Letrozole is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors. It is a non-steroidal drug that is primarily used to treat certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day, with or without food.
Letrozole works by reducing the levels of estrogen in the body, which is known to stimulate the growth of some breast cancers. By blocking the production of estrogen, letrozole can help slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. Additionally, letrozole may also increase the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which can help stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs in women undergoing fertility treatments.
The primary use of letrozole is for the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is often prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include surgery, radiation therapy, and other medications. Additionally, letrozole may also be used off-label to treat other conditions, such as infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who have already undergone treatment.
Letrozole is a powerful medication that should only be taken under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare provider. As with any medication, letrozole may cause side effects, some of which can be serious. Common side effects of letrozole include hot flashes, fatigue, joint pain, and headaches. More serious side effects may include bone thinning or osteoporosis, an increased risk of heart disease, and an increased risk of uterine cancer. Letrozole may also interact with other medications or supplements, so it is important to tell your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking before starting letrozole. Additionally, letrozole should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as it may harm the developing fetus or infant.