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What do you think about this drug Femara?
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What do you think about this drug Femara?

I have never heard of this drug Femara until I began chating on this site. I am very intrigued about it and kind of scared!  I have heard it works better than Clomid and Clomid never worked for me. I have PCOS and I don't think I have ever ovulated. I also heard that Femara can also cause birth defects!!! Is this drug worth the risk, or what kind of percentage of women have actually had problems with birth defects and this drug. Is it a new drug? Is it still in it's trial and error phase?  If anyone has an answer I would LOVE to know. Because the Fertility hormone shots got way too expensive for my husband and I after 2 months try so we are back to square one.

Thanks
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316002_tn?1246556737
I just started Femara yesterday along with metformin. I have PCOs also. I took Clomid for 4 months without even getting a period or ovulating. I took my first pills last night and got really shaky, dizzy and had tons of hot flashes all night long. I have not ever had a hot flash before and it was a really bad experience. I still feel shaking this morning and are still having hot flashes so I hope my next dose will not be like that. If it keeps up I will probably call my doctor on monday. Femara is actually what they use for breast cancer patients but my doctor said that it helps you to ovulate and that for women with PCOS it has a higher percentage of getting you pregnant.   I get nervous taking all these pills, its already hard for me to keep weight off with PCOS and then these pills all say weight gain, and then get pregnant massive weight gain..I get scared.
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I am also curious about this drug.  I have been prescribed this for my next cycle.  My RE says it works like Clomid but without all the side effects such as drying you up and mood swings.  I have a friend who used it and didn't have any side effects.  She didn't get pg, but that was because of other issues.
I wonder why you got dizzy and shaky - never heard of that before.  
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Clomid didnt effect me at all. I didnt have mood swings, hot flashes nothing!!! But last night it almost felt like I was drunk...and I have not had anything to drink in 3 years.  It was really bad feeling though, my eye sight was even dizzy I could stare at something without my eyes shaking and body shaking.  The doctor gave me 2.5 mg tabs but I am suppose to take two, so maybe I will see if I can start taking one in the morning and one at night.
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Clomid works by binding to the estrogen receptor and acting sort of as a "pseudo"estrogen.  This binding makes your body "think" estrogen level is low (although it really is not) and causes a cascade of events that lead to ovulation.  Femara is not a new drug...it is actually a breast cancer drug and they discovered it could be used for fertility because many of these breast cancer patients were  getting pregnant.  Femara acts in a different way than clomid.  It actually inhibits an enzyme that makes the real estrogen in your body.  In this way it actually reduces the level of estrogen and like clomid this induces a cascade of events that lead to ovulation.  This is why femara works better in some people than clomid does (maybe in people resistant to clomid the drug does not bind the receptor very well and hence the clomid does not induce ovulation as it should).  Clomid also has a very long half life, so that if you take it one month some of it is still around the next month and so on.  This can lead to a thin lining.  Femara has a very short half life and therefore does not lead to a thin lining.  Femara DOES cause birth defects if you take it when you are ALREADY pregnant.  If you are NOT already pregnant when you take femara it does not cause any more birth defects than clomid or general infertility.  So if you take it on days 3-7, it is gone by the time implantation occurs (due to it's very short half life) and theoretically it cannot cause birth defects because it is not even around anymore.  Therefore it is very important for your doctor to verify by ultrasound that you are NOT ALREADY pregnant before prescribing this drug for fertility.  I tried one cycle of femara with ultrasound monitoring and an hcg trigger, I had no side effects from it at all and I got pregnant on the first try.  I am almost 31 weeks now.  I loved this drug and will try it again next year when we try to have another child.  It is definitely worth a try in people who do not get results from clomid and it is much much cheaper than injectibles.  Also I have heard femara gives better quality eggs (than clomid) and it also reduces the chance of multiples.  (although multiples sound good to most women undergoing fertility treatments, having one child at a time has the best outcome).    Best of luck to everyone!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Femara usage for infertility is considered an "off-label" use and the manufacturer does not recommend it (of course they do not want any lawsuits from it being used improperly) but it has been around a long time.
Are you seeing an RE???  If not I would definitely go to one.  I really think the ultrasound monitoring of the follicle size and the hcg trigger helped us be successful, in addition to the femara (most OB's won't do this kind of monitoring, only an RE will).  Last, on femara I ovulated on day 13 (day of trigger) or maybe day 14.  The earliest I had ever ovulated prior to this was day 19 and that only happened once in like 25 years...usually it was like day 26-40!!!  I had two pregnancies prior to this one all of which occurred on long cycles and both ended in miscarriage so it seems to me it is very important to get that egg out early!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am SO EXCITED for you and your babygirl!!!!! CONGRATS!!!!!!  I saw the ultra sound picture, she is beautiful already, ha!  I am bad because I have already bought several baby items and I have not yet become pregnant, ha!  I really thought I was the second month of our infertility shots last year, but no such luck!  I have not tried to get pg since last year and am getting anxious with all the babies being born in my family!  Your story gives me so much HOPE and I know I am only 26 right now, but my husband is 34 and I know the longer a woman waits it only gets more difficult to concieve (conceive) a healthy pregnancy.  I am a nurse (only for 4 years now) and ever since then I have become quite a hypocondriac, because I see so many terrible things. So when I googled this Femara drug last night while at the hospital and asked around the nurse station.....the thought of BIRTH DEFECTS is the only thing that stuck in my mind about this drug and all the good things about it just didn't sink in.  I didn't not realize that Clomid made the lining of your uterus thinner. My worry is that if you CAN NOT be on Femera while PG then what if you accidently ovulate early and don't know or something, or the drug is still in your system when you do ovulate, would I have a baby with birth defects????  Also, don't think I am stupid, but this is my first time on a chat web site and I don't know what a RE is???? Is that my Reproductive Endocrinologist, Infertility specialist doc???  Okay, enough rambbling, thanks for your help, hope to hear from you soon.
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Hey, thank you for your response. I REALLY hope you have luck and a healthy PG with this drug. I have been having terrible mood swings and hotflashes still after taking the Clomid and Hormone shots and the Infertility doc in San Antonio, TX. I don't know about your dizzy spells though??? That worries me. That sounds like a major side effect to the drug, but like most drugs there will be side effects to an extent, but I don't think that dizzy spells is one of those side effects you can just blow off! It makes me wonder what your blood pressure is?  What your blood sugar is? Off the top of my head right now these are the only two things that I can think of that would also cause these symptoms or add to them. Hope you see the doctor soon!  Good luck again and I hope to hear more news!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
RE is reproductive endocrinologist - basically an infertility specialist.  Their job is basically to get you pregnant with a healthy baby.  I am not sure about ovulating early - I never had that problem.  That is why it is best to do this with an RE.  They monitored the growth of my follicle and gave me an hcg injection to induce ovulation at the correct time.  I guess if they thought you were going to ovulate way too early when the femara could still be in you, they would cancel the cycle.  I think the half life of femara is like one or two days.  Also I am not 100% sure about this but I don't think they worry about the embryo until it is actually implanted in the uterus and getting nutrition from you - so you'd want the femara gone by about 9-10 days AFTER ovulation when implantation actually occurs.  Since you usually stop the femara on cycle day 7 this shouldn't be a problem.  Before this, while it is traveling down the fallopian tube I am guessing it gets it's nutrition and everything it needs from itself and not really from your body at that point.  Anyways best of luck in your attempts at baby.  You have plenty of time to try and I am sure you will be very successful!  Thanks for the sweet comments about my ultrasound...I thought she looked adorable in that picture too!!  Can't wait to meet her in about 66 days!!!
(femara generic name is letrozole)
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