Certain women can use this medication to treat breast cancer. Read this article for details on who and when to use Femara, the dosage details, and potential adverse reactions to this medication.
When to use Femara
Femara is an oral medication that lowers estrogen levels by blocking the aromatase enzyme. This can lead to ovulation. Letrozole seems to work just as well, if not better, for improving fertility than other oral options.
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Women with ovaries that do not produce eggs normally should not take Femara. Femara is also used to help prevent the cancer from returning. Some breast cancers are made to grow faster by a natural hormone called estrogen.
When the aromatase enzyme is inhibited by the drug letrozole, estrogen levels decrease in young women. This causes the brain and pituitary gland to increase the production of follicle-stimulating hormone. In women with polycystic ovarian syndrome or ovulation problems, increased levels of FSH hormone can lead to the development of a mature follicle in the ovary and ovulation of the egg. Doctors call this process "ovulation induction".
Femara to increase the chances of pregnancy in ovulating women.
In women who are already ovulating on their own, Femara treatment can lead to the development of multiple follicles and the release of multiple eggs. The release of multiple eggs can increase the chances of pregnancy compared to the release of a single egg in a natural menstrual cycle. Doctors refer to the process of ovulating multiple follicles and eggs as superovulation or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
What is the proper dosage?
Your doctor will determine the best dosage for you.
Typical dosage is one tablet 2.5 mg per day. This article describes typical dosages for Femara provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Femara, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor. The dosage of Femara is the same for all the types of breast cancer the drug treats. You take one tablet by mouth every day. You can take Femara with or without food.
Dosage for breast cancer.
The usual dosage of Femara for breast cancer treatment is one tablet taken by mouth once each day.
Dosage for adjuvant treatment of breast cancer.
The usual dosage of Femara for adjuvant treatment of breast cancer is one tablet taken by mouth once each day. You should keep taking Femara for as long as your doctor recommends.
Femara side effects and considerations
Your doctor will check your medical history, any other medications, and your age to decide how to proceed with the administration of Femara. Femara may cause mild or serious side effects. For more information about possible side effects of Femara, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you advice on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothering you. Common side effects of Femara may include: flushes, fever or redness of the face or chest, headache, dizziness, weakness, bone pain, muscle or joint pain, swelling, weight gain, increased sweating, increased blood cholesterol levels.
Some fertility specialists or gynecologists will not prescribe Femara. Others will use it after explaining to the patient that concerns have been raised about the possibility of increased incidence of birth defects. Femara is known to have a short half-life in the bloodstream and is administered early in the menstrual cycle-a few days before a fertilized embryo appears. The drug is thought to be eliminated from the body before the egg is fertilized. Therefore, it is puzzling how the drug can cause birth defects.