Take it as an alternative to clomiphene citrate (Clomid®).
It can be taken alone or with gonadotropins (injectable fertility medicines) to help ovulation.
It comes in 2.5 mg tablets. One to three tablets are taken by mouth at the same time on days 3 to 7 of the menstrual cycle. Your provider will tell you what dose to take. It absorbs quickly and totally from the gastrointestinal tract. It is not affected by food.
It works by interfering with how estrogen is made in the ovaries. This leads to stimulation of pituitary hormones.
• Follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone (FSH and LH).
• FSH and LH stimulate oocyte (egg) maturation and ovulation.
You may also need to use Ovulation Predictor Kits. Learn more at: uihc.org/educational-resources/ovulation-predictor-kits-opk.
It is not approved for fertility treatment at this time. It has been used for this purpose for many years though. It is approved for use in breast cancer prevention.
Less than 5 out of 100 people will feel:
• More tired than normal
• Hot flashes
• Musculoskeletal pain
• Painful breathing
People often have fewer side effects with letrozole than with Clomid®. Check a urine pregnancy test at home before starting letrozole. Take a test even if your period seems normal.
Start it after a normal period. Call your care team before starting letrozole if your period is not a normal flow or comes at an unexpected time.
Letrozole is a pregnancy category D medicine. This means it should not be taken if you are pregnant.
It has a short half-life. It will be out of your system by the time you would be pregnant. Studies show the rate of birth defects is not higher after taking letrozole:
• Compared to the general population
• Compared to Clomid® (clomiphene) use.
Based on studies, we believe it to be a safe alternative to Clomid®.
If you have questions or concerns call Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m:
• The Obstetrics Gynecology Clinic at 319-356-2294
• The Center for Advanced Reproductive Care at 319-356-1767.
• For urgent questions or concerns
o Call toll-free at 800-777-8442, 24 hours a day
o Ask for the gynecology resident on call.
o You may be asked some questions when using the toll-free number.
Send a MyChart message for non-urgent questions or concerns.