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Side Effects Of Letrozole

Side Effects Of Letrozole

Description

Letrozole is a drug used to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women (women who have gone through the menopause). Taken as a tablet once a day, it’s a type of hormone therapy (also known as endocrine therapy) and belongs to a group of drugs called aromatase inhibitors.Letrozole is the generic (non-branded) name of the drug. You may also hear it called Femara, which is its most well-known branded name, but there are a number of other brands of letrozole that your doctor may prescribe. All brands contain the same dose of the drug.

How does letrozole work?

Some breast cancers are stimulated to grow by the hormone oestrogen. In women who have been through the menopause, oestrogen is no longer produced by the ovaries. But some oestrogen is still made in body fat using an enzyme (a type of protein) called aromatase. Aromatase inhibitors stop this enzyme from working so there’s less oestrogen in the body.Letrozole will only be prescribed if your breast cancer has receptors within the cell that bind to the hormone oestrogen, known as oestrogen receptor positive or ER+ breast cancer. All breast cancers are tested for oestrogen receptors using tissue from a biopsy or after surgery. When oestrogen binds to these receptors, it can stimulate the cancer to grow.

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 is letrozole taken?

Letrozole is a tablet (2.5mg) that you take once a day. It can be taken with or without food.It’s best to take it at the same time every day. If you miss a dose, you don’t need to take an extra dose the next day as the level of drug in your body will remain high enough from the previous day. If for any reason you want to stop taking letrozole talk to your specialist first. This is because not taking the drug for the recommended time means you may increase your risk of your breast cancer coming back.

Common side effects may include

  • dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, tired feeling;
  • hot flashes, warmth in your face or chest;
  • bone pain, muscle or joint pain;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • headache;
  • increased sweating; or.
  • swelling, weight gain.

Precaution

Before taking letrozole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to anastrozole; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high blood fats (cholesterol), bone problems (such as osteopenia, osteoporosis), stroke or blood clots, heart disease (such as chest pain, heart attack, heart failure), high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems.

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