Generic name: Letrozole
Brand name: Femara
Femara (letrozole) is prescribed for the adjuvant (following surgery) treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early stage breast cancer. You may see the positive result within 24 months of treatment. It is prescribed for treatment of early stage and advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal females and in women with estrogen receptor-positive or estrogen receptor-unknown breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body (metastatic cancer).
Don’t take Femara if you are premenopausal. Your doctor may advise you birth control pills if you may get pregnant. Consult your physician if you have allergy to Femara or any of its ingredients.
Your doctor may prescribe this remedy for other purposes. Contact your physician if you need to learn more information about this drug.
Don’t stop treatment with Femara earlier than it was prescribed by your doctor even if you notice improvements of your condition. Stopping the medication too early may worsen your condition. Be careful about doing dangerous tasks, driving, operating machinery or climbing until you are aware how this drug affects you. Don’t drink alcohol.
What symptoms or conditions should I report to a doctor before I take this medicine?
It is important to report to a doctor if you have or had the following conditions:
- allergies (especially drug allergies)
- liver problems
- pregnancy or breast-feeding
Femara may increase cholesterol level. Additional follow-up is needed to determine the risk of bone fracture associated with long-term use of Femara.
FDA pregnancy category D. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment.
How do I take this medicine?
Note: This remedy was prescribed to you only. Do not share this medicament with others. Follow strictly your doctor’s prescription. Do not take more or longer than your doctor recommended.
Take each dose with a full glass of water once a day with or without food.
Check your physician regularly to monitor your condition. Your bone mineral density may also need to be checked.
What should be done if I missed the dose?
In case you forgot to take the dose, take it at your earliest opportunity. Never double your dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Take only one dose at once.
Taking any medicine in large doses you can have serious consequences for your health. If you feel an overdose, contact your health care professional instantly.
Rare but serious side effects:
- trouble breathing, chest pain
- itching, rash
- hot flushes
- stomach pain
- problems with vision
- unusual vaginal bleeding
- swelling, redness, weakness
- pain in legs or arms
- other cancers
- heart attack
- vaginal bleeding
- endometrial cancer
- blood clots
The most common side effects:
- weight gain
- bone fractures
- hot flashes
- joint pain
- night sweats
- other heart-related problems
- increase in cholesterol
- arthritis, joint pain, muscle pain, osteoporosis
- headache, dizziness, drowsiness
- constipation, diarrhea, nausea
- heart-related problems, swelling due to fluid retention and nausea
This list of side effects may be not complete, others may occur. Inform your medical practitioners about all side effects you experience.
- muscle relaxants
- anti-seizure drugs
- psychiatric drugs
- narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine)
- certain cough-and-cold products containing antihistamines (for example, diphenhydramine)
This list of interactions may be not complete. Provide your medical practitioners entire list of medicines, herbs, dietary supplements or non-prescription drugs you take. Moreover tell them whether you drink alcohol, use illegal drugs or smoke. Particular items may interact with your drug.
Femara should be stored at room temperature, between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F), in a tightly closed container. Protect from moisture, direct heat, and light. Do not store in the bathroom or near a sink. Keep Femara out of the reach of children and away from animals.
Warning: Before taking the drug you need to consult your doctor. The information contained in this article is not intended to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, adverse effects, directions, uses, allergic reactions or warnings.