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While most patients do not report difficulties in using Femara®, there are several possible side effects. The drug, which is used as a treatment for post menopausal breast cancer patients after surgery, can produce effects from mildly annoying to life-threatening. These include, among others, hot flashes and fatigue; pain in the limbs, joints, and muscles; gastrointestinal issues; and allergies. Femara® side effects can have an impact on many parts of the body, from top layer of the skin down to the bones.
Hot flashes and fatigue or weakness are among the most commonly experienced Femara® side effects. Both of these symptoms effect up to a third of the women who take the drug. Nearly as many patients also see an increase in sweating. These are not serious side effects, though they can be helped with medical intervention.
There are many other common Femara® side effects which do not require emergency medical attention, though a doctor should be consulted if they arise. There can be pain in several areas, including the limbs, joints and muscles. Some patients may also experience pain in the breasts, bones or back. Femara® users may also suffer discomfort from vaginal dryness and irritation and fluid retention. Though tiredness is also one of the side effects of Femara®, patients can still struggle with sleeplessness. Some users can experience dizziness.
Gastrointestinal issues are also common. These can include loss of appetite, indigestion, and nausea. There may also be vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Patients can also experience weight gain or loss, often as a reaction to these symptoms.
A few of the Femara® side effects, such as coughing, headaches and flu symptoms can seem like typical illnesses. These can be more difficult to link to the drug. If these illnesses are not in season, or if they appear soon after drug therapy begins, a doctor should be consulted.
There are several more severe Femara® side effects which require immediate medical attention. This includes rare but life-threatening allergies to the drug, which can result in symptoms such as hives, a tightness in the chest, swelling of the face or breathing difficulties. Chest pain, a fever, or chills should also be addressed immediately.
Some of the more common Femara® side effects may also require emergency medical attention if they suddenly become more severe. This includes headaches, dizziness and vomiting. A doctor should also be consulted immediately if there is swelling or numbness in any of the extremities, particularly the ankles or feet.
Changes in basic motor function or perception are also severe side affects which should be addressed quickly. Confusion, disorientation and changes in speech or vision are all causes for concern. Shortness of breath and fainting are also severe reactions.