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Femara - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Femara: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Femara?

Femara is the brand name for the drug letrozole. It is used for treating early-stage breast cancer in women after surgery. It is a prescription medication. It belongs to a class of drugs called antineoplastics (anti-cancer drugs). It is an aromatase inhibitor, which inhibits estrogen hormone synthesis. It is available in tablet form. The recommended dose of Femara is 2.5 mg taken once a day. It can be consumed with or without food.

What are the uses of Femara?

Femara is most commonly used in treating breast cancer in only post-menopausal women. It is used in treating symptoms of breast cancer. It is effective in hormonally responsive breast cancer, as it works by blocking the estrogen and its effects. It is used in women who had breast cancer surgery and had received other cancer treatment. 

It can induce ovulation, which can treat conditions like infertility in women. It is also useful in other conditions like endometriosis, gynecomastia, infertility in males, and other hormonally sensitive tumors.

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What are the side effects of Femara?

The following are a few side effects of Femara

  • Sweating
  • Lethargy
  • Hot Flashes
  • Osteoporosis or low bone mass
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Breast pain
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetites
  • Blurry vision
  • Constipation
  • heartburn 
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight changes
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Vaginal bleeding or irritation

Serious side effects

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Numbness in limbs
  • Speech problems

Disclaimer – If you experience any of these side effects, consult your doctor immediately and seek medical treatment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Femara

1. Is Femara chemotherapy?

No, Femara is not a chemotherapy drug even though it treats cancer. It is a type of hormone therapy drug. It reduces the amount of estrogen needed for the development of hormone-dependent cancers. Many people who take Femara are likely to have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy first to fight their cancer.

2. Does Femara work with low AMH?

AMH, or anti-mullerian hormone, is a hormone secreted by ovaries. Testing its levels gives you an indication of the egg reserve. Femara can induce ovulation. But, if the AMH is low, it does not do anything to improve the egg reserve in the body and therefore cannot improve the chances of pregnancy.

3. How many cycles of Femara are safe?

Femara is used to stimulate ovulation in women. There is not a fixed number of cycles. It is most commonly prescribed safely for 6 consecutive cycles. It takes an average time of 3 cycles of Femara or about 90 days to get pregnant. The doctor may tweak the dosage in the case of multiple cycles.

4. Can you take Femara with a cyst?

Hormonal issues in ovulation increase your chances of developing ovarian cysts, which are commonly occurring fluid pockets inside the ovary or on the surface. Yes, you can take Femara with a cyst. It does not cause any side effects, and in fact, the cyst might likely resolve on its own.

5. Does Femara help with low progesterone?

Progesterone is a kind of hormone secreted in the ovaries. Femara does not target the amount of progesterone directly. It increases fertility by reducing estrogen, triggering the body to produce more. However, it can have a similar effect on the progesterone level, as the stimulated eggs are more likely to produce progesterone.

6. Does Femara make your period longer?

Femara shortens a long period by reducing the amount of estrogen. It might increase the amount of bleeding in the first few months due to a change in the level of hormones.

7. How many cycles of Femara to get pregnant?

It varies from person to person and depends on other factors of your case. It takes an average of 3 cycles on Femara, which is around 90 days, to get pregnant. Doctors try to prescribe it anywhere from 3 to 6 cycles. Beyond this, doctors are likely to suggest alternate methods.

8. Has Femara been considered a chemotherapy drug?

No, Femara is not considered a chemotherapy drug. Most chemotherapy drugs treat cancer by working directly on the cancer cells. Femara is a hormone therapy drug that treats breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Hormone therapy uses the growth of specific hormones to inhibit cancer growth. Femara targets the estrogen in the body.

9. Can Femara cause liver damage?

Femara is metabolized in the liver. Not much information is available on its effects in patients with liver damage and other liver-related conditions. However, in others, it did not cause any liver-related side effects. Femara may lead to slightly elevated liver enzymes, but complications like liver failure or liver disease are rare.

10. Can you take Femara on an empty stomach?

Femara is an oral drug. You can take Femara with your food or on an empty stomach. However, it is essential to take it at the same time every day. If you have missed a dose, try to take it as soon as possible. If you have missed a few days, consult your doctor.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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