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What is Femara?
Femara belongs to a class of non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors; it has letrozole as an active ingredient. Letrozole decreases the amount of estrogen in the body by blocking the enzyme aromatase and turning the hormone androgen into a small amount of estrogen. Fewer estrogen levels will not stimulate the growth of positive breast cancer.
Femara is used to treat breast cancer (hormonally responsive) in women after menopause and prevent it from reoccurring. Hormonally responsive cancer is a type of cancer that depends on hormones; it binds to them to stimulate cell growth and to survive, just like this breast cancer.
Femara 2.5 mg is the only strength available and should be taken orally without regard to food; regular use will help attain the most benefit of this medication. Take it at the same time every day; if a dose is missed, take it as soon as remembered, but if it is almost the time for the next intake schedule, let it be skipped and proceed to the next intake for double dosing is discouraged.
Femara Side Effects
Here are the common side effects of this medication; inform your doctor promptly if these common side effects persist:
- Hot flashes
- Hair loss
- Joint, bone, and muscle pain
- Trouble in sleeping
- Unusual sweating
Serious side effects may also occur if any of the listed below is experienced; tell your doctor immediately.
- Bone fracture
- Mood changes
- Swelling of arms or legs
- Blurred vision
- Persistent Nausea
- Dark urine
- Unusual tiredness
- Yellow skin or eyes
Femara for Fertility
Femara is an off-label treatment for infertility; off-label is when a drug is indicated for a specific condition but is used to treat other conditions. Women with infertility due to ovulation problems caused by PCOS polycystic ovary syndrome use this medicine, but it may also be used for nonobvious causes or unexplained infertility.
Femara 2.5mg is taken for five days after a few days from menstruation to lower estrogen level; if you may want to start without a period, a doctor may recommend a higher dose intake of 5.0mg to 7.5mg for five days. It will signal the pituitary gland to release the hormone FSH follicle-stimulating hormone and LH luteinizing hormone. This process is called ovulation induction, as these hormones stimulate the egg to mature and be released in the ovary. Another approach to this medication is called hyperstimulation or superovulation; you are already ovulating before this medication. The drug will cause more eggs than usual to mature and be released in the ovaries. The success rate is based on age, cause of fertility, and the particular use of this medication. The usual success is in ovulation induction rather than superovulation. The recommended use is only no longer than six cycles, for it is likely that the drug is not working on the patient.
Clomid vs Femara
Clomid and Femara are both used to treat infertility, but Clomid is approved as the first inline fertility medication while this Femara is used as an off-label. Femara has letrozole as an active ingredient and has 2.5mg strength, while Clomid has clomiphene as the active ingredient, and strength is 50mg and 100mg. Both are taken for five days but work differently; Clomid stimulates the release of the hormone to support growth and out of a mature egg, while Femara inhibits aromatase that produces estrogen. Femara is more effective in treating PCOS and infertility in women, but when it comes to treating unexplainable infertility, they seem to be both effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
-Is there food and drink to avoid while on this medication?
-Caraway and custard apple should be avoided for Paget disease of breast cancer.
-Black seed should also be avoided as it contains thymoquinone that interacts with letrozole.
-Alcoholic beverages should be avoided, for it increases the risk of osteoporosis, which is already raised by the drug itself.
-How long after this medication will you ovulate?
-If taken at the proper dose, ovulation will take place between five to eight days.
-Does Femara stop cancer from spreading?
-It cuts the risk of tumor development and stops the risk of spreading in other parts of the body by 61%.
-Is this medication used for chemotherapy?
-It is not for chemotherapy; it is a hormone therapy that slows or stops cancer growth that uses hormones to survive.
-How long can you take this medication?
-Length of therapy varies per individual; some may take it for five years, and others may take it for a more extended period.