Femara Side Effects in Men

Male bodybuilders often take Femara to supplement their weightlifting activity.
Male bodybuilders often take Femara to supplement their weightlifting activity. (Image: buttocks image by Andrey Kiselev from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Femara also goes by its generic name, letrozole. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved use for this drug is as a type of hormone therapy for post-menopausal women that decreases risk of breast cancer. However, doctors may prescribe Femara for off-label use in bodybuilders who wish to lower estrogen levels. Men should consider Femara's common side effects before determining whether to take the drug.


In normal human functioning, the enzyme aromatase converts androgens, such as testosterone, into small amounts of estrogen. Femara binds to aromatase enzyme to prevent this conversion process. As a result, estrogen levels in men taking Femara decrease.


The benefit of using Femara for bodybuilders is that it lowers estrogen levels and maintains a higher ratio of testosterone. Some bodybuilders use Femara to reduce gynecomastia, the development of larger breasts after use of steroids. Others wish to reduce estrogen levels to diminish water retention before a bodybuilding competition to appear in peak physical form.

Short-Term Effects

Common short-term side effects of Femara include dizziness, fatigue and hot flashes. Some men also experience muscle and joint pain, which may hinder bodybuilding activity. A common side effect in men who take Femara is a significant decrease in sex drive.

Long-Term Effects

The most common long-term effects of Femara in men result from manipulating hormone levels for a prolonged period of time. Use of Femara decreases the levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and raises levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, which may lead to future cardiovascular problems. Bodybuilders also may get osteoporosis that results in bone fractures.


Femara is an extremely potent drug that achieves a powerful effect even when taken in small doses. In general, prolonged use of Femara is a poor idea because of its profile of side effects. I Steroids recommends that bodybuilders only use Femara just before competition to remove excess water weight or to decrease the effects of gynecomastia.

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