Femara (Letrozole) is the medication which is prescribed to treat certain types of breast cancer in post-menopausal women (for instance, hormone-receptor positive one). The medication decreases the amount of estrogen produced by a woman’s body (the hormone responsible for faster growth of cancer), helps reverse or slow down the growth of tumors and prevents the disease from reoccurrence. Femara is often taken by women who have been administering tamoxifen for the period of 5 years. Moreover, it may be used off-label for other purposes, not listed in this guide.
What You Should Know about Taking Femara
The drug shouldn’t be used by women who haven’t completely gone through menopause.
Before taking Femara, you should consult your healthcare provider and inform him/her whether you have the following conditions:
Cirrhosis or any other liver disease;
High cholesterol levels;
Intake of tamoxifen;
Allergy to letrozole.
The use of this drug is able to impair reactions or thinking, so you should be attentive while driving or being involved in other activities that require alertness. Limit the intake of alcoholic beverages and don’t use marijuana during the treatment course.
It may cause harm to the health of an unborn baby and be the reason of birth defects, so it mustn’t be used during pregnancy, as well as breastfeeding, as the medication may pass into the breast milk.
To make sure the use of Femara will be beneficial for your health, it’s necessary to inform your doctor about your medical history, mentioning such facts as bone problems, blood clots, stroke, heart diseases, high blood pressure, liver or kidney problems, high blood fats, etc.
If you are going to have surgery, report all the pharmaceuticals you are currently using to your doctor, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, vitamins and other supplements.
Femara interaction with other medications may change the way of its work and increase the risk of side effects occurrence. Its use shouldn’t be combined with such drugs as Celexa, Plavix, Citalopram, Clopidogrel and a range of others. Other products include estrogens (conjugated estrogens and ethinyl estradiol) and estrogen blockers (tamoxifen and anastrozole). Contact your doctor to get a full list of remedies Femara interacts with.
Dose and Intake
A usual dose taken to treat breast cancer is 2.5 mg orally once a day with or without food. The optimal duration is set by a healthcare provider. If you have missed a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember, but skip it if the next dose has to be taken in 2-3 hours.
If Femara is misused, the following reactions may appear:
Signs of allergic reaction;
Signs of UTI;
Signs of high blood pressure;
Shortness of breath;
Strange vaginal bleeding;
Chest pressure or pain, etc.
In case these or any other adverse reactions have appeared, make sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible.