Generic Name(s): letrozole
Drug Class: Aromatase inhibitor
Treats: Breast cancer, Breast tumor
Femara is a hormone therapy generally known as aromatase inhibitor. Femara works by reducing estrogen levels in postmenopausal women. Femara is found in generic forms and has been approved for treating women with a positive hormone receptor (positive), women with advanced metastatic cancer of the breast and women who have been treated by standard adjuvant tamoxifen therapy with early breast cancer.
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Femara is a type of medication used to treat certain types of cancer in postmenopausal women. Contains non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor to deal with the reduction of estrogen levels. Estrogen is a natural hormone which accelerates the rate of growth of some cancers. Letrozole prevents the cancer from returning by decreasing the estrogen levels the body produces consequently reducing the rate of growth of the breast cancers.
Femara can also be used for other purposes not professional approved in the labelling which is the treatment of infertility in women. Femara is often administered to women who have initially been taking tamoxifen for a period 5 years (Nolvadex, soltamox)
- Breast cancer
- Breast tumor
Femara dosage is dependent on the individual that it is being administered to. The following dosage is an average dose and could differ among individuals. Follow your medical professional's directions for best results.
- The adequate dosage for Femara is one 2.5 mg tablet taken once each day disregarding meals.
In adjuvant cases, the conventional duration of treatment with the drug is indefinite. In a study conducted at the optimal time for use was 5 years with 73% of the cases having successful completion of the therapy.The optimal treatment time in extended adjuvant setting is not known.
In first and second-line treatment of patients with advanced diseases, treatment should progress until the progression of the tumor is evident. For patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment, no adjustment of the dosage is recommended. For patients with cirrhosis or acute hepatic dysfunction, the dosage should be reduced by 50%.
Femara Side Effects
Like any other drug, Femara may cause side effects. You should contact your doctor if you suffer any severe side effects. Below you will find a list of common side effects. Note that not all possible side effects are listed here.
- weight gain
- warmth in your chest and face
- hot flashes
- feeling tired and weak
- pain in the bone
- pain in the joints and muscles
- stiffness in one's hands and fingers
- tingling and numbness
- general weakness
- sweating at night
- pain in the arms
- spreading to the wrist
- or shoulder
Serious side effects should be reported to the doctor immediately. These may include:
- mental or mood changes
- blurred vision
- swelling in the arms and legs
- continuous and recurring
- vomiting and nausea
- unusually dark urine
- fracturing of bones
- yellowing of the eyes
Patients with serious allergic reactions to letrozole or any other ingredients in the medication are advised not to take the drug. Patients allergic to aromatase inhibitor medications like exemestane and anastrozole are also required to avoid using this drug. Another group of people who are under 18 years old, pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and premenopausal ladies are not required to use the drug.