letrozole (femara) for endo instead of me... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

50,837 members41,879 posts

letrozole (femara) for endo instead of menopause injection


I have been doing some research on the net and come across letrozole (femara) the drug they use to make women ovulate. Apparently if you take it for 6 months it is just as or even more affective than the injection used to induce temporary menopause without the horrendous side effects. It may be worth having a mooch round on the net and see what others come up with. X

2 Replies

O meant to add after a lap it can help shrink any small spots of endo left behind. May be worth a try. I am going to suggest this to my GP (when I am better) after my lap next week and try and get some on prescription. X

Wikipedia says

"In pre-menopausal women, the main source of estrogen is from the ovaries not the peripheral tissues, and letrozole is ineffective." So it would only be of any use to those women who have had their ovaries already removed and yet are still suffering high rates of naturally occuring oestrogen production from the other organs of the body.

It is stil a cancer hormone therapy drug with the same package of side effects as the GnRH drugs but with the added bonus (as if you need it) of raising cholesterol levels in most patients.

I found this in relation to the decision to ban the drug completely in India in 2011:

......"Letrozole is globally approved for use only in post-menopausal women afflicted with breast cancer. The drug is not approved for any other use anywhere in the world. Administering a drug for unapproved indications can lead to legal action against the prescribers under various laws including Consumer Protection Act.

Animal studies using as little as 1/100th of normal human per kg dose have shown that letrozole is both embryotoxic as well as fetotoxic as indicated by intrauterine mortality, increased resorption, increased postimplantation loss, decreased number of live fetuses and fetal anomalies including absence and shortening of renal papilla, dilation of ureter, oedema and incomplete ossification of frontal skull and metatarsals. Letrozole is teratogenic leading to mutalation; even at minuscule doses of 1/10th of normal human per kg dose causing fetal domed head and cervical vertebral fusion.

Some of letrozole’s side effects are grave: ovarian tumours, liver cancer, hyperplasia of ovaries, sexual inactivity and atrophy of the reproductive tract. Other adverse reactions include hot flushes (19% cases), high blood pressure (8% cases), bone pain (22%), back pain (18%), joint pain (16%), limb pain (10%), breathlessness (18%) and cough (13%). The drug can also cause blood clots, life-threatening clotting in lungs, heart attacks, angina, stroke and paralysis of the body.

Sounds Charming, much like the Lupron/Zoladex issues.

Even the NHS website states:

"Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Letrozole is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

•are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine

•are at risk of developing osteoporosis

•are breast-feeding

•are pregnant

•are pre-menopausal

•have angina

•have had osteoporosis or bone fractures

•have kidney problems

•have liver problems

So if you want to give it a go, you could have a battle on your hands trying to get that on the NHS, for endo which is not what it is approved for. and is contraindicated for pre-menopausal women.

Costs for 1 year of the drug about the same as 2 months of Prostap or Zoladex, so it is cheaper, but sounds at this point in time even riskier than the GnRH drugs, which I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. If it's something you are determined to try, then please check out all the websites relating to lawsuits and contraindications for this drug and make sure you have really done your homework first.

the drug trials were done with norethisterone, which I have had in the past and the norethisterone tablets stop your periods from happening, until you forget to take one then couple of days later..oh hello hell, it's back to bleeding again.

I was on 3 norethisterone a day for the duration of not wanting to bleed and yes it did work, but there isn't much room for error in forgetting to take one of them at the right sort of time.

You may also like...