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Femara (Letrozole) - Summary



Femara® (letrozole tablets) for oral administration contains 2.5 mg of letrozole, a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor (inhibitor of estrogen synthesis).

Femara® (letrozole tablets) is indicated for first-line treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive or hormone receptor unknown locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Femara is also indicated for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women with disease progression following antiestrogen therapy.

See all Femara indications & dosage >>


Media Articles Related to Femara (Letrozole)

SHAVE a Big Plus in Breast Cancer
Source: Medscape Hematology-Oncology Headlines [2015.05.22]
Dr Kathy Miller makes her top picks of breast cancer studies to watch at ASCO, noting trials in ER-positive and HER2-positive disease--and a small surgical study that may yield big benefits.
Medscape Oncology

Family history has 'no adverse effect' on breast cancer outcomes
Source: Anxiety / Stress News From Medical News Today [2015.05.20]
Women diagnosed and treated for breast cancer under the age of 41 have an outlook just as good with family history of the disease as without - with similar prognosis of recurrence.

A blood test for early detection of breast cancer metastasis
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2015.05.18]
Research findings from Lund University in Sweden now provide new hope for a way of detecting metastases significantly earlier than is currently possible.

siRNA-toting nanoparticles inhibit breast cancer metastasis
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2015.05.15]
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University combined finely crafted nanoparticles with one of nature's potent disrupters to prevent the spread of triple-negative breast cancer in mouse models.

Women with inherited KRAS-variant mutation may be at increased breast cancer risk due to acute estrogen withdrawal
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2015.05.14]
UCLA researchers have discovered that for women with a relatively common inherited mutation, known as the KRAS-variant, abrupt lowering of estrogen may increase their breast cancer risk and impact...

more news >>

Published Studies Related to Femara (Letrozole)

Double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, randomized, phase IIb neoadjuvant study of letrozole-lapatinib in postmenopausal hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, operable breast cancer. [2014]
factor receptor 2 (HER2) -negative operable breast cancer... CONCLUSION: The combination of letrozole-lapatinib in early breast cancer was

Impact of premenopausal status at breast cancer diagnosis in women entered on the placebo-controlled NCIC CTG MA17 trial of extended adjuvant letrozole. [2013]
letrozole (LET) after completing 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen... CONCLUSIONS: Extended LET after 5 years of tamoxifen was effective in pre- and

Uptake of a randomized breast cancer prevention trial comparing letrozole to placebo in BRCA1/2 mutations carriers: the LIBER trial. [2012]
Women with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutations are considered as an extreme risk population for developing breast cancer. Prophylactic mastectomy provides a valid option to reduce such risk, impacting however, the quality of life.Women with previous unilateral breast cancer or prior prophylactic oophorectomy are more likely to enter a medical prevention trial.

Longer-term outcomes of letrozole versus placebo after 5 years of tamoxifen in the NCIC CTG MA.17 trial: analyses adjusting for treatment crossover. [2012]
crossed over to letrozole after being unblinded... CONCLUSION: Exploratory analyses based on longer follow-up and adjusting for

Extended high dose letrozole regimen versus short low dose letrozole regimen as an adjuvant to gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonist protocol in poor responders undergoing IVF-ET*. [2011.12]
Objective.?To compare the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of extended high dose letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonist (GnRHant) protocol with short low dose letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-GnRHant protocol in poor responders undergoing IVF-ET.Conclusion.?Extended letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-GnRHant protocol was more cost-effective than short letrozole regimen/HPuFSH-GnRHant protocol in poor responders undergoing IVF-ET.

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Femara (Letrozole)

Comparing Letrozole Given Alone to Letrozole Given With Avastin in Post-Menopausal Women Breast Cancer [Recruiting]
This purpose of this trial is to show that the combination of Avastin and hormone therapy should be more effective than hormone therapy alone for the treatment of breast cancer.

Food Study of Letrozole Tablets 2.5 mg and FemaraŽ Tablets 2.5 mg [Completed]
The objective of this study was to investigate the bioequivalence of Mylan's letrozole 2. 5 mg tablets to Novartis' FemaraŽ 2. 5 mg tablets following a single, oral 2. 5 mg (1 x 2. 5 mg) dose administered under fed conditions.

Fasting Study of Letrozole Tablets 2.5 mg and FemaraŽ Tablets 2.5 mg [Completed]
The objective of this study was to investigate the bioequivalence of Mylan's letrozole 2. 5 mg tablets to Novartis' FemaraŽ 2. 5 mg tablets following a single, oral 2. 5 mg (1 x 2. 5 mg) dose administered under fasting conditions.

Letrozole in Women With Advanced Estrogen/Progesterone Receptor Positive Uterine Leiomyosarcoma [Recruiting]
The purpose of this research study is to determine if letrozole is effective at controlling the growth or spread of estrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive uterine leiomyosarcoma. This drug has been used in research studies for other cancers and is currently approved by the FDA for use in breast cancer. Because letrozole lowers hormone levels in the body, it may be helpful to control tumors that express hormone receptors ( ER/PR).

Randomized Phase II Trial of Letrozole With or Without Dasatinib as First and Second-line Treatment for Hormone Receptor-positive, HER2-negative Post-menopausal Breast Cancer That is Unresectable, Locally Recurrent or Metastatic [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to find out what effect the combination of letrozole (brand name: Femara) and dasatinib (brand name: Sprycel) has on metastatic breast cancer compared to letrozole alone

more trials >>

Reports of Suspected Femara (Letrozole) Side Effects

Arthralgia (52)Death (41)Neoplasm Malignant (39)Myalgia (26)Fatigue (26)Pain (25)Bone Pain (23)Headache (21)Dizziness (21)Neoplasm Progression (20)more >>


Based on a total of 2 ratings/reviews, Femara has an overall score of 5. The effectiveness score is 8 and the side effect score is 6. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst.

Femara review by 56 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   Moderate Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   Breast Cancer
Dosage & duration:   2.5 mg. taken daily for the period of over 2.5 years (so far)
Other conditions:   None
Other drugs taken:   None
Reported Results
Benefits:   Since the tumor was estogen receptor positive, the treatment has resulted in any remaining canncer cells to be in remision. The side effects were mild enough that regular activities were not interfered with for the most part. It was a better alternative for me than Taxol chemotherapy which had severe side-effects for me.
Side effects:   Hastened loss of estrogen which hastened loss of sex drive (after menopause). Some temporary (fortuantely) arthritic conditions in a finger and thumb. Hastened osteoporosis. That is my bone desity decreased severely after 2 1/2 years.
Comments:   I take one tiny pill each morning with the vitamins that I take. There is no nausea or other immediate symptoms. It is simple to do.


Femara review by 54 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Moderately Effective
Side effects:   Moderate Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   breast cancer
Dosage & duration:   2.5 mg taken daily for the period of 2 years
Other conditions:   osteopenia, depression
Other drugs taken:   Effexor XR
Reported Results
Benefits:   Aromatase inhibitor to reduce recurence of hormone-positive breast cancer- unknown effectiveness- no breast cancer 3 years after diagnosis
Side effects:   Joint pain, reduction of bone mass
Comments:   The first drug I was prescribed after a mastectomy and chemotherapy was Tamoxifen, which I took for almost 1 year. My oncologist said it increased bone mass, so she wanted to use that first to counteract the bone mass-decreasing side effect of the aromatase inhibitors. Their protocol is to use Tamoxifen for 2 years, then switch to an aromatase inhibitor for 3 years. However, I had some uterine bleeding ( I am post-menopausal) so they switched to Femara early. Tamoxifen may cause an increase in uterine cancer, which my grandmother had. The most annoying side effect of Femara is the increase in joint pain. NSAIDs and glucosamine help somewhat but have their own side effects. That said, I am willing to continue Femara for the next 2 years to help prevent cancer reccurence. I read in the literature (Medscape) that 51% of women do not complete their 5 yrs of either drug, and my guess is because of side effects. I take supplemental calcium also to slow the bone loss.

See all Femara reviews / ratings >>

Page last updated: 2015-05-22

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