Dr. Malpani will be happy to provide you answers to your queries onlineConsult Now
A recent alternative to clomid is the new drug called letrozole( Femara). Letrozole, is an aromatase inhibitor, and is now being increasingly used as an alternative to clomid for inducing ovulation.
The standard medicine used for making women grow eggs ( a treatment called ovulation induction) for many years used to be clomid ( clomiphene citrate). A recent alternative to clomid is the new drug called letrozole( Femara). Letrozole, is an aromatase inhibitor, and is now being increasingly used as an alternative to clomid for inducing ovulation.
Read more- Clomid - clomiphene for treating infertility
The Clomid Issue
The problem with clomid is that because of its antiestrogenic activity, it would cause the cervical mucus to dry up; or make the uterine lining thin. This effect would reduce fertility, so that even though ovulation induction was achieved, women would not get pregnant. Letrozole does not have the anti-estrogenic activity which clomid does, so that the uterine lining and cervical mucus with letrozole is often better than it is with clomid.
The dose of letrozole is 2.5 mg daily for 5 days, starting from Day 3. Aromatase is an enzyme in the body which converts androstendione ( an androgen) to estradiol. Because letrozole blocks this action , the estradiol level in the blood drops. The resulting lower estradiol will in turn stimulate the release of increased amounts of pituitary FSH and LH, and thus stimulate ovulation.
How it Works
Letrozole was first developed as a medicine to treat certain women with breast cancer. This is because letrozole is an antiestrogen and its ability to reduce the estradiol level makes it effective in treating patients with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer In these women, letrozole is given daily for a long period of time to achieve the desired anti-estrogenic effect.
However, the fact that letrozole is used for treating breast cancer causes women a lot of needless worry ! This fact is conspicuously printed in the patient information leaflet with the drug - and women then start worrying that letrozole will cause them to develop breast cancer. They are also very confused as to why the doctor is giving them a drug to treat breast cancer, when what they have is infertility !
Please remember that letrozole is safe and effective. A drug which is used for treating breast cancer will not cause it ! And do remember that one medicine can be used for many different purposes. The use of letrozole for ovulation induction is an off-label use, as it is not officially approved for this purpose, because pharmaceutical companies do not want to spend the money which is needed to get this approval.