Effects of FemaraSeveral studies have looked at the effects of Femara in women with breast cancer. One study looked at the drug's effectiveness as an adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer. Adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is treatment that follows breast cancer surgery (with or without radiation). It is given to help prevent the cancer from returning. These studies compared Femara with tamoxifen in postmenopausal women with early cancer. Taking Femara reduced the chances of the cancer returning by up to 17 percent when compared to tamoxifen.
Other studies showed that switching to Femara after taking tamoxifen for five years, compared to not taking anything after five years of tamoxifen, can reduce the chances of breast cancer recurring (coming back).
Studies have also compared Femara to tamoxifen in postmenopausal women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer. These women had tumors that were either hormone receptor-positive or for which the receptor status was not known. In these studies, Femara was at least as effective as tamoxifen in terms of how the cancer responded to the medication (either by shrinking the tumor or stopping its growth) and time to progression. "Time to progression" is a medical term that means from the time that the cancer is treated until the disease starts to get worse, such as when the cancer spreads (metastasizes) or the tumor increases in size. In these studies, time to progression was, on average, up to 9.4 months for Femara and, on average, up to 6 months for tamoxifen.
When and How to Take ItSome general considerations for when and how to take Femara include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth once a day.
- You can take it with or without food. If the drug bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- Femara should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Femara will not work if you stop taking it.