Asked by C. Frederick
How Do I Control Weight Gain Due To Femara?
I gained 10 pounds in five months on Femara.
The purpose of aromatase inhibitors (including Femara) is to prevent cancer cells from having access to the female sex hormones they need to grow. Unfortunately, when your body is deprived of those hormones, you experience menopausal symptoms - including a slowing of the metabolism, resulting in weight gain.
Simply put, there's no "magic bullet" for weight gain due to hormone therapy. Bottom line is, you need to eat fewer calories (diet); and burn more calories (exercise). There's some evidence that exercise can help prevent breast cancer, so not only will you be helping yourself maintain a healthy weight, you'll also potentially reduce your risk of a recurrence.
Keep in mind, too, that aromatase inhibitors can result in bone loss - osteopenia, or even osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises, including working with resistance bands, lifting weights, and moderate-impact activities (e.g., step aerobics, dancing), will help slow that process. Our post, Hormone Drugs and Bone Loss, will give you more information on all of this.