Drug Trade Name: Femara
Category: Treating Breast Cancer
Generic Name: Letrozole
Introduction and quick information:
Femara is an aromatase inhibitor that lower the levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women. These estrogens are generated by aromatase enzyme by the conversion of androgens. Various breast tumors that cause breast cancer need these estrogens for their growth. Femara is effective if the main source of estrogens is from peripheral tissues, not the ovaries. If a woman is suffering from hormonally- responsive breast cancer then tamoxifen is a better option because Femara can improve the recurrence of breast cancer.
Another important use of Femara is for ovarian stimulation because its usage minimizes the danger of side-effects and multiple gestations.
Is it approved By FDA?
In 1997, Femara was recognized as an effective drug for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and got its approval as well.
Usage and Benefits of Femara:
Listed under are some of the prime uses of Femara:
- For the treatment of metastatic breast cancer
- For ovarian stimulation
- In pretreatment for termination of pregnancy
- Prevent the formation of gynecomastia
- Use during a steroid cycle to reduce bloating
- Promote spermatogenesis in male patients
- For the treatment of endometriosis.
- Treating women who have taken tamoxifen.
Femara can also be used for purposes others than those listed above. You can consult your doctor to get information about other extensive uses of Femara.
Femara Side Effects:
Various side effects being encountered by a person taking Femara is listed below:
- Back Pain
- High Cholesterol
- Hot Flashes
- Brest Pain
- Muscle pain
- Loss of Appetite
There is a long list of side-effects associated with Femara but most of them are minor and can be treated at home.
Femara is not prescribed to people suffering from following diseases;
- Liver disease
- Any kind of allergies
If you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned diseases or any other disease please consult your doctor and inform him about your condition. It is better to consult your doctor before you cause any harm to your health that can be fatal.
General recommended dosages of Femara:
Femara is prepared in the form of 2.5 mg tablets. These tablets can be taken with or without food generally once daily. But it is advisable to consult your doctor prior to taking any dosage because using it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor can be dangerous and can cause many side-effects discussed earlier.
In case I miss the dose?
Missing a dose is not a big deal. No need to freak out. Take it at the moment you remember it but if the next scheduled dose is about to come, it is better to skip the missed dose. Taking a double dose is not a good option as it may be harmful rather being beneficial.
In case I take overdose?
Avoid taking overdose as it could lead to frequent headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms. So, it is better to seek medical attention and talk to your doctor immediately.
Drug Interactions of Femara:
People more often do not consult their doctors before taking any new drugs in combination with their regular medicines. As a result, many of them get unexpected results, highly harmful to their health. The matter of fact is that they are not well aware of the drug interactions. Keep one thing in mind that drugs are made up of chemicals and chemicals has the tendency to react with one or other chemical, that can be harmful.
Some of the drug interactions of Femara are listed below:
The above listed drugs are those which are generally reported. The actual list is much larger than this. So, you need to talk to your doctor to find out which of your daily medicines are reactive to Fermara and what cautions you need to take to minimize the side effects.
Lifestyle and food habits you must follow when on Femara:
A healthy lifestyle is always helpful in fighting against any kind of disease you are suffering from. Avoid femara if you are involved in situations that require you to be awake and alert as Femara can impair your thinking and reactions. Adding nutritional content to your daily diet, making it well-balanced and will enhance your immunity. Quitting bad habits like drinking and smoking will be an added advantage. You need to go for regular checkups especially your bone mineral density need to be checked.
How safe is Femara for pregnant women or Nursing Mothers?
Femara is categorized under FDA’s Pregnancy Category D based on the risk. It is advisable for pregnant ladies not to take this medication as it causes serious harm to the unborn baby. Inform your doctor about your pregnancy and seek his expert advice. As far as nursing mothers are concerned, they should not take this medication, although it is not yet reported whether Femara passes into breast milk or not but you must be careful and alert.
Complications and Conditions possible due to prolonged use of Femara:
You will often see that prescriptions of osteoporosis-fighting medications are accompanied with prescriptions of Femara because prolonged use of Femara may lead to osteoporosis. It is a disease of bones that increases the risk of fracture. You may even see some signs and symptoms of hypoestrogenism.
Availability of Femara
Femara is available on the doctors prescription only and it is not OTC medicine.