An oral non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor, Letrozole is routinely prescribed by medical practitioners to patients with hormonally responsive breast cancer after surgery. Also known as Femara and Liquifem, the antiestrogen is also used by budding and professional sportsmen on anabolic steroids to keep off estrogenic side effects such as oily skin, acne, gynecomastia, and bloating at bay while reaping the optimum benefits of steroids during an anabolic steroid cycle.
The chemical name of Letrozole is 4,4′-(1H-1,2,4-Triazol-1ylmethylene)dibenzonitrile and its molecular formula is C17H11N5. The antiestrogen has the molecular weight of 285.31 g/mol at the base. The active ingredient in Femara tablets is letrozole, a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor while the list of inactive ingredients in Femara tablets includes colloidal silicon dioxide, ferric oxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, maize starch, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Letrozole is considered as one of the most potent drugs for stimulating metabolic rate of the body and promoting burning of fat. It is also useful in reducing the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and promoting the level of spermatogenesis in male patients suffering from non-obstructive azoospermia and treat endometriosis. The third-generation selective oral aromatase inhibitor, Letrozole, is also used to stimulating dramatic enhancements in terms of growth hormone, cortisol, SHBG, hepatic production of binding proteins, HDL, and growth and development of sexual characteristics. If that was not all, Femara also has the ability to promote healthy immune function, healthy cholesterol levels, joint health, cognitive function, and muscle growth while reducing or even eliminating estrogenic side effects such as oily skin, gynecomastia, and fluid retention.
The medication may even be recommended by medical practitioners to treat certain types of breast cancer (such as hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer) in women after menopause or preventing the cancer from making a return. By reducing the amount of estrogens in the body, Letrozole helps in slowing or reversing the growth of these breast cancers.
The use of Letrozole, for a period of three to six weeks, is also associated with restoration of natural products of hormones, like testosterone. If that was not all, one 2.5 mg tablet of Femara is good enough to inhibit side effects of estrogens by as much as 80 percent.
The ideal dosage of Letrozole is 2.5 mg once a day for treating patients with breast cancer. Sportsmen use Letrozole in dosages of 0.5-1.0 mg every day, with or without meals. It is very important to note that this is a prescription drug and must be used and purchased only with a prescription. Moreover, its use should always be followed by a medical recommendation for the same after careful and complete evaluation of medical reports and history. At no point of time, two dosages of the drug can be taken together, even if missed accidentally. In case the first dose has been missed, it should be skipped and the next dose should be taken at its scheduled time.
Letrozole use is not recommended to pregnant and breastfeeding women and children or those having allergies to the drug or any of its ingredients. Those suffering with prostate, breast, or testicular cancer or treated for high blood pressure, liver damage, stroke, and kidney damage should avoid using the drug. Patients making use of drugs such as Prasterone, Tamoxifen, DHEA, and Androstenedione should avoid using Letrozole unless the same is specifically approved by a qualified medical practitioner.
The abuse of Letrozole can lead to side effects and thus best avoided. When abused or of a low grade, it can lead to side effects such as hot flushes, night sweats, vomiting, bone pain, loss of appetite, headache, stomach pain, cough, and breast pain. Use of Letrozole should not be made by individuals treated for high blood fats (cholesterol), bone problems (such as osteopenia, osteoporosis), stroke or blood clots, heart disease (such as chest pain, heart attack, heart failure), high blood pressure, kidney problems, and liver problems.
In rare cases, Femara use may cause severe health complications such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, coughing up blood, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, tingling/weakness/numbness in the arms/legs, weakness on one side of the body, vision changes, sudden/severe headache, slurred speech, bone fractures, mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety), swelling of arms/legs, and blurred vision. Drugs such as estrogens (such as ethinyl estradiol, conjugated estrogens), estrogen blockers (such as anastrozole, tamoxifen) may interfere with functioning and action mechanism of Letrozole and this may cause serious side effects or may cause the medications not to work correctly. The consumption of alcoholic beverages should be reduced, if the same cannot be completely eliminated, while Letrozole is being used.
The drug should not be handled by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant as breathing the dust from Femara tablets or handling this medication as this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs. The doses of this drug should be based on medical conditions and response to treatment and the doses should preferably be taken at the same time each day. Medical advice should be sought on an immediate basis if side effects such as persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual tiredness, dark urine, and yellowing eyes/skin are experienced after making use of Femara tablets or injections.
In order to maintain its shelf life and potency, Letrozole (Femara) is best stored at a controlled room temperature of 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) with excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F). It should be protected against unauthorized use, pets, sunlight, moisture, and children and should never be kept in the bathroom since moisture could minimize or even nullify its efficacy. In case of expired Letrozole tablets, the same should be discarded after having a word with a pharmacist or local waste disposal company on how to safely discard Letrozole. It is highly recommended that Femara should not be flushed down the toilet or poured into a drain, unless specifically recommended by a qualified authority. Femara tablets or injections should be properly discarded when it is expired or no longer needed.