Femara (Letrozole) from Maple Leaf Medications.
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Femara is intended as a first-line medication to treat postmenopausal breast cancer.
Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer is a form of cancer that commonly occurs after menopause due to imbalances and fluctuations in the levels of the female hormones called progestin and estrogen. Breast cancer that’s hormone receptor-positive means the cells that have formed into a cancerous growth contain receptor sites that allow estrogen and progestin to bind to them.
Femara for Fertility
Femara has been used off-label to treat some types of infertility problems for over a decade. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can be treated using this medication. PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries are unable to properly produce eggs, which results in infertility. Femara is also prescribed to treat other forms of infertility where the incidence is unknown in some cases.
While using Femara, the increase in estrogen levels creates a higher percentage for successful conception. Chances of conceiving are improved by approximately 15 percent for women who are unable to properly ovulate. Talk to your doctor about using Femara to treat your condition if you suffer from ovulation problems causing infertility.
How Does Femara Work?
Femara uses the active ingredient letrozole, which is known as an aromatase inhibitor. These types of medications achieve their effect by reducing the amount of excess estrogen in the body. It does this in part by triggering a neurological response in the brain that releases hormones called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
FSH is a hormone that is critical in the process of egg synthesis in the ovaries. FSH stimulates the ovaries to produce egg cells.
The main effects of this medication have to do with the hormone inhibiting properties. Letrozole binds to aromatase molecules, which prevents them from triggering their receptors. The signal prompted by aromatase is how the body knows when to produce more estrogen. By blocking these enzymes, Femara actively lowers estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is a hormone that helps grow breast tissues and has been linked to abnormal cell growth and breast cancer development.
Warnings and Precautions
Femara can cause a loss of bone mineral density, leading to a higher risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can cause pain, weakness, and an increased likelihood of bone fractures.
Use this medication under the close supervision of a doctor with experience in cancer treatment. It may be necessary for you to visit your doctor regularly to avoid any dangerous side effects.
This medication is intended for adults 18 years of age or older. This medication can cause unwanted physiological and psychological changes in children due to the suppressing effect it has on the hormones in the body integral for reproductive and other development during puberty.
If you have not gone through menopause, this medication may not be ideal for you to treat breast cancer as it is intended for post-menopausal use only.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, there may be unwanted effects that can cause harm to your baby. Do not attempt to take this medication while pregnant unless specifically advised to do so by a trusted doctor.
Before using, tell your doctor if you have or have had:
- Serious kidney disease
- Heart diseases
- High blood cholesterol or genetics that might increase your risk for high blood cholesterol levels
- Lactose intolerance
- Used any other hormone replacement therapies
- Other medications, especially those for cancer
- Osteoporosis or genetics that might increase your risk of osteoporosis
Femara Side Effects
This medication can have a wide array of side effects, although some are very uncommon. Monitor your health and watch for any signs or side effects that indicate a serious condition. Speak with your doctor immediately if you have a reason for concern regarding the side effects you are experiencing.
Common (typically mild) side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- Increase in appetite
- Dry skin
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Nervous disorders
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Eye irritation
- Vaginal disorders causing discharge or bleeding
- Chest pain
- Heart flutters
- Frequent UTIs
- Darkened urine
- Loss of touch sensation
- Bone fracture
- Joint pain
- Back pain
Typically, your treatment will start with one Femara 2.5 mg tablet taken once daily. It may be necessary for your dosage to be adjusted or increased depending on a variety of factors. These can include the presence of other health conditions, use of other medications, adverse side effects manifesting, or your response to the drug. Always follow your doctor’s guidelines for dosing.
You can take this medication with or without food, but tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.
Clomid vs Femara
Clomid is another medication that decreases the over-production of estrogen in the body. It’s similarly used to treat infertility; however, clinical studies have shown definitively that Femara is a more effective option at improving fertility, with as much as a 40% increase in success rates compared to Clomid.
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Maple Leaf Medications has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Femara (Letrozole). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Femara (Letrozole).