Common Drug Q&A » Cancer » Femara


A: I havent taken Femara but I heard it is very good. Good luck. I hope everything work out for you.

Q: What is the difference between clomid or femara (letrozole) ?
I’m getting an IUI for the first time and my doc put me on femara but I hear lots of people be on clomid !! Is there a difference ?

A: They are both ovulation inducing drugs but they way they induce ovulation is different at the biochemical/biophysical level. Kind of like acetaminaphen and ibuprofen…..they are both pain relievers, but they do it differently, but it doesn’t really matter because the outcome is the same – pain relief. As with acetaminaphen and ibuprofen, on or the other of Clomid or Femara might work better for different people. Its just a matter of experimentation.

Clomid and Femara have equal success rates. Clomid is the gold standard and has been used for decades whereas Femara is a relatively new discovery (but has been used for ovulation induction for 5+ years). Femara is actually a drug taken by breast cancer patients and they discovered that, even with chemotherapy and all the ill effects of cancer, women who took Femara were still regularly ovulating, or ovulating when they previously had not been.

Clomid has a lot of negative side effects such as thinning of the uterine lining and drying up of cervical mucus which can actually prevent conception and successful pregnancy. Other side effects include mood swings (which can be severe) and headaches. Also, Clomid stays in your body for 30+ days so the negative side effects are cumulative. The success rate for Clomid (for some unknown reason) goes down for “mature” women (35+). The success rate for Femara is the same for older women as it is for younger women.

Femara has none of these side effects and is short acting, meaning it only stays in your body for a few days.

I did 5 cycles of Clomid (50 mg) and I was extremely emotional (I would cry uncontrollably at the weirdest times). Also, I was monitored and watched my lining go from a nice, lush 10mm to 6mm on my last cycle. After 5 cycles without success, my doctor switched me to Femara. I had no side effects and we were successful on our second try. This was 5 years ago and at that time, my doctor said he felt Femara would replace Clomid as the standard treatment.

Good luck!

Q: What are the similarities and differences between Tamoxefen and Femara?
My doctor wants me to shift to Femara. However it is more expensive than Tamoxefen.

A: If your doctor wants you to change, and you have confidence in him/her, then take their advice.

With doctors, the cost is something they are aware of, but they are there to do their best for you – and this advice is to change to Femara.

Side effects will probably be almost certainly similar to Tamoxifen – if you go to there is info about dealing with these.

Good luck, and hope this works for you

Verite R

Q: Has anyone taken femara and had the novarel shot to conceive and it worked?
I took femara day 3-8 and today got a shot of Novarel, it is HCG basically. My doc. says i have two eggs one in each ovary so the femara worked. I just wondered about the shot i am trying to be hopefully but also not wanting disappointment didn’t know if anyone has tried this and it worked.

The shot is to make me ovulate since i have two heathy eggs.

A: HCG trigger shot is pretty standard and many people take it. Some conceive and some don’t. It has not worked for me but good luck to you.

Q: How does femara work and how is it used?
I am going to be starting femara in about 5 weeks and I was wondering how it works and how it is taken. Any success stories would be great. Thanks


Q: How well does femara and bromocriptine work to get pregnant and how long does it take usually?
I have been trying to get pregnant for 3 years and I finally seen a dr about it and he gave me femara and bromocriptine I’m just wondering is it sucessful in pregnancy? and how long does it take usually?

A: I don’t know anything about bromocriptine but we were successful on our second try with Femara.

Good luck!

Q: What is the difference between Tamoxepen and Femara?
My doctor gave me Femara and It has so many side effects for me. She also gave me Arimidex which is better Arimedex or Femara.?

A: I am on Arimedex, some side effects, evening primrose oil (recommended by oncologist) reduces them, was on Tamoxifen, worse side effects for me, not tried Femara.

Q: Can I have a glass of wine while taking Femara for breast cancer?
I had a bi-lateral mastectomy in Dec. 2008 and 4 cycles of Chemo from Feb.2009 to April 2009. Will the wine interfere with the Femara 2.5 mg once a day for the next 5 years?

A: I’m sure you can.

I didn’t take Femera, I took Arimidex – finished the 5 years earlier this month! – and I regularly enjoyed wine, with no ill effects.

I don’t know anyone on Femera who was warned against alcohol.

Ask your doctor or oncologist if you’re concerned. But if it doesn’t warn against alcohol in the information leaflet that comes with your drugs, I can’t see it would be a problem.

Cancer takes so much from us, I refused to let it take every small pleasure.

Q: what’s the difference between Clomid and Femara?
i know one difference is tht Femara is much more expensive! Dr. just prescribed to me earlier. going to be my first time on Femara. Been on Clomid for 3 last cycles. obviously., i am still trying to conceive! .. i envy those ppl who can conceive naturally.

A: Clomid is often a first line treatment to induce regular ovulation. Clomid works at the level of the hypothalamus where it competes for estrogen binding sites. When these “sites are occupied” by Clomid, the hypothalamus responds by producing more GnRH which then stimulates the pituitary to produce FSH. Remember, in a normal cycle healthy follicles produce estrogen, which signals the hypothalamus to reduce production of FSH. Clomiphene is marketed in the United States by Aventis Laboratories as Clomid and by Serono Laboratories as Serophene.

The goal of clomiphene therapy in treating infertility is to establish normal ovulation rather than cause the development of numerous eggs. Once ovulation is established, there is no benefit to increasing the dosage further . Numerous studies show that pregnancy usually occurs during the first three months of infertility therapy and treatment beyond six months is not recommended. Clomiphene can cause side effects such as ovarian hyperstimulation (rare), visual disturbances, nausea, diminished “quality” of the cervical mucus, multiple births, and others.

Femara® (letrozole tablets) is approved for the adjuvant (following surgery) treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor–positive early stage breast cancer. The benefits of Femara in clinical trials are based on 24 months of treatment. Further follow-up will be needed to determine long-term results, safety and efficacy.
Femara is also approved for the extended adjuvant treatment of early stage breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are within three months of completion of five years of tamoxifen therapy. The benefits of Femara in clinical trials are based on 24 months of treatment. Further follow-up will be needed to determine long-term results, including side effects.

In addition, Femara is approved for the treatment of postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor–positive or estrogen receptor–unknown breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body (metastatic cancer).

Q: Does Femara make your period late or could I be pregnant?
I usually have a period every 21 days well I just took my first round of femara 2.5 mg and my period is 3 days late and i did ovulate now i’m just waiting to take a pregnancy test.
I have been having extremely bad head achs and my face has broke out the past week.
Does femara screw cycles up?

A: Femara can help you regulate yoru cycles, there’s a chance you could be pregnant, if your period is late you could take a test to make sure, good luck!
you can also ask doctors online for free, try

Q: is it safe to have surgery while taking the drug femara?
My question is for breast cancer patients who are on Femara ( a cancer drug like aramedex) is it safe to have surgery (such as hysterectomy etc) while at the same time you are taking this drug Femara & since a side affect is that it causes blood clots?

A: It is safe to have surgery. Just make sure your surgeon knows that you take the medication. He or she will give you instructions about whether or not to stop taking the drug for a short time before your surgery.

Also, there are several things that are now done routinely to prevent throbosis in post-surgical patients, including heparin injections, early ambulation, and compression stockings.

Q: Are there any differences between Clomid and Femara?
I’m supposed to start on Clomid but heard of some women taking Femara instead. Do you know of any differences between the two?

A: Femara has less side effects, and many experience no side effects. Clomid is very harsh, and the side effects can become unbearable. I had every annoying s/e possible, the moodiness was awful, the depression was misery, the weight gain was just an added bonus, and the lack of motivation daily was the icing on the cake lol. With Femara, the s/e were certainly cut in half and then some. Also, you are more likely to produce multiple follicles with Clomid. My Clomid cycles, I always had a few follicles, on my Femara cycle, I just had 1 really good sized follicle. I took both Clomid and Femara when we were doing IUI’s, 1 Clomid/IUI cycle and 1 Femara/IUI cycle. If I had to do it all over again, I would vouch for Femara again.

Good luck and baby dust :)

Q: Serious answers only – anyone else had any luck with metformin and femara?
I have been taking metformin for several months now and have been taking femara (letrozole) for about a month now. Has anyone else had any good luck while trying to conceive with these meds? I have a dr appt very soon to see if its working but I would like to hear of others success stories.

A: I did not take the metformin but have taken Femara for the past 2 months. I responded very well to the medication according to the ultrasound and the size of my follicles (better than I did on Chlomid) but not preggo yet. It is now time for me to have laparoscpic surgery to check me for endometriosis.

I think I done better on the Femara than I did on Chlomid PLUS i had no side effects at all with the Femara and had several with Chlomid like hot flashes, mood swings, etc…

I hope it helps you! Good Luck!!

Q: What are the chances of multiples with Femara?
Femara is for breast cancer, but because it lowers your estrogen they also use it as a fertility drug. You only take it on days 5-9 of your cycle, then do not take it again if conception occurs.

A: With all fertility drugs theres a higher chance for multiples.

Q: Has anyone had success with femara and a HCG trigger shot, or femara alone?
I am taking femara 3-7 and U/S on day 10 and then injecting pregnyl. We have been TTC for 3 and 1/2 years and am just looking for a bit of hope.

A: hey there! I will begin taking Femara sometime this week for cd 3-7 and on cd 14 I have to have an U/S and get the Hcg trigger shot. This will be my VERY FIRST fertility med and I’m very much hoping it will work. I will know the answer if it worked at the end of this month/ first weekish of October. Don’t give up hope! I noticed a lot of people on here don’t really use Femara, it’s mostly Clomid. I’ve heard of a lot of people on other message boards (not really yahoo answers) that have a lot of success with Femara. It is very possible that this could be the thing that helps you conceive. Your doctor will help you the best they can. I really wish you best of luck and best wishes! :o )

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