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letrozole side effect

letrozole side effect

Uses

This medication is used to treat certain types of breast cancer (such as hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer) in women after menopause. Letrozole is also used to help prevent the cancer from returning. Some breast cancers are made to grow faster by a natural hormone called estrogen. Letrozole decreases the amount of estrogen the body makes and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.

How to use Letrozole

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using letrozole and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily with or without food or as directed by your doctor.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets. (See also Precautions section.)

Extended Adjuvant Treatment Of Early Breast Cancer

Femara is indicated for the extended adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer in postmenopausal women, who have received 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen therapy. The effectiveness of Femara in extended adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer is based on an analysis of disease-free survival in patients treated with Femara for a median of 60 months [see Clinical Studies].

Letrozole Dosage

Letrozole comes in tablets of 2.5 milligrams (mg).

How much letrozole your doctor tells you to take may vary, but for cancer, a usual dose is 2.5 mg a day.

If you're taking letrozole for fertility treatment, your doctor may tell you to take either 2.5 mg or 5 mg of the drug, beginning on the third day of your period for five days.

Letrozole Overdose

If you think you might've overdosed on letrozole, contact an emergency room at 911 or a poison control center 800-222-1222 right away.

Missed Dose of Letrozole

If you miss a dose of letrozole, try to take it as soon as you remember.

However, if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule.

Don't take extra doses to make up for a missed one.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  • Bone fracture
  • breast pain
  • chest pain
  • chills, fever, or flu-like symptoms
  • mental depression
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs

Rare

  • Continuing or severe nervousness
  • cough
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • heart attack
  • increased sweating
  • nausea

When is letrozole prescribed?

Letrozole is used to treat post-menopausal women with oestrogen receptor positive primary breast cancer. Taking letrozole helps reduce the chance of breast cancer returning in the same breast or spreading somewhere else in the body. It can also reduce the chances of developing a new breast cancer in the same or opposite breast.

It’s usually given after surgery (known as adjuvant treatment) and following chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Sometimes letrozole is prescribed for primary breast cancer to reduce the size of the cancer before surgery (known as neo-adjuvant endocrine therapy). Before treatment starts, a small metal clip (or marker) may be placed in the area of the breast where the cancer is. This is because in some people the cancer may become difficult to see on a mammogram or ultrasound if it reduces in size, so the marker helps the surgeon find the area again before surgery.

Letrozole may also be prescribed if surgery is not an option for you, for example, if you are not able to have surgery due to other medical conditions. The treatment will not get rid of the breast cancer but can slow its growth and in some people may shrink it.

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