Femara and High Cholesterol
High cholesterol occurs in up to 15.6 percent of women who take Femara. However, this side effect is typically not a reason to stop taking Femara. Many effective treatments for high cholesterol are available, and the condition is generally not as life-threatening as the breast cancer that Femara is used to treat. If you are taking Femara and high cholesterol is a concern, talk with your healthcare provider.
An Overview of Femara and High CholesterolFemara® (letrozole) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. High cholesterol appears to be one of the possible Femara side effects. In clinical studies, up to 15.6 percent of women taking the drug had high cholesterol.
What Is High Cholesterol?Cholesterol is a type of fat that is made in your body. It is also in some foods that you eat. Your body needs some cholesterol to work the right way; however, if too much gets into your blood, it can cause problems. This is known as high cholesterol. Causes of high cholesterol can include genetics and diet. You are more likely to have high cholesterol if the condition runs in your family or if you eat high-cholesterol foods. Because there are often no symptoms of high cholesterol, most people discover they have it as a result of routine blood screening. Because high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, lowering your cholesterol is an important step in protecting your heart (see Lowering Cholesterol to Prevent Heart Disease).
Fortunately, many effective treatments for lowering cholesterol are available. In addition to lifestyle changes, such as exercise (see Exercise and Cholesterol) and diet, there are several cholesterol medications, including:
- Bile acid sequestrants
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
- Nicotinic acid.