Femara after Arimidex effective or harmful?

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Question from Bend: I recently completed 5 years on Arimidex and my oncologist prescribed 5 more of Femara. Are there any studies that show this being either effective or harmful? Thanks for your help.
Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. There are no long-term studies looking at the safety of more than 5 years of therapy with an aromatase inhibitor. Both Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole) and Femara (chemical name: letrozole) are aromatase inhibitors. There is currently a research study being conducted by the The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) that is looking at whether or not 5 additional years of an aromatase inhibitor is safe and effective after 5 years of initial therapy.
Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. If you have an opportunity to participate in a clinical trial regarding this, it may be something you would want to consider.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Managing Ongoing Medications featured Patricia Ganz, M.D. and moderator Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answering your questions about staying on track with breast cancer medications you have to take on a regular basis.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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