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Generic Name: Letrozole (LET-roe-zole)
Brand Name: Femara

Femara is used for:

Primarily treating certain kinds of breast cancer in women past menopause. Femara may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Femara is an aromatase inhibitor. It works by reducing the total amount of estrogen produced primarily in the body. This helps to starve cancer cells by depriving them of estrogen.

Do NOT use Femara if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Femara
  • you are pregnant or may become pregnant

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Femara :

Some medical conditions may interact with Femara . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines or other substances
  • if you have severe liver disease
  • if you are still having menstrual periods or have not yet gone through menopause
  • if you are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Femara . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Tamoxifen because the effectiveness of Femara may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Femara may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Femara :

Use Femara as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Femara may be taken with or without food.
  • Take Femara around the same time each day.
  • If you miss a dose of Femara , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Femara .

Important safety information:

  • Femara may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Femara . Using Femara alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Femara may cause dizziness. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness.
  • LAB TESTS, including bone mineral density tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Femara with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Femara is not recommended for use in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Femara if you are pregnant. If you suspect that you could be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. It is unknown if Femara is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Femara , check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Femara :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Arthritis; back, bone, leg, or arm pain; breast pain; constipation; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; hot flushes; flu-like symptoms; flushing; increased sweating; indigestion; infection; joint or muscle pain; loss of appetite; nausea; night sweats; pain; sleeplessness; stomach pain; tiredness; urinary tract infection; vaginal dryness; vomiting; weakness; weight gain or loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); calf pain or tenderness; chest pain; confusion; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; severe stomach pain; shortness of breath; sudden severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, or fainting; swelling of the ankles or feet; unexplained sore throat or fever; unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge; vision or speech changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Femara :

Store Femara at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Femara out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Femara , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Femara is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Femara . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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Typical mistypes for Femara
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