Femara side effects in men

Updated April 17, 2017

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 oestrogen 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 oestrogen. Femara binds to aromatase enzyme to prevent this conversion process. As a result, oestrogen levels in men taking Femara decrease.


The benefit of using Femara for bodybuilders is that it lowers oestrogen levels and maintains a higher ratio of testosterone. Some bodybuilders use Femara to reduce gynaecomastia, the development of larger breasts after use of steroids. Others wish to reduce oestrogen 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 flushes. 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 gynaecomastia.

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About the Author

Aurora Harklute has been writing since 2009. She works with people with depression and other mental illnesses and specializes in physical and mental health issues in aging. Harklute holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and physiology from Marquette University and a Master of Arts in cognitive psychology from the University of Chicago.