and bone pain less, and I don’t have hot flashes. I do take Evening Primrose Oil for hot flashes. Some trouble sleeping, and fatigue, but manageable. I still have periods of headaches, dizziness, and vertigo. Not quite as bad as it was. I have hair loss with both, but at least that doesn’t hurt.
My oncologist recommended I try letrozole because i was having such muscle aches with arimedex. They were interfering with sleep and activity. Letrozole has fewer SEs for me and so far is keeping the cancer at bay.
I was taken off of Arimidex to monitor my blood pressure, which has never been high but went up while on Arimidex. During this time, my pain level subsided significantly. While the raise in blood pressure turned out to be a non-issue relatively speaking, the oncologist offered to make the switch. I guess my fear is that I will experience more of the same or worse with femara (letrozole). Am hoping that those who have made the switch will report fewer side effects. I worry about switching around too much.
Thank you for your reply!
Thank you for letting me know.
I am in the same boat here. After 16 months on Arimidex, my doctor suggested a change to Femara if I wanted it after my complaints about various side effects. I haven’t made the switch yet. My thoughts at the moment are that it’s better to deal with the enemy you know than to deal with the enemy you don’t know. If it’s just going to be more of the same issues, I’d rather just tough it out. There have been a merry-go-round of side effects – some come and go; others come and stay. I know I’m lucky to have caught this early and my prognosis is exceptionally positive (or so they keep telling me) but I can definitely join the crowd that would rather not have to deal with these wacky side effects (so many, so different, so annoying). I will be following the thoughts on this topic