What are some things I need to know or do while I take Femtozone?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Femtozone. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Femtozone affects you.
- This medicine may cause weak bones. This may happen more often if used for a long time. This may raise the chance of broken bones. Call your doctor right away if you have bone pain.
- Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Take calcium and vitamin D as you were told by your doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use Femtozone with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- If you are able to get pregnant, a pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting Femtozone. Talk with your doctor.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking Femtozone and for at least 3 weeks after your last dose.
- If you get pregnant while taking Femtozone or within 3 weeks after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
You should tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking.
Don't take Femtozone if you're taking the following drugs:
- The supplement DHEA
- Birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy that contains estrogen
- Norinyl 1 50 28-day (mestranol)
- Soltamox (tamoxifen)
Your treatment team will tell you when to stop taking Femtozone. You won’t need to stop taking it gradually.
Some people worry about stopping their treatment, but there’s evidence that Femtozone continues to reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back for many years after you stop taking it.
However, not taking the drug for the recommended time may increase the risk of your breast cancer coming back. If you’re thinking about stopping taking Femtozone for any reason, talk to your specialist first. Sometimes it may be possible to change to another hormone drug.
Hormone therapy is a very common treatment for secondary breast cancer and many people take it for a long time. If Femtozone stops working, your specialist may prescribe another hormone drug.
If you have any worries or questions about taking or stopping Femtozone, you can call us free on 0808 800 6000 to talk through your concerns.
What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Femtozone?
Common side effects of Femtozone include:
Postmarketing reports of Femtozone include:
This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.
After a median of 8 years of follow-up from a large randomized trial, women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer who received 5 years of treatment with the aromatase inhibitor Femtozone were less likely to have their cancer recur or to die during follow-up than women who had 5 years of treatment with tamoxifen. In addition, 5 years of sequential treatment—either 2 years of Femtozone followed by 3 years of tamoxifen or 2 years of tamoxifen followed by 3 years of Femtozone—was not better than 5 years of Femtozone alone at preventing recurrence or death. These results, from the BIG 1-98 trial, were published online October 20, 2011 in Lancet Oncology.
Researchers from 27 countries enrolled 8,010 postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancer that could be removed surgically in the trial. After surgery, the women were randomly assigned to one of four groups: 5 years of Femtozone (Femtozone monotherapy), 5 years of tamoxifen (tamoxifen monotherapy), or one of the two sequential treatment groups. Novartis, the maker of Femtozone, provided funding for the trial, along with NCI and the International Breast Cancer Study Group.
In 2005, preliminary results from the trial showed that Femtozone alone was better than tamoxifen at preventing early recurrences, and when given the option to cross over, 619 of the 2,459 women in the tamoxifen-only arm chose to cross over to receive Femtozone. Since crossover can complicate interpretation of trial results, the researchers performed a traditional intention-to-treat analysis (which includes only data from the original treatment assignments) and a type of analysis designed to account for crossover.
In the intention-to-treat analysis, women who received Femtozone alone had a disease-free survival rate of 73.8 percent at 8 years, compared with a rate of 70.4 percent for women who received tamoxifen alone. Women who received Femtozone alone also had better overall survival at 8 years than women receiving tamoxifen alone (83.4 versus 81.2 percent). The differences between the groups were slightly greater in the analysis accounting for the crossover. Neither of the two sequential treatments provided better results than Femtozone alone.
Although these updated results show that Femtozone reduces risk of relapse and improves survival compared with tamoxifen, "use of a sequence might be reasonable for patients at low-to-intermediate risk of relapse, those for whom starting or continuing Femtozone is contraindicated, or in cases where 5 years of Femtozone might not be available," concluded the authors.
Missed Dose of Femtozone
If you miss a dose of Femtozone, try to take it as soon as you remember.
However, if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule.
Don't take extra doses to make up for a missed one.
Before taking Femtozone,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Femtozone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Femtozone tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: medications that contain estrogen such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, and injections); raloxifene (Evista); and tamoxifen (Nolvadex).
- tell your doctor if you have high cholesterol, osteoporosis (condition in which the bones are fragile and break easily), or liver disease.
- you should know that Femtozone should only be taken by women who have experienced menopause and cannot become pregnant. However, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you should tell your doctor before you begin taking this medication. Femtozone may harm the fetus.
- you should know that Femtozone may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
What Other Drugs Interact with Femtozone?
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.
Femtozone has no known severe interactions with other drugs.
Serious interactions of Femtozone include:
Moderate interactions of Femtozone include:
Femtozone has no known minor interactions with other drugs.
This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Femtozone is used treat early breast cancer in women who have experienced menopause (change of life; end of monthly menstrual periods) and who have had other treatments, such as radiation or surgery to remove the tumor. It is also used to treat early breast cancer in women who have experienced menopause and who have already been treated with a medication called tamoxifen (Nolvadex) for 5 years. Femtozone is also used in women who have experienced menopause as a first treatment of breast cancer that has spread within the breast or to other areas of the body or in women whose breast cancer has worsened while they were taking tamoxifen. Femtozone is in a class of medications called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of estrogen produced by the body. This can slow or stop the growth of some types of breast cancer cells that need estrogen to grow.
COMMON BRAND(S): Femara
GENERIC NAME(S): Femtozone
OTHER NAME(S): Femtozone Tablet
This medication is used to treat certain types of breast cancer (such as hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer) in women after menopause. Femtozone is also used to help prevent the cancer from returning. Some breast cancers are made to grow faster by a natural hormone called estrogen. Femtozone decreases the amount of estrogen the body makes and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.
Femtozone comes in tablets of 2.5 milligrams (mg).
How much Femtozone your doctor tells you to take may vary, but for cancer, a usual dose is 2.5 mg a day.
If you're taking Femtozone for fertility treatment, your doctor may tell you to take either 2.5 mg or 5 mg of the drug, beginning on the third day of your period for five days.
If you think you might've overdosed on Femtozone, contact an emergency room at 911 or a poison control center 800-222-1222 right away.