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letrozole uses

letrozole 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.

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.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Letrozole is used treat early breast cancer in women who have experienced menopause (change of life; end of monthly menstrual periods) and who have had other treatments, such as radiation or surgery to remove the tumor. It is also used to treat early breast cancer in women who have experienced menopause and who have already been treated with a medication called tamoxifen (Nolvadex) for 5 years. Letrozole is also used in women who have experienced menopause as a first treatment of breast cancer that has spread within the breast or to other areas of the body or in women whose breast cancer has worsened while they were taking tamoxifen. Letrozole is in a class of medications called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of estrogen produced by the body. This can slow or stop the growth of some types of breast cancer cells that need estrogen to grow.

How should this medicine be used?

Letrozole comes as a tablet to take by mouth once a day with or without food. Take letrozole at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take letrozole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Letrozole can be used after surgery to treat postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer, including those who have received approximately 5 years of tamoxifen therapy. Letrozole can also be used to treat postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer. It can also be used to treat women who have gone through natural or artificially induced menopause who have breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and whose cancer has progressed following anti-estrogen therapy.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each dark yellow, round, slightly biconvex, bevelled-edged tablet, bearing the imprint "FV" on one side and "CG" on the other, contains letrozole 2.5 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cellulose compounds (microcrystalline cellulose and methylhydroxypropylcellulose), corn starch, iron oxide, lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate, silicon dioxide, talc, and titanium dioxide.

Usage

Take letrozole exactly as prescribed.

Letrozole comes in tablet form and is taken once daily, with or without food.

If this medication upsets your stomach, try taking it with food and try to take letrozole at the same time each day.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of letrozole at the same time.

Side Effects of Letrozole

Serious side effects have been reported with letrozole. See the "Letrozole Precautions" section.

Common side effects of letrozole include:

  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • back pain
  • stomach pain
  • changes in weight
  • muscle, joint, or bone pain or arthritis
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • high cholesterol
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • vaginal bleeding or irritation
  • breast pain
  • hair loss
  • blurry vision
  • This is not a complete

Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, implants, patches, rings, and/or injections)
  • hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications
  • raloxifene (Evista)
  • tamoxifen (Nolvadex)

This is not a complete list of letrozole drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with letrozole including:

decreased bone mineral density. Letrozole and other medications that lower the amount of estrogen in the body can lead to osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about this if you are a woman over the age of 55 or already have osteoporosis.

increased blood levels of letrozole in patients with liver disease. Patients with severe liver disease or cirrhosis may require a dose reduction.

increased blood cholesterol levels. Your doctor may monitor your blood cholesterol levels and cholesterol-lowering medications may be required

Letrozole Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking or have taken in the past
  • how you respond to this medication
  • liver function
  • your weight
  • your age

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