Anastrozole also known as Arimidex is an aromatase inhibitor, which works to decrease the overall levels of estrogen in a woman's body. It also can help to lower circulating estrogen levels, reduce water retention and gynecomastia in males.
Anastrozole is a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Estrogen causes or increases growth of certain breast cancers. Anastrozole works by blocking aromatase enzyme, which is involved in estrogen production in the body. This leads to decreased tumor size or delayed progression of tumor growth in some women. Anastrozole is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox).
Anastozole lowers the amount of oestrogen in the body. The female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone stimulate many breast cancers to grow. Lowering the level of oestrogen can stop or slow the growth of breast cancer cells.
Anastrozole blocks a process called aromatisation that changes sex hormones called androgens into oestrogen. This happens mainly in the fatty tissues, muscle and the skin and needs a particular enzyme called aromatase.
The dose of Arimidex is one 1mg tablet taken once a day. For patients with advanced breast cancer, Arimidex should be continued until tumor progression. Arimidex can be taken with or without food. It’s best to take it at the same time every day. If you miss a dose, you don’t need to take an extra dose the next day. The level of drug in your body will remain high enough from the day before.
Both Arimidex and tamoxifen work by exerting an effect on estrogen, which feeds the majority of breast cancers and helps them grow. Arimidex belongs to a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, which limit the amount of estrogen the body produces in postmenopausal women. Arimidex works by preventing the conversion of steroids made by the adrenal gland into estrogen. In a woman who has gone through menopause, the adrenal gland is the largest source of estrogen. Arimidex doesn't work in women who are premenopausal because their ovaries make most of their estrogen. Tamoxifen belongs to a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), which work by blocking estrogen from binding to its receptors in the breast. This drug works as well in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Both drugs cause hot flashes, but unlike tamoxifen, Arimidex does not cause blood clots or increase the risk of uterine cancer. However, there is a down side to being on Arimidex. Women taking this drug have more problems with bone fractures. Tamoxifen blocks estrogen in the breast, but it acts like a weak estrogen outside the breast, so it stimulates bone and keeps it from getting thin. Arimidex, on the other hand, works by preventing the production of estrogen. It doesn’t have any estrogen-like effects, so women taking this drug have more bone thinning and fractures.