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User Ratings
Out of 10
2.4  Effectiveness
7.9  Side Effects
3.2  Holistic Benefits

RateADrug users have reported 21 Femara side effects and 4 Femara benefits.

Be better informed. Are you taking Femara?  
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Treatment Information
The active ingredient of Femara is letrozole, which is a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor which works by inhibiting the synthesis of estrogen, mainly because estrogen is found to increase the growth of certain forms of breast cancer.

The inactive ingredients of Femara include, colloidal silicon dioxide, ferric oxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, maize starch, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate, talc, and titanium dioxide.

Femara is recommeded as an adjuvant treatment methodology in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive early breast cancer.
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BrandsEffectivenessHolistic BenefitsSide
Number of Ratings
5.6 3.77 3.7 5 Get Info
5.5 5.32 7.37 4 Get Info
5.5 3.3 1.27 2 Get Info
4.29 3.77 6.06 7 Get Info
0.8 1.08 5.95 5 Get Info
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Effectiveness of Femara by Condition
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Effectiveness on "Breast Cancer"
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Not at all Mildly Moderately Very Extremely
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Reported Changes in Health and Well-Being
Since taking Femara, RateADrug survey participants noticed these changes in their health:
Effect on:Much WorseWorseNo ChangeBetterMuch Better
Appetite 6.2% 12.5% 75% 0% 6.2%
Balance/Equilibrium 6.2% 12.5% 68.8% 12.5% 0%
Blood Pressure 0% 12.5% 68.8% 18.8% 0%
Breathing 12.5% 0% 81.2% 6.2% 0%
Confidence 12.5% 6.2% 62.5% 12.5% 6.2%
Coordination/Motor Skills 6.2% 18.8% 56.2% 18.8% 0%
Digestion 6.2% 12.5% 62.5% 6.2% 12.5%
Emotional Well-being 12.5% 18.8% 43.8% 18.8% 6.2%
Energy 12.5% 31.2% 37.5% 18.8% 0%
Eyesight 0% 18.8% 68.8% 6.2% 6.2%
Memory 12.5% 18.8% 50% 18.8% 0%
Mental Clarity 12.5% 25% 43.8% 18.8% 0%
Pain 18.8% 18.8% 37.5% 12.5% 12.5%
Patience 12.5% 6.2% 75% 0% 6.2%
Sexual Health 6.2% 12.5% 75% 0% 6.2%
Skin Complexion 0% 0% 93.8% 0% 6.2%
Sleep 18.8% 12.5% 50% 6.2% 12.5%
Stress Level 12.5% 12.5% 62.5% 6.2% 6.2%
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Commonly Reported Femara Side Effects
RateADrug survey participants experienced these commonly reported side effects:
Effect on:NoneMildModerateStrongSevere
Irregular Periods (women) 87.5% 0% 12.5% 0% 0%
Drowsiness 62.5% 0% 0% 37.5% 0%
Nausea 47.1% 23.5% 11.8% 17.6% 0%
Sensitivity to Light 75% 12.5% 12.5% 0% 0%
Allergic Reaction 93.8% 0% 0% 6.2% 0%
Anxiety 62.5% 25% 0% 12.5% 0%
Fatigue 29.4% 17.6% 5.9% 35.3% 11.8%
Insomnia 50% 12.5% 12.5% 0% 25%
Vaginal Discharge 80% 6.7% 13.3% 0% 0%
Gas 62.5% 0% 12.5% 25% 0%
Headache 52.9% 17.6% 5.9% 11.8% 11.8%
Diarrhea 76.5% 5.9% 11.8% 5.9% 0%
Mood Swings 62.5% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 0%
Stomach Ache 62.5% 12.5% 25% 0% 0%
Dizziness 47.1% 23.5% 5.9% 17.6% 5.9%
Vomiting 80% 6.7% 6.7% 6.7% 0%
Blurred Vision 75% 12.5% 12.5% 0% 0%
Chills 66.7% 6.7% 26.7% 0% 0%
Cold Symptoms 62.5% 25% 12.5% 0% 0%
Depression 50% 12.5% 25% 0% 12.5%
Genital Discomfort 80% 0% 13.3% 6.7% 0%
Muscle Cramping 50% 0% 25% 0% 25%
Pain 0% 11.1% 22.2% 44.4% 22.2%
Hot Flashes / Flushing 35.3% 23.5% 11.8% 23.5% 5.9%
Skin Rash 77.8% 11.1% 0% 11.1% 0%
Confusion 75% 12.5% 12.5% 0% 0%
Fever 87.5% 12.5% 0% 0% 0%
Breathing Difficulties 87.5% 12.5% 0% 0% 0%
Heart Disease 86.7% 6.7% 6.7% 0% 0%
Sexual Dysfunction 75% 0% 12.5% 12.5% 0%
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Less Commonly Reported Femara Side Effects
RateADrug survey participants experienced less commonly reported side effects:
Effect on:NoneMildModerateStrongSevere
Thinning / Loss of Hair 37.5% 18.8% 18.8% 18.8% 6.2%
Chills 0% 100% 0% 0% 0%
Back Pain 12.5% 12.5% 37.5% 37.5% 0%
Change in Appetite 46.7% 20% 13.3% 13.3% 6.7%
Dehydration / Thirst 44.4% 22.2% 0% 33.3% 0%
Muscle / Joint Pain 18.8% 18.8% 12.5% 25% 25%
Reduced Libido 57.1% 0% 0% 42.9% 0%
Armpit Discomfort 62.5% 18.8% 6.2% 6.2% 6.2%
Amnesia / Memory Loss 37.5% 43.8% 12.5% 6.2% 0%
Cough 50% 43.8% 6.2% 0% 0%
Delayed Wound Healing 73.3% 20% 0% 6.7% 0%
Depression 22.2% 44.4% 22.2% 11.1% 0%
Dry Mouth 50% 25% 6.2% 18.8% 0%
Itching 93.8% 6.2% 0% 0% 0%
Abdominal Pain 50% 25% 12.5% 12.5% 0%
Chest Pain 80% 20% 0% 0% 0%
Nosebleeds 86.7% 6.7% 0% 6.7% 0%
Leg and/or Foot Cramping 18.8% 25% 18.8% 18.8% 18.8%
Anemia 62.5% 12.5% 12.5% 0% 12.5%
Breathing Difficulties 87.5% 0% 12.5% 0% 0%
Constipation 62.5% 37.5% 0% 0% 0%
Dry Skin 37.5% 37.5% 6.2% 12.5% 6.2%
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Episodes since taking Femara
Since taking Femara Rate a Drug survey participants reported these episodes:
Fall 6.9%
Hospitalization 3.4%
About these Results  
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User Comments about Femara
01 Dec 2017 Letrozole (Brand Name: Femara) is an orally active nonsteroidal compound that reversibly inhibits aromatization all over the body, as well as that within the breast cancer cells, resulting in nearly total estrogen deprivation.It is a selective inhibitor of estrogen formation.it inhibits the estrogen synthesis by inhibition of aromatase enzyme that is crucial for the formation of estrogen.The proliferation of estrogen-dependent breast cancer is suppressed to a greater extent than with tamoxifen.here is a very important article on femara http://www.drugsbanks.com/2017/12/01/important-information-about-femara-letrozole/
   —Posted by Drugsbank
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19 Nov 2015 So far, I have not had side effects on Femara. I hope it stays this way.
   —Posted by Anonymous
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29 Nov 2014 Not impressed with this drug and hope to never take it again! I am taking it to shrink the +10 huge fibroids I have. I am scheduled to have a hysterectomy in about 10 days so the end is near. I am concerned about the dehydration and the recent blood test I had. My GFR was down several points. I am also horrified by the lack of clear information about the effects of this drugs on women. Men would never take this crap. I'm only 45 and while on it my memory is shot, I feel like I want to stay in bed, and I'm tired but the insomnia is just too much.
   —Posted by Lisa
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06 Dec 2014 Lisa: Sorry to hear of your multiple fibroid problems. I'm certainly not a professional by any means. In 2001, I had emergency surgery for a large ruptured fibroid which had attached itself or was feeding off of about everything in the lower abdomen! I had two excellent surgeons, tho, and after the removal of the fibroid and the female organs and repair to things it had attached to...I faired pretty well! I was having the symptoms you mention, however, and was NOT on the letrozole at that time! So I'm wondering if your symptoms are not coming from the fibroids and the imbalance of female hormones as much as the Femara. I'm thinking you will feel like a new person when you are rid of those tumors. I was 50 when I was confronted with side pelvic pain and high fever (my only symptoms). I've been on Femara since 2011. My symptoms have pretty much remained steady....fleeting bone and muscle pain, insomnia, racing thoughts, fatigue, worse some days and not so much on others! But, honestly, I am not sure the Femara is to blame!! Since depression (which is natural when dealing with the things we are dealing with) and can be much worse insome of us, prone to it, can cause many of the same symptoms as medications can, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia, lack of motivation, feeling of being "out of control" with your life, weight loss, emotionally unstable...from crying to being angry at everything, racing thoughts (can't get your mind to shut down, stay focused, and relaxed) and about 30 other symptoms...it's very hard to know if it is the med or the combination of everything! I've had breast cancer with lymph node involvement in 2009 and a recurrence of it in 2010 which resulted in a double mastectomy and just 4 weeks after that, underwent a partial nephrectomy for kidney cancer (not related to the breast cancer). Following that, I suffered with DVT's in my right leg and am now on blood thinners. I feel like the Femara may be helping to keep the estrogen lowered so as not to give the breast cancer a chance to spread! The side effects are minimal for me when I think of the alternative. A CT scan in the Fall indicated I was cancer free abdominnally and thoracically, however, I'm now dealing with skin cancer (small...size of a pencil eraser) which will be removed hopefully in a couple weeks. I'm betting that within 3 weeks of your surgery (allowing time to heal)...you will be feeling so much better, you'll hardly be able to believe how many symptoms you are currently having that are because of the hormonal imbalances from those stupid tumors! Especially if any of them have ruptured and setting up infections, etc.! Your mental attitude towards all of this can play an overwhelming part in how you feel. Been there, done that! Hang in there....many of the things you are experiencing, you are helpless to control right now. It is amazing how much our bodies rely on the correct amount of any particular hormone or chemical to keep us feeling awesome! Good luck, Lisa...Saying a prayer for you that your surgery goes well, you recover quickly, and feel like a "new woman" when all is said and done!! I'll throw this out there as one last thought....I took Estrodial after my hysterectomy in 2001...in 2007, I had a microcalcification in my breast..which within 18 months turned to cancer! So I would think long and hard about taking a female hormone replacement to help hot flashes if they take your ovaries...and I'd also suggest removal of your cervix to avoid cancer in it! Please talk to your doctor and understand thoroughly anything that is suggested. We have to educate ourselves...because some doctors are too busy pushing the latest drug the pharmaceutical company is pitching at them for kickbacks, rather than the true welfare of their patients! There are natural supplements that can do very well if you have problems. (Again, it takes certain doctors to suggest natural over chemically or artificially made! :) (Oh, and if there are errors in this "book", I've written...I blame something called "chemo brain"! I have an excuse for everything! Be strong girl....you will be alright!!! Oh...and I, too, hope you don't ever have to take Femara again!! I'm on it for at least 5 years...and some doctors are thinking 10 might be good! (probably guinea pigs) :)
   —Posted by Debija62
01 Mar 2013 Femara appears to exacerbate symptoms (muscle spasms/pain) associated with previous spinal cord injury. However, results are well worth the side effects. Had widespread metastatic disease to bones, (multiple mets in essentially every bone in body except ribs, including cranium, facial bones, every vertebra, throughout pelvis, sternum, both femurs, both humeruses, scapula, sternum, and bones of left ankle and left foot.) After one year of femara use, PET scans show no evidence of disease.
   —Posted by Anonymous
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06 Feb 2013 Still got the anemia ...and i only took it for 1 month, has anyone else suffered with the anemia
   —Posted by Anonymous
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08 Feb 2013 To Anonymous.....I tried to post the web URL but it didn't post...will try again....could be monitored and just won't allow it. But check out anemia.org or cancer.org or http://www.anemia.org/patients/information-handouts/cancer/
   —Posted by Debija61
08 Feb 2013 Glad you've posted again...was wondering how you were doing! I have had a history of occasional anemia even before I had my breast, lymph node, and kidney cancer. However, I have not experienced it since being on Femara. However, it took time to get my system built back up after the chemo destroys everything. I'm including a website for you to read and ponder as to whether the Femara made it worse, or maybe you were headed in that direction anyway. Many of our oncologists are not forthcoming in ALL of the symptoms we can suffer from during our destruction of all fast growing cell chemotherapy process and or radiation. Even the type of cancer we have can contribute to how fast our red blood cells recover. Since I quit half way thru my chemo treatments (after 12 weeks) because I decided living a short time with a quality life was better then living a longer time and so sick I didn't care if I was livin', I am certainly not an expert by any means on either the Femara, or the cause of your anemia. But my gut feeling is that the anemia was coming your way anyway...and your doctor didn't watch your blood counts close enough...mine were checked weekly and varied drastically. But he was quick to give me injections to reverse whatever problem arose. I stopped seeing my oncologist and went back to my general practitioner, who is wonderful, thoughtful, caring, and wants to do whatever I want with his professional input. Many doctors discourage vitamins and push prescriptions. My doctor does not! I read about things...discuss them with him...and he says "try it, let's see what it does"! Since I had lumpectomy and lymph node removal followed a year later by a double mastectomy and 4 weeks after that partial kidney removal, I was depleted of just about everything good! I decided the most important thing for me was to fight back by getting my body back to normal. I started by trying to get my blood built back up. I took multi-vitamins, plus C, plus Calcium Citrate with D3, plus Lysine. 4 months after the last surgery I had DVT's in right leg beginning at groin. So am now on Warfarin blood thinners....that meant I couldn't take the multi vitamin and called for an adjustment in diet because of the Vitamin K in certain things. So i replaced that with a Super B Complex and Zinc and Omega 3 mercury free fish oil! I'm still taking my Femara along with Coreg and Synthroid. When I added the B Complex, within a couple of weeks I was feeling so much better. Less fatigued, was the first thing i noticed! My doctor monitors certain levels and if I have a complaint....he is so good at "nailing" the problem quickly! Femara may or may not have caused it....like anything else, we CAN be actually allergic to some of the chemical compounds in anything! But, I'd ponder maybe some other possibilities, such as maybe the bone marrow isn't making red blood cells very fast because of the chemo, or the kidney is not producing the hormone needed for it, and see if you can figure out & get yourself on the right track rather then waiting for some doctor to give you a miracle! Lots of times we have to find our miracles on our own! Talk to a family doctor or a pharmacist to get recommendations and make sure they know what all you are taking! i've personally learned that my getting better and having survived as well as I have is because God gave me the ability to read and begin healing myself. I am curious tho....if you don't mind my asking. Did doctors tell you the Femara was the only culprit in your case? Was the same doctor who prescribed your Femara also the doctor who let your body get into such a state of anemia? And if it hasn't improved without the Femara, are they now saying that the types of chemotherapy medications you were on do more damage and therefore is taking longer for your red blood cells to begin producing again? My bet is that the chemo/radiation or cancer itself is the culprit and not the Femara....but that sure isn't to be construed as a promotion for that drug.....because "the jury is still out" on that as far as I'm concerned! If I have no recurrance in 5 years....then maybe I'll give it a thumbs up! Praying you find something that helps you get things turned around!!! (Eating things high in iron might help, but avoid liver meat of any kind. And don't just grab an iron tablet from the store shelf. Some kinds absorb much better than others....and need to be monitored as well! your pharmacist can be a best friend in some of your decisions! It takes a LONG time to get your immune system back up and running!!!! These are just my opinions and suggestions. Consult a professional of sorts! Good luck!
   —Posted by Debija61

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