Letrozole (Femara) is a non-steroidal and non-suicidal aromatase inhibitor (AI). This is a third generation of aromatase inhibitors. Letrozole is the active substance while Femara is the first and most popular brand name. While other brand names are available of Letrozole, Femara is the most popular one.
- Letrozole (Femara) is very similar to Anastrozole (Arimidex) and Exemestane (Aromasin) since all three are the major Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs). The difference between Letrozole (Femara) and other AIs I just mentioned is that Femara is more powerful. In fact, this AI is the most powerful one on the market.
In medical conditions, all three of these compounds are used for treating estrogen receptor breast cancer in females. But since it’s such a powerful aromatase inhibitor, it’s usually utilized for the treatment of post menopausal women.
Since Femara (Letrozole) is an Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) it is also an anti-estrogen. Anti-estrogens are containing Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) such as Exemestane (Aromasin), Anastrozole (Arimidex), and Letrozole (Femara) as well as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) such as Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) and Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate). AIs and SERMs form anti-estrogens.
However, there’s a huge difference between the mechanism of action of SERMs and AIs. While SERMs are selectively binding to specific estrogen receptors blocking their activity, AIs are binding to aromatase enzymes, blocking aromatization and thus reducing estrogen levels.
Considering that these compounds are dealing with estrogen in different ways, each and every one of these anti-estrogens is used in bodybuilding purposes for various needs. While steroid users run AIs for similar purposes in order to lower estrogen, they may also use SERMs for different needs, such as for Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) Plans.
Learning About Femara
If you plan to use or already use anabolic steroids, I strongly recommend learning as much as possible about anti-estrogens first. Both about all SERMs and all AIs.
In this article, however, we’re mostly going to pay attention and talk about this specific aromatase inhibitor. Letrozole with the brand name Femara. It is a popular drug in bodybuilding circles due to its estrogen controlling and reducing capabilities of Letrozole.
That’s a great thing among anabolic steroid users that are engaged in the use of aromatizing anabolic steroids. For example Testosterone, Dianabol, Deca Durabolin, or others. With the help of Femara (or at least other AIs), they can effectively control the issues of excess of estrogen hormone. Using aromatizing (AKA “wet”) steroids generally leads to an increase in estrogen levels. Too high estrogen levels are capable of causing various negative side effects such as bloating, gynecomastia, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, low mood, and low energy levels including other symptoms.
Letrozole effects on serum estrogen levels are the strongest and most effective out of the three major aromatase inhibitors. It’s going to have the most powerful effect when it comes to lowering estrogen levels. According to studies, Femara’s effects in inhibiting the aromatase enzyme can be so strong that it is reducing estrogen levels too much. That’s why, the compound is often given only to post menopausal women, or when other AIs fail to reduce the estrogen efficiently. Generally, it is common for all AIs to reduce estrogen effectively and all three aromatase inhibitors work the same way. They are binding to the aromatase enzymes. This is not allowing the process of aromatization of other hormones to convert into estrogen. Therefore, it lowers estrogen levels in the body. But Letrozole is the most effective one.
Femara in Bodybuilding
All Aromatase Inhibitors are blocking aromatization, therefore reducing overall estrogen levels in the body. This is going to increase the endogenous production of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) as well as FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). As a result of that, this is increasing testosterone levels in men.
That’s why some people use AIs for their PCT plans. But considering that Femara is suppressing estrogen so powerfully, it may not be a great option because it could suppress estrogen too much.
Anyway, bodybuilders and athletes that use anabolic steroids will usually notice estrogen levels increase. There are some anabolic steroids that do not convert into estrogen and they are not going to increase these hormone levels. But a lot of steroids, especially those used in bulking cycles, do aromatize. Some examples are Testosterone (all esters), Nandrolone (both Deca and NPP), Boldenone (EQ), Methandienone (Dianabol), and others. By using Femara in these cycles, you’re eliminating any possible risks of estrogen related side effects.
- In short, Femara (and other AIs) are doing a great job in lowering estrogen and thus dealing with or preventing estrogen related issues. The most common ones are erectile dysfunction, water retention, bloating, low mood and/or energy as well as gynecomastia (gyno).
Letrozole (Femara) itself, in bodybuilding, is mostly seen as a last resort AI for emergency situations. Being so powerful, it can suppress too much estrogen which leads to issues. Other less powerful AIs like Anastrozole or Exemestane are enough for most people. But in case you need something more powerful to reduce estrogen, Femara is perfect.
Moreover, being so powerful, Femara is the perfect option for gynecomastia treatment. That’s why most steroid users run it in situations when other AIs are not effective in treating gyno. Femara is the only one that can save you from gyno surgery.
Femara Dosage and Administration
Women who are prescribed Femara (Letrozole) are usually prescribed 2.5 mg a day for a period that can be very different. The doctor determines the length.
However, it’s extremely important to understand that this dosage is huge! Using such a dosage is extremely likely to cause weakness and fatigue because it is extremely likely to lower estrogen levels too much!
Anabolic steroid users usually administer way lower dosages! Such as a quarter of the tablet (most Letrozole tablets come as 2.5 mg/tab) which is about 0.62 mg up to half a tablet 1.25 mg per administration. Most start using it when they notice that other AIs are not effective enough.
They tend to use one dosage as often as daily to only once or twice a week depending on how effective the product is to deal with their needs. Usually, men who start to experience gynecomastia (man’s boobs or bitch tits) linked with the use of anabolic steroids in higher doses start to use Femara.
Letrozole Side Effects
Femara (Letrozole) is amazing in lowering estrogen levels, as was said numerous times in this article. And I said it so many times because this AI is actually lowering estrogen even stronger than it is supposed to at times. Because it may lower estrogen levels too much, it’s pretty obvious that side effects are possible to occur.
The side effects of Letrozole or any other AI are usually related to the fact that the estrogen levels are too low. That’s why the side effects are very similar to those of other popular Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) such as Arimidex or Aromasin. But they are even more likely to occur with Femara because it is having even more intense effects and does an even greater job of lowering estrogen.
The chances of side effects of Femara in bodybuilders are lower than in females treating breast cancer. First off, because estrogen is way more important in women and they need higher levels of this hormone to properly function, and secondly because bodybuilders usually need lower doses of this compound for shorter periods than females treating breast cancer.
Remember that Femara is the compound that anabolic steroid users run in order to reduce the side effects associated with anabolic steroids. That’s why you should use it in the first place. To avoid other side effects such as gynecomastia and water retention. So, you only need to use it for as long and in the dosage that is effective. So, use it in a manner that will not cause suppression of estrogen to go too far.
Possible Side Effects
Although many mistakenly think that estrogen is a female hormone, it is actually very important for a man too. By lowering it too much, too sharply, and/or for too prolonged periods, side effects are almost inevitable.
By lowering too much estrogen, users tend to experience fatigue and weakness. Needless to mention that this is a huge problem among those who want to gain muscle mass and strength. That’s because fatigue and weakness could cause big problems for their workout schedules.
But there are other possible side effects too that are associated with the use of this drug (and lowering estrogen) such as hot flashes, depression, mood swings, headaches, joint pain, and others.
Estrogen is important for your Central Nervous System (CNS) and that’s why headaches, weakness, and fatigue are all possible to occur with this AI.
Femara is sometimes associated with joint pains because estrogen is important for bone health. Reducing this hormone could lead to reduced mineral content inside bones. But if you do not deal with this problem, it may actually lead to osteoporosis. Nonetheless, considering that anabolic steroid users running AIs such as Femara only use it for short periods of time in lower doses, and they tend to use it with anabolic steroids that actually boost the mineral content of bones, the osteoporosis risk is extremely low.
In the end, it’s very important to understand that there are some people who are reacting negatively to Femara, but there are others who don’t. Everybody is different, having individual reactions to various compounds such as Letrozole. That’s why, it’s up to each one individually to decide whether they want to use the product or not. If you give it a try and get side effects, despite making sure you have high quality Letrozole and use it correctly, might try another compound.
Moreover, while it may sound strange to some of you, estrogen is actually important for erections and libido. This means that if you have too low levels of this hormone, you may notice some erections and libido issues. Many people may notice low mood and mood swings including depression with low levels of this hormone. Additionally, after all, this hormone helps you gain strength and muscle. Without estrogen, you could notice a halt in your muscle and strength gains.
The last side effect that we can associate with the use of Femara (Letrozole) is cholesterol issues. Again, because estrogen is an important hormone for your cholesterol values. If you don’t have enough of this hormone in your system, it could significantly affect your cholesterol. Especially when talking about a decrease in HDL (good) cholesterol levels. But it could also lead to an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
That’s something extremely important to consider. Because anabolic steroids themselves are having the ability to impact your cholesterol levels in a negative way. If you use anabolic steroids for long periods and/or in higher doses – the risk of cholesterol issues increases. But when you lower estrogen, the risk of such problems may exacerbate.
For this reason, I strongly recommend users follow a cholesterol friendly diet with lots of Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet. Try to minimize saturated fats and simple sugars and implement cardio exercises that could help with it. Moreover, you may want to avoid the use of steroids in the first place if you already have cholesterol issues. Therefore, you won’t need AI either.
As long as you’re using aromatizing steroids, there’s a very high chance that you are going to need Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs). Femara (Letrozole) is the most powerful AI out there which means that it is going to do the best job of lowering estrogen. If other AIs fail to work in treating gynecomastia, Femara is your best bet.
However, being so powerful, you need to be very careful with it. Because you may suppress estrogen too much leading to negative side effects. But on the other hand, I strongly recommend having an AI handy in case estrogenic issues from anabolic steroids spike. And there’s a high chance that they actually would.
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