Anastrozole, sold under the brand name Arimidex among others, is a medication used in addition to other treatments for breast cancer. Specifically it is used for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. It has also been used to prevent breast cancer in those at high risk.It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects of anastrozole include hot flushes, altered mood, joint pain, and nausea. Severe side effects include an increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Use during pregnancy may harm the baby. Anastrozole is in the aromatase-inhibiting family of medications. It works by blocking the production of estrogens in the body, and hence has antiestrogenic effects.
Anastrozole was patented in 1987 and was approved for medical use in 1995. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Anastrozole is available as a generic medication.
Anastrozole is used in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer in women.The Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination (ATAC) trial was of localized breast cancer and women received either anastrozole, the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen, or both for five years, followed by five years of follow-up. After more than 5 years the group that received anastrozole had better results than the tamoxifen group.The trial suggested that anastrozole is the preferred medical therapy for postmenopausal women with localized estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
Anastrozole is used at a dosage of 0.5 to 1 mg/day in combination with the antiandrogen bicalutamide in the treatment of peripheral precocious puberty, for instance due to familial male-limited precocious puberty (testotoxicosis) and McCune–Albright syndrome, in boys.