Last Updated on June 3, 2023
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The active ingredient Anastrozole is a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor and has been used for the treatment of breast cancer. It causes the body produces no female sex hormones more. This makes it suitable to hormone sensitive forms of breast cancer, so malignant tumors whose growth is influenced by sex hormones. Here you can read everything you need to action and use of Anastrozole, side effects and interactions.
How Anastrozole works
During the development of the female sexual organs during puberty the body specifically estrogens (female sex hormones) secretes to stimulate the tissue in question for growth. After the end of puberty, this process has been completed, and the estrogen still formed only controls the menstrual cycle, allowing pregnancy.
Sometimes in this complex control process, an error occurs. Then it may happen that, for example, breast tissue still responds to female hormones, and increases as a function of this. This uncontrolled, hormone-dependent growth leads to a proliferation – there is on breast cancer
Such tumors can be treated so that the estrogen production is inhibited. For the production of the female sex hormone testosterone from precursors such as the body needs the enzyme aromatase. With certain drugs – the so-called aromatase inhibitors such as Anastrozole– can block the enzyme. This stagnating a hormone-dependent breast cancer tumor in its growth.
Used Anastrozole only in women after menopause, where estrogen production is reduced massively in itself.
Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of Anastrozole
After his taking the drug its highest levels reached within two hours in the body. It is largely metabolized by the liver and excreted in the urine. Only a small fraction leaves the body unchanged. The drug remains relatively long in the body: about two days after ingestion is only about half excreted
When is Anastrozole used?
The aromatase inhibitors Anastrozole is applied in the following cases:
- for treatment of hormone-sensitive breast cancer in advanced women after menopause
- to support the treatment of early breast cancer who immigrates to other tissues in women after menopause – both initially and after pretreatment with Tamoxifen over two to three years
The treatment with Anastrozole occurs over a longer period of time, sometimes for several years.
How Anastrozole is taken?
Anastrozole is used in the form of tablets (with one milligrams of active ingredient). Once a day a tablet is taken, together with or without food at about the same time of day with a glass of water.
What are the side effects of Anastrozole?
During treatment with Anastrozole show up as very common side effects, arthritis, bone loss and weakness. “Very common” means that these undesirable effects in more than every tenth patient occur.
As a frequent Anastrozole side effects (one to ten percent of patients) are high cholesterol, loss of appetite, sleepiness, taste disturbance, paraesthesia, allergic reactions, vaginal dryness, vaginal bleeding, muscle and bone pain.
What should I watch for while taking Anastrozole?
In studies showed no or only insignificant interactions between Anastrozole and other drugs that are taken frequently from breast cancer patients. Nevertheless, each taking other medications with the doctor or pharmacist should be ascertained. This also applies to herbal supplements and nutritional supplements.
The concomitant use or application of Tamoxifen or estrogen weakens the effect of Anastrozole.
Women with osteoporosis or at increased risk of osteoporosis bone density should be measured before the start and periodically during treatment with Anastrozole. If necessary, in sufficient time to be done something against a reduction in bone density.
Patients with severe liver or kidney dysfunction should be treated only in exceptional cases with Anastrozole.
Men, pregnant, nursing mothers, children, adolescents and pre-menopausal women should not be treated with Anastrozole. However, this might change in the future: Currently is being investigated in studies whether it is possible to treat elevated estrogen levels in boys and men with Anastrozole
How to get Anastrozole
The breast cancer drug Anastrozole is prescription. So you get it only after doctor’s prescription in the pharmacy.
Since when Anastrozole is known?
The aromatase inhibitor Anastrozole was developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and approved in Germany for the first time 1996th The patent expired in 2010. Since the drug is listed on the list of essential medicines of the World Health Organization and is therefore often prescribed, have been around since 2010, numerous, expensive generic pharmaceuticals with the active ingredient Anastrozole .