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Letrozole (By mouth)

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Letrozole is used to treat certain types of breast cancer in women who have already stopped menstruating (postmenopausal). It is also used for women who have already had other cancer treatments (eg, tamoxifen). Female hormones that occur naturally in the body can increase the growth of some breast cancers. Letrozole works by decreasing the amounts of these hormones in the body. This medicine is… Read more
Brand names include
Femara, Kisqali Femara Co-Pack
Drug classes About this
Antineoplastic Agent, Endocrine-Metabolic Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Tamoxifen or letrozole versus standard methods for women with breast cancer who freeze egg cells or embryos

Breast cancer treatment can cause infertility. Freezing egg cells (oocytes) or embryos before treatment can increase the chances of future motherhood. Hormonal treatment is required before freezing of oocytes or embryos. In cases of hormone‐sensitive breast cancer, this hormonal treatment can theoretically be harmful. Therefore, these women may receive tamoxifen or letrozole in addition to standard hormonal treatment. Cochrane review authors examined the evidence about tamoxifen or letrozole versus standard methods for women with estrogen‐receptor positive breast cancer undergoing freezing of oocytes or embryos in assisted reproduction.

Letrozole for ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome: a systematic analysis

Bibliographic details: Liu Z, Tang HL, Zhai SD.  Letrozole for ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome: a systematic analysis. Chinese Pharmaceutical Journal 2011; 46(22): 1762-1767

The effectiveness of letrozole in ovulation induction treatment: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Xiao JS, Chen SY, Zhang CL.  The effectiveness of letrozole in ovulation induction treatment: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2010; 10(6): 718-723

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Summaries for consumers

Tamoxifen or letrozole versus standard methods for women with breast cancer who freeze egg cells or embryos

Breast cancer treatment can cause infertility. Freezing egg cells (oocytes) or embryos before treatment can increase the chances of future motherhood. Hormonal treatment is required before freezing of oocytes or embryos. In cases of hormone‐sensitive breast cancer, this hormonal treatment can theoretically be harmful. Therefore, these women may receive tamoxifen or letrozole in addition to standard hormonal treatment. Cochrane review authors examined the evidence about tamoxifen or letrozole versus standard methods for women with estrogen‐receptor positive breast cancer undergoing freezing of oocytes or embryos in assisted reproduction.

Use of clomiphene citrate or letrozole in in vitro fertilisation treatment

The aim of this review was to compare treatment with clomiphene citrate (CC) or letrozole (Ltz) versus gonadotropins alone for stimulation of the ovaries during in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

Aromatase inhibitors in the extended treatment of early-stage breast cancer

In the "extended" treatment approach, tamoxifen is used for five years, and then an aromatase inhibitor is taken.

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