Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor. It works by decreasing the amount of estrogen (natural female hormone) produced in the body. This decrease in estrogen can slow down or stop the growth of some breast cancers that need estrogen to grow. In addition, it is also useful in infertility whereby it increases the release of certain hormones to stimulate the release of eggs from the ovaries.
Lets is an aromatase inhibitor. It is generally prescribed to treat breast cancer in women who no longer have periods, either due to menopause or after surgery or chemotherapy. It is also used to treat infertility caused due to anovulation (during menstrual cycle egg cell from ovaries is not released).
Q. How does Lets work?
Lets is also known as an anti-estrogen drug. It is called so because it acts by reducing the production of estrogen in your body by blocking the enzyme aromatase, which is responsible for production of estrogen. Estrogen stimulates the production of certain types of breast cancer in your body. These cancers are called "estrogen-dependent cancers". Reducing the production of estrogen may prevent the cancer from growing.
Q. For how long should I take Lets?
If the breast tumor is in advanced stage or has spread to other parts of the body, it is recommended that you continue taking Lets till the tumor shows progression. In cases where Lets is given after tamoxifen (another anti-estrogen used for breast cancer) or surgery, it should be given for 5 years or until tumor comes back, whichever is first. It can also be given as a sequential treatment; 2 years of Lets followed by 3 years of tamoxifen.
Q. If I am taking irbesartan to control my blood pressure, can I take Lets?
Yes, you can take irbesartan and Lets together. However, be careful and keep a regular check on your blood pressure since Lets may increase your blood pressure. Consult your doctor in case you have problems controlling your blood pressure.
Q. Does Lets affect vision?
Although it is very uncommon but Lets may cause cataract. So, if you experience blurred vision or eye irritation, consult your doctor immediately.
Q. My friend who is taking Lets often sweats a lot. Is it because of Lets?
This could be a sign of hot flushes which is a very common side effect of Lets. It happens due to decreased estrogen levels. The frequency of hot flushes reduces once your body adjusts to Lets. However, in some people the flushes and sweats may continue during the treatment and stop a few months after the treatment finishes. You can consult your doctor who will provide you a remedy if it is very bothersome.
Q. What are the serious side effects of Lets?
The serious side effects do not occur in everyone and very few people experience them. The serious side effects of Lets include stroke, angina, heart attack, blood clotting, cataract, osteoporosis and severe skin reactions.
Information last updated by Dr. Varun Gupta, MD Pharmacology on 18th Feb 2020. The medicine details are for information purpose only. Consult a doctor before taking any medicine.