If you have certain types of breast cancer, your doctor might suggest Femara as a treatment option.
Femara is a prescription drug used to treat the following types of breast cancer in adults who have gone through menopause:
- early hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer
- early breast cancer that’s been treated with tamoxifen for at least 5 years
- advanced HR+ breast cancer
- advanced breast cancer when hormone receptor status is not known
- advanced breast cancer that has spread after taking medication that blocks estrogen
The active drug in Femara is letrozole. (The active drug is the ingredient that makes Femara work.)
Femara belongs to a group of drugs called aromatase inhibitors. It comes as a tablet that you swallow.
This article describes the dosage of Femara, as well as its strength and how to take the drug. To learn more about Femara, see this in-depth article.
Note: This chart highlights the basics of Femara’s dosage. Be sure to read on for more detail. And please keep in mind that this article covers Femara’s standard dosage schedule, which is provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But always follow the dosing instructions your doctor prescribes.
|Femara form||Femara strength||Typical dosage||Maximum dosage|
|tablet that you swallow||2.5 milligrams (mg)||2.5 mg once per day||2.5 mg once per day|
This section covers dosage information about Femara. Before you start taking this medication, your doctor will discuss dosage instructions specific to your condition.
What is Femara’s form?
Femara comes as a tablet that you swallow.
What strength does Femara come in?
Femara tablets come in a strength of 2.5 milligrams (mg).
What’s the typical dosage of Femara?
The information below describes the dosage that’s commonly recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
The recommended dosage of Femara for all the types of breast cancer it treats is 2.5 mg once daily. You can take this dose with or without food.
Is Femara taken long term?
Yes, Femara is typically prescribed as a long-term treatment. In studies, people took Femara for about 5 years. If you and your doctor determine that Femara is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll take it long term.
If you have liver problems, your doctor might lower your Femara dosage or prescribe a lower starting dosage than usual for you. See the “Ask a pharmacist” section below for details. Be sure to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions.
Find answers to some frequently asked questions about Femara.
Is Femara used to treat infertility? If so, what’s the dosage?
Yes, Femara may be prescribed off-label to treat infertility, such as problems with ovulation. Off-label use is when a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
If you’re taking Femara to increase fertility, your dosage may be different from that used to treat breast cancer. You and your doctor will decide which dose is best for you.
Can children take Femara? If so, what’s the dosage?
Femara is not FDA-approved for use in children. But some
If you have questions about Femara use in children, talk with your child’s doctor.
* In this article, we use the term “male” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
Will my Femara dosage need to increase if my cancer spreads?
The maximum dose of Femara is 2.5 mg once per day. If you’ve been taking this dose, your doctor will likely not increase your dose if your cancer spreads. You and your doctor will likely discuss other treatment options if your cancer gets worse while you’re taking Femara.
You can take Femara tablets with or without food. You should swallow the tablets whole. Do not chew, crush, or cut them.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have trouble swallowing Femara tablets. You can also see some tips here.
For information on Femara expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code that you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Femara in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also have some tips that can help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
If you miss a dose of Femara, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take two doses to make up a missed dose.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Femara on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
Do not take more Femara than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Femara
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Femara. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
The sections above describe the typical dosage provided by Femara’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Femara for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
You should not change your dosage of Femara without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Femara exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Does my dosage of Femara need to change if I’m taking cholesterol medication along with it?
- Will my Femara dosage need to be adjusted if I have kidney problems?
- What should I do if I miss a dose of Femara during my fertility treatment?
For stories from others living with breast cancer and news on treatments for this condition, you can sign up for Healthline’s online newsletter. You can also find support and advice in our Bezzy breast cancer community.
I have severe liver problems. How will that affect my dosage of Femara?Anonymous
If you have severe liver problems, your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Femara than usual or reduce your current dosage of Femara. The recommended dosage for people with severe liver problems is 2.5 milligrams (mg) every other day.
Your liver helps break down Femara. Having severe liver problems can increase the levels of Femara in your body. This could increase your risk of side effects or make side effects worse. Taking a lower dosage can help reduce this risk. Be sure to take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.