Compare Nolvadex vs. Femara

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Lowers risk of and treats breast cancer.

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) is an effective, first-line option for certain types of breast cancers, but it has many severe side effects and needs a lot of monitoring.

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Upsides
  • In studies, postmenopausal women who were at high risk for breast cancer took Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) for 5 years and lowered their risk by about 50%.
  • Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) is the only medicine approved to lower risk of breast cancer regardless of menopausal status. Other medicines are approved only for postmenopausal women.
  • Effective in treating metastatic breast cancer in men and women.
  • Available in both tablets and a sugar-free solution.
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Downsides
  • If you're taking Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) to lower your risk for breast cancer, it can raise your risk of having a stroke or getting a blood clot, especially if you have a history of blood clots or you're currently taking a blood thinner, like warfarin. Tell your doctor about any health conditions before you start taking Nolvadex (Tamoxifen).
  • Can raise the risk of fractures in premenopausal women.
  • There are many drug interactions, including antidepressants and other chemotherapy (anti-cancer) medicines. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before making any changes.
  • Requires regular blood tests and doctor exams to monitor for side effects.
  • Not the best choice if you have eye or liver problems.
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Used for
  • Breast cancer
  • Adjuvant
  • Postmenopausal
  • Hormone receptor-positive Breast cancer
  • Advanced
  • Postmenopausal
  • Following antiestrogen therapy Breast cancer
  • Extended adjuvant
  • Postmenopausal
  • Following 5 years of tamoxifen therapy Breast cancer
  • Locally advanced or metastatic
  • Postmenopausal
  • Hormone receptor-positive or unknown
  • First-line
  • Breast cancer
  • Neoadjuvant
  • Postmenopausal
  • Hormone receptor-positive Delayed puberty Endometriosis - Ovulation induction Ovulation induction - Polycystic ovary syndrome
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
21possible side effects
  • Hot Flashes
    65%
  • Flush
    33%
  • Fluid Retention
    32%
  • Vaginal Discharge
    30%
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Irregular Menses
    25%
  • Weight Loss (>5%)
    23%
  • Skin Changes
    19%
  • Amenorrhea
    16%
  • Altered Menses
    13%
  • Oligomenorrhea
    9%
  • Bone Pain
    6%
  • Menstrual Disorder
    6%
  • Thrombocytopenia
    5%
  • Cough/Coughing
    4%
  • Edema
    4%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Muscoloskeletal Pain
    3%
  • Pain
    3%
  • Ovarian Cyst(s)
    3%
  • Depression
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Femara (Letrozole) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Serious and life-threatening events
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Increased risk of vision changes
  • Worsening liver function
    • Current liver problems
  • Blood disorders
See more detailed risks and warnings
No information currently available