Monday, December 4, 2023

Letrozole: Uses, Side Effects, and Precautions

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Introduction – Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor that can be used in the treatment of breast cancer after surgery and is sold under the brand name Femara. In the year 1986, this medicine was patented and approved for medical use in the year 1996. 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this medicine in the United States to treat metastatic or local breast cancer, which is hormone receptor-positive or has an unknown receptor status in postmenopausal women. 

Uses – Letrozole is used in the treatment of some types of breast cancer including hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer, especially in women after menopause. This medicine also helps in preventing cancer from returning.  Several breast cancers that are made to grow faster by a natural hormone known as estrogen. This medicine lowers the amount of estrogen in the body that makes and helps to reduce the growth of these breast cancers. Letrozole is mostly prescribed for those women who are suffering from hormone-dependent breast cancer. Sometimes this medicine is also be used in the treatment of breast cancer in young women and men. 

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How to take – Take this medicine via the mouth normally one tablet regularly as instructed by your doctor. During medication, this medicine can be taken with or without food. Before taking this medicine, you should read and follow all the directions on your prescriptions. You should take this medicine regularly for getting the most benefit from it. This medicine should be taken as a whole with a large amount of water. But during medication, do not chew, break or crush this medicine before taking it.

Dosage instructions – The right dose of any medicine plays a significant role to treat severe diseases that depend on your age, previous treatment or medication, medical conditions, and response to treatment. Thus, you should take the right dose of this medicine to treat breast cancer as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Miss Dose – If you miss a dose then take this medicine as soon as you remember at that time.  During missing the dose, you skip the missed dose and take the next dose at a regular time. But do not take a double dose of this medicine to make up the dose as it may be harmful to your health.
  • Overdose – When you take an overdose accidentally at any time and suffering from several side effects including irregular heartbeat, and blurred vision, and then contact your doctor immediately for medical help.

Side effects – There are several common side effects after taking this medicine are given below – 

  • Nausea
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Problem in sleeping
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark urine
  • Vomiting
  • Blood clots
  • Mood changes
  • Headache
  • Hot flashes
  • Weakness
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Precautions – There are several important precautions before or after taking this medicine for any treatment are given below – 

  • This medicine is not recommended for those women who are pregnant as it may harmful to an unborn baby.
  • Do not take an extra dose of this medicine during treatment as it may cause severe side effects that are harmful to your health.
  • If you are suffering from any severe side effects such as problems in breathing, and an irregular heartbeat then contact to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this problem.
  • You should not drive any vehicle or avoid any physical activity after taking this medicine as it may cause severe dizziness that may enhance the risk of any accidents or any injuries.
  • Do not take this medicine with alcohol due to it may increase the risk of getting unwanted side effects which is not good for your health. 
  • You can consult with your doctor if you are suffering from any severe diseases including blood clots, earlier heart attack, kidney or liver problems, and high blood pressure before taking this medicine.
  • If you breastfeed your infant then consult with your doctor before taking this medicine as it can pass into breast milk and may harm your baby.


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