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Anastrozole is used in the treatment of breast cancer

How it works

Anastrozole lowers the amount of estrogen (natural female hormone) produced in the body. This can lower or stop the growth of some breast cancer cells that need estrogen to grow.

Common side effects

Headache, Hot flushes, Nausea, Skin rash, Musculoskeletal (bone, muscle or joint) pain, Osteoporosis, Weakness

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Expert advice

  • Do consult your doctor before taking anastrozole, if you are not sure that you have reached menopause (the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods stop).
  • Use with caution if you have heart disease problems, problem related to blood circulation, severe liver disease, high blood levels of cholesterol, if you have osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones) or low levels of mineral in your bones that affects its strength (low bone mineral density).
  • Avoid using amiodarone if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Do contact your doctor immediately if you experience signs of a stroke or serious blood clot- sudden numbness or weakness (particularly on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance.

Frequently asked questions



Is anastrozole a steroid/hormone?
No. Anastrozole is a non-steroidal drug used in the treatment of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. It does not have a structure or effect similar to steroids. It is not a hormone


Is anastrozole a chemo drug/considered chemotherapy/chemotoxic?
Yes. Anastrozole is a non-steroidal chemo drug. It is used as a part of chemotherapy or with other chemotoxic agents in the treatment of early-stage or advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women


Is anastrozole a controlled substance/illegal?
No. Anastrozole is not a controlled substance and does not have a potential for addiction and abuse. It is not an illegal drug

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Is anastrozole better than tamoxifen?
Anastrozole and tamoxifen are two different drugs with similar uses but different mechanism of action and so cannot be compared


Is anastrozole same as Arimidex?
Yes. Arimidex is a trade name for active drug anastrozole


Can I take anastrozole/arimidex with proviron/ glucosamine/ melatonin/ aspirin/ turmeric/ ibuprofen?
Anastrozole (trade name: arimidex) has no known serious interaction with mesterolone (trade name: proviron), glucosamine, melatonin, aspirin, turmeric or ibuprofen. Please inform your doctor about all the medication you are currently taking to avoid interactions that may reduce effectiveness of any treatment or aggravate side effects


Does anastrozole cause weight gain/hair loss/high blood pressure/arthritis/raise cholesterol/ joint pain?
Yes. Increase in body weight, hair loss, high blood pressure, inflammation of joints (arthritis), raised blood levels of cholesterol and joint pain are among the possible side effects of anastrozole


Does anastrozole increase testosterone?
No. Anastrozole has no known effect in raising testosterone levels


Does anastrozole help gyno?
Anastrozole has no known effect on breast enlargement in men. ‘Gyno’ is a slang word used commonly among body builders for gynecomastia (enlargement of breasts in men).

Content on this page was last updated on 09 March, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)