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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)

Study finds more breast cancer patients opting for mastectomy
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2014.11.21]
Far more breast cancer patients are choosing to undergo mastectomy, including removal of both breasts, instead of choosing breast conservation surgery even when they have early stage disease that...

NanoFlares light up individual cells if breast cancer biomarker is present
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2014.11.20]
Metastasis is bad news for cancer patients. Northwestern University scientists now have demonstrated a simple but powerful tool that can detect live cancer cells in the bloodstream, potentially long...

Mastectomy Rates on the Increase in Early Breast Cancer
Source: Medscape Hematology-Oncology Headlines [2014.11.19]
More and more women with early breast cancer are undergoing mastectomy, breast reconstruction, and bilateral mastectomy, latest US study confirms.
Medscape Medical News

Breast cancer; pooled analysis results of two Phase III Halaven® (eribulin) trials
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2014.11.18]
The results from a pooled analysis of two Phase III Halaven(R) (eribulin) trials are published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

Pinpointing aggressiveness of breast cancer tumours using cutting-edge computer software
Source: Breast Cancer News From Medical News Today [2014.11.18]
Researchers at Western University are using cutting-edge genetic mutation-analysis software developed in their lab to interpret mutations in tumour genome that may provide insight into determining...

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Published Studies Related to Femara (Letrozole)

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.

Clomiphene citrate versus letrozole: molecular analysis of the endometrium in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. [2011.10]
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of clomiphene citrate (CC) and letrozole on endometrial receptivity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)...

[Letrozole vs. tamoxifen as neoadjuvant therapy for postmenopausal patients with hormone-dependent locally-advanced breast cancer]. [2011.09]
BACKGROUND: Previous studies demonstrated that Letrozole (aromatase inhibitor) and tamoxifen (selective modulator of estrogen receptors) are effective in the treatment of postmenopausal women with locally advanced tumors, stage III and hormone dependent. OBJECTIVE: To present display the complete clinical answer incidence and the complete pathological answer with the use of induction hormonotherapy... CONCLUSIONS: Results although preliminary, suggest that neoadyuvant treatment with hormone-therapy in postmenopausal patients with breast cancer, have good prognosis. Induction therapy, were better tolerated, with greater effectiveness and improved the clinical and objective respond in women with breast cancer in the postmenopausal. Work serves as tool to determine the indication to us of induction hormonotherapy; and identify to those patients with breast cancer, locally advanced in post menopause with better prognosis to be rescued with radical mastectomy. Study needs more background and show the impact of letrozol, as hormonotherapy used in neoadjuvancy, to confirm if relieves period without disease or survives, before mastectomy. In a near future, it shall important to investigate if is useful the radical mastectomy in those postmenopausal patients with complete objective respond, after the use of an aromatase inhibitor.

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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.

Randomized Phase II Study of Preoperative Letrozole (Femara) in Combination With Avastin in Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the objective response rate of a combination of letrozole (Femara) and bevacizumab (Avastin) given preoperatively to postmenopausal patients with hormone sensitive breast cancer.

RCT of Fixed vs Titrated Letrozole in Breast Cancer Patient Undergoing IVF [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to compare two different ways to administer Letrozole to determine their effectiveness in blocking estrogen production during ovarian stimulation in patients with breast cancer prior to chemotherapy/radiotherapy so that oocytes or embryos can be cryopreserved and patients can possibly achieve a pregnancy after the treatment of breast cancer.

During standard ovulation stimulation, the estrogen levels will exceed normal levels and may reach 10 times the normal level for a 2 week period. This may not be desirable in breast cancer patients. The study hopes to determine if the investigators can stimulate oocyte development in the conventional way and administer different doses of Letrozole as the oocytes develop, to keep estradiol levels low, increase the number of oocytes the investigators are able to recover, and improve the quality of those oocytes.

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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: 2014-11-21

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