Anastrozole is a drug indicated in the treatment of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. It is used both in adjuvant therapy (i.e. following surgery) and in metastatic breast cancer. It decreases the amount of estrogens that the body makes.
Anastrozole belongs in the class of drugs known as aromatase inhibitors. It inhibits the enzyme aromatase, which is responsible for converting androgens (produced by women in the adrenal glands) to estrogens.
For adjuvant treatment of hormone receptor positive breast cancer , as well as hormonal treatment of advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Has also been used to treat pubertal gynecomastia and McCune-Albright syndrome; however, manufacturer states that efficacy for these indications have not been established.
Anastrozole is a potent and selective non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women with disease progression following tamoxifen therapy.
Many breast cancers have estrogen receptors and growth of these tumors can be stimulated by estrogens. In post-menopausal women, the principal source of circulating estrogen (primarily estradiol) is conversion of adrenally-generated androstenedione to estrone by aromatase in peripheral tissues, such as adipose tissue, with further conversion of estrone to estradiol. Many breast cancers also contain aromatase; the importance of tumor-generated estrogens is uncertain.
Treatment of breast cancer has included efforts to decrease estrogen levels by ovariectomy premenopausally and by use of anti-estrogens and progestational agents both pre- and post-menopausally, and these interventions lead to decreased tumor mass or delayed progression of tumor growth in some women. Anastrozole is a potent and selective non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor. It significantly lowers serum estradiol concentrations and has no detectable effect on formation of adrenal corticosteroids or aldosterone.
Mechanism of action
Anastrozole selectively inhibits aromatase. The principal source of circulating estrogen (primarily estradiol) is conversion of adrenally-generated androstenedione to estrone by aromatase in peripheral tissues.
Therefore, aromatase inhibition leads to a decrease in serum and tumor concentration of estrogen, leading to a decreased tumor mass or delayed progression of tumor growth in some women. Anastrozole has no detectable effect on synthesis of adrenal corticosteroids, aldosterone, and thyroid hormone.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.Some medical conditions may interact with Anastrozole.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions.
Common side effects may include: weakness, hot flashes, numbness or tingly feeling in your skin, swelling in your ankles or feet, joint pain or stiffness, problems with your fingers while gripping, sore throat, headache, back pain, bone pain, depression, mood changes, sleep problems (insomnia), high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears), nausea, vomiting or mild rash.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.