Letrozole belongs to a group of medicines called Aromatase Inhibitors. It is used in a hormonal (or 'endocrine') breast cancer treatment. Oestrogen leads to the growth of breast cancer. Letrozole blocks an enzyme ('aromatase') involved in the production of oestrogens (female sex hormones). Thus helps in curing breast cancer.
Uses of Letrozole
- Treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women
- Treat ovarian epithelial cancer
Contraindications of Letrozole
When should one not use Letrozole
- If you are allergic to Letrozole or any of the other ingredients of the medicine
- If you suffer from any severe kidney disease
- If you have severe liver disease
- If you have a history of osteoporosis (thinning or wasting of bones) or bone fractures
Side effects of Letrozole
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Hot flashes
- Profuse sweating
- Hypertension (increase in blood pressure)
- Blurred vision
- Hair loss
- The more severe ones can be disastrous, some of them are:
- Chest pains
- Bone fractures
- Increased liver enzyme levels
- Thrombosis (clotting in the blood vessels e.g., legs)
- Pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs)-rare side effect
Precautions and Warnings of Letrozole
Can I take Letrozole during pregnancy?
- You must not take Letrozole tablets if you are pregnant
- Women should take Letrozole only if she has gone through the menopause. However, your doctor should discuss with you the use of effective contraception, as you may still have the potential to become pregnant during treatment with Letrozoleread less
Can I take Letrozole while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is not safe if you are taking this medicine. It may harm the baby.
Can I drive if I have consumed Letrozole?
When you start to take this medicine, you may feel dizzy, tired. At that time, you should avoid driving.
Can I consume alcohol with Letrozole?
You should not consume alcohol while undergoing medication.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- You are allergic to Letrozole
- You still have periods, i.e., if you have not yet gone through the menopause
- You experience swelling mainly of the face and throat (signs of allergic reaction), yellow skin and eyes, nausea, dark-coloured urine (signs of hepatitis)
Mode of Action of Letrozole
How Does It Work?
Letrozole blocks an enzyme called Aromatase, which is involved in the production of oestrogens (female sex hormones). Thus prevents the growth of breast cancer and helps in curing cancer.
Interactions of Letrozole
Interactions with other medicines
- Estrogens (such as Ethinyl Estradiol, Conjugated Estrogens)
- Estrogen blockers (such as Anastrozole, Tamoxifen)
Interactions with food items
No interaction found.
Dosage of Letrozole
It is best to rush for a medical help if you happen to overdose on Letrozole.
Missed a Dose
If you forgot to take your medicine, take the next dose on a regular dosing schedule instead of taking a double dose.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is Letrozole safe for consumption?
A: Yes, the medicine is sold worldwide for treating the after-effects of breast cancer, which happens to be receptor-positive, and there is a known receptor status in women who have already been through menopause. It can also be used in ovulation induction and for termination of pregnancy.
Q: Is it advisable to give Letrozole to patients undergoing gynecomastia?
A: Yes, but only if it is administered in the early stages, the medicine’s effectiveness decreases as the stage of gynecomastia progresses.
Q: What are the other uses for Letrozole?
A: The medicine is multifaceted, with it finding uses in terminating a pregnancy, inducing ovulation as well as in treating gynecomastia.
Q: How long does it take for its onset effects to be noticeable?
A: The medicine’s onset effects start nearly 2-6 weeks after administration. Its general effects can last for two days.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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