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Femara is a medicine used along with other treatments, such as radiation or surgery, to treat early breast cancer in postmenopausal women (women who have gone through menopause). Femara is also used to treat early breast cancer in postmenopausal women who received treatment with a medicine called tamoxifen for 5 years. Femara is also used in postmenopausal women as a first treatment of breast cancer that has spread within the breast to other areas of the body, or advanced breast cancer that has worsened after treatment with tamoxifen or similar medicines.
How does this medication work?
Femara works by decreasing the amount of estrogen your body makes, thereby slowing down or stopping the growth of breast cancer cells.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Studies show that women who took Femara had improved disease-free survival compared with those who took tamoxifen.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Femara exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.
How do I know it is working?
Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
More common side effects may include: hot flashes, joint or bone pain, flushing, lack of strength, swelling, headache, dizziness, increased sweating, increased cholesterol (fats in your blood) levels.
Less common side effects may include:
Osteopenia (thinning bones) or softening of your bones, which may lead to fractures.
Do not take Femara if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not take Femara if you are pregnant or able to become pregnant.
Do not take Femara if you have not gone through menopause.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Femara. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Postmenopausal women: The recommended dose is 2.5 milligrams once a day.
If you have liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.
Take Femara exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Femara without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Take Femara with or without food.
Do not become pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Femara.
Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how Femara affects you.
If Femara is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Femara with tamoxifen.
Femara may harm your unborn baby if taken during pregnancy and offers no benefit to women with breast cancer who have not yet gone through menopause. Do not take Femara during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you miss a dose of Femara, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
Store at room temperature.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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