Generic Name: letrozole

Pronunciation: N/A

Abbreviation: N/A

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Hormone Therapy Medications

Company: Novartis

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: Yes

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Femara is an aromatase inhibitor approved for adjuvant (post-surgery) treatment of hormone receptor-positive (HR+) early breast cancer and treatment of HR+ advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

General Info

The female hormone estrogen stimulates the growth of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors block an enzyme that converts other hormones, known as androgens, into estrogen. They do not stop the ovaries from producing estrogen, so premenopausal women should only use them with other drugs that suppress ovarian function.

Studies show that aromatase inhibitors like Femara work better than tamoxifen for reducing the risk of recurrence after initial treatment of early breast cancer with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Femara was first approved in 1997.


Dosing Info: Femara is taken as a once-daily tablet.

Side Effects

Common side effects include hot flashes, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, headache, swelling and vaginal dryness. Potential serious side effects include bone loss (osteoporosis), elevated cholesterol and dizziness or sleepiness. Femara should not be used during pregnancy.

For More Info:

Patient Assistance Program Info:

Last Reviewed: December 13, 2018