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What condition does Letrozole treat?

Letrozole is used to treat certain types of breast cancer in women like hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. It usually happens after menopause. This medication is also used to help avoid cancer from returning.

Certain breast cancers are made to develop faster. It is by a natural hormone called estrogen. This drug decreases the amount of estrogen that the body produces. It helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.

Letrozole belongs to the class of medications known as aromatase inhibitors. This medication comes as a tablet for oral administration. This was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997.

How does Letrozole work?

Letrozole works by preventing the action of an enzyme in the body called the aromatase enzyme.

The aromatase enzyme is involved in making the female sex hormone called estrogen. It particularly occurs in women who have gone through menopause. This enzyme converts the sex hormones androstenedione and testosterone, into estrogen. This medicine prevents this conversion by blocking the action of the aromatase enzyme. This causes a decrease in levels of estrogen.

Most breast cancers are sensitive to estrogen and their development is stimulated by this hormone. By lowering the levels of estrogen in the body, this medication starves the breast cancer cells and stops them from spreading and growing.

What is the recommended dosage for Letrozole?

This is to be taken by mouth as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment.

This medication is usually taken once a day. You may take it with or without food. Remember to take it at the same time every day. Take it regularly to get the most benefit from it.

Do not take it more often than prescribed. Do not also suddenly stop taking the drug without consulting your doctor. Inform your doctor right away if your condition worsens.

What are the side effects of Letrozole?

Common side effects:

  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Headache

What are the precautions in taking Letrozole?

  • Before taking this medication, inform to your doctor if you are allergic to it. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop taking this drug and inform your doctor right
  • Let your doctor know if you have any medical history or current medications/treatments.
  • This drug may cause dizziness and fatigue. You should take care when performing potentially unsafe activities, such as driving or operating machinery, until you know how this drug affects you and are sure you can perform such activities safely.
  • Letrozole should be used with caution in people with severely decreased liver or kidney function and osteoporosis.
  • This medication is mainly used in women after menopause. Consult your doctor for more details.
  • This prescription is not recommended in people who have not yet reached menopause.
  • Other anti-estrogen medications such as Tamoxifen should not be taken at the same time as this medicine. These treatments may follow one another, but should not be taken together.
  •  Keep this far from the reach of children.