Generic Name: letrozole (LET row zol)Brand Names: Femara
Letrozole lowers estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the body.
Letrozole is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is often given to women who have been taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox) for 5 years.
Letrozole may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.
Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor.
There may be other drugs that can affect letrozole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.Stop using this medication and get emergency medical help if you think you have used too much medicine, or if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Less serious side effects are more likely, and you may have none at all. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or is especially bothersome.
Take letrozole exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor.Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
Letrozole is usually taken once a day. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Letrozole can be taken with or without food.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, you will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your bone mineral density may also need to be checked. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.Store letrozole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Letrozole dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
An overdose of letrozole is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.
Less serious side effects may include:
hot flashes, warmth or redness in your face or chest;
headache, muscle or joint pain;
fatigue, feeling weak;
swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:
For use as first-line treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive or hormone receptor unknown locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Letrozole is also indicated for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women with disease progression following antiestrogen therapy: 2.5 mg tablet orally administered once a day without regard to meals.In patients with advanced disease, letrozole therapy should continue until tumor progression is evident.
Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer -- Adjuvant:
For use as extended adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have received 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen therapy: 2.5 mg tablet orally administered once a day without regard to meals.The optimal duration of treatment with letrozole is not known. Treatment should be discontinued if there is a tumor relapse.
There may be other drugs that can affect letrozole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.