Femara Side Effects

by on March 8, 2012


Common side effects of Femara (Letrozole) include weight gain, joint pain, light sensitivity, disorientation, headaches, dizziness and vomiting. Aromatase drugs are those medications that are used in the treatment of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in females, which can help prevent cancer. Aromatase is what synthesizes estrogen, an essential hormone for women.

Common Femara Side Effects

Certain common Femara side effects can occur in some patients. Do not hesitate to contact your doctor if you display any of the following symptoms after taking Femara:

  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Weight decrease
  • Weight gain
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

Most of these side effects are temporary, if they occur in the patient at all. The side effects can be severe, however, if women who are pre-menopausal begin taking Femara. It is not usually prescribed to women in this age range unless they are producing an excess of estrogen.

Serious Femara Side Effects

femara The side effects of Femara can be very serious in some cases. This usually only occurs if the patient deviates from their prescribed dosage or suffers from an allergic reaction to the drug. If any of the following side effects sound like something you have experienced, contact your healthcare professional immediately:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreases in white blood cell counts
  • Increase in cholesterol
  • Decrease in bone density
  • Weakness
  • Irregular pregnancy

The following side effects are not necessarily associated with an allergic reaction, but still should require medical attention:

  • Extreme Weakness
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Vaginal Irritation
  • Blood clots
  • Heart Attack
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Bone fractures
  • Osteoporosis

As with any of the other side effects, these symptoms can be a sign of a more serious, underlying health issue. Please contact a healthcare professional if you display any of the above signs. Doing so can prevent permanent damage or, in some cases, death.

Femara and Impairment

Letrozole may induce severe adverse symptoms in those who are hypersensitive to the drug. In some extreme cases, impairment or permanent damage may occur. Such damage may include blood clots, heart attacks, forms of cancer, bone weakness, fractures, and inability to operate machinery due to disorientation and dizziness and pain in the extremities. Although the medical significance of white cell blood count loss is not known, it is also one of the bolder side effects.

Patients may also experience sudden weight decrease while taking Femara. The rise of cholesterol in the blood gives rise to the chance of contracting a heart attack.

Other Medications

Femara is often combined with other medications, but there are a few prescriptions that should never be mixed with Letrozole. One of these drugs is Birth Control. Birth Control pills contain estrogen, which Femara works to inhibit.

Some drugs that will interact with Femara are conjugated estrogens, anastrozole, tamoxifen, ethinyl estradiol, and any drug that contains any trace of estrogen. You should also inform your doctor about any prescription drugs, herbal products, or non-prescription drugs that you are taking before you begin consuming Femara.

Femara in the Elderly

Femara is not often used in the treatment of elderly patients. Older women do not produce as much estrogen as those who are newly post-menopausal, but there are always exceptions to such cases. Limiting the production of estrogen in an elderly female can result in many of the same side effects as previous listed. However, side effects tend to be more violent in the elderly. Such indications of an adverse reaction include pain, swelling, vision changes, dark urine, vomiting, slurred speech, weakness on only one side of the body. Chest pain, jaw pain, pain in the upper areas of the left or right arms, numbness, skin sensitivity, and swelling of the throat, tongue, and cheeks.

Femara and the Liver

Femara side effects may affect the liver. This specific organ does not particularly welcome any synthetic medication, and all wreak a certain amount of damage on the liver. Taking Femara over a prolonged period of time may cause liver toxicity. It is important, therefore, to compliment Femara consumption with eight to ten glasses of water every day. Liver or kidney failure is also a risk when taking Femara.

Femara side effects are usually few and far between. However, in the event that you experience any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately.