We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Anastrozole?

By Emma Lloyd
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Anastrozole is a medication used as hormonal therapy for the treatment of certain types of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. This therapy works by suppressing the activity of estrogen in the body and thus inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells that are dependent on estrogen. Where available, this medication is sold under the brand names Arimidex® and AstraZeneca®.

Hormone therapy medications are synthetic hormones or hormone inhibitors that either mimic or suppress hormone activity in the body. For example, women who are going through menopause can opt for hormone replacement therapy. Symptoms of menopause are caused by lack of estrogen, so the hormone replacement therapy provides additional estrogen to relieve symptoms.

Anastrozole hormone therapy for breast cancer treatment works in a similar fashion in that it moderates the effects of estrogen in the body. This treatment, however, has a significantly different effect on estrogen. This hormone therapy actually reduces the amount of estrogen available for use in the body, rather than mimicking its effects to provide the body with an additional supply.

Breast cancer anastrozole therapy works because many types of breast cancer are dependent on estrogen, and cannot continue to grow without it. In women who have been through menopause, the main source of the body’s estrogen is through the conversion of hormones called androgens. These hormones are converted into estrogen by an enzyme called aromatase.

Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor, which means it blocks the activity of the aromatase enzyme and reduces the amount of estrogen that is produced. This in turn reduces the supply of estrogen available to breast cancer cells, and it can slow the growth of the cancer and even cause tumors to shrink. With this hormone therapy, the best results are achieved in post-menopausal women who have early-stage estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Late-stage cancer sometimes is less responsive to this type of hormone therapy.

This type of hormone therapy has many potential side effects. The most common side effects are not harmful but can be unpleasant or painful. Possible side effects include hot flashes, vaginal dryness or bleeding, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, thinning hair, skin rashes, joint pain, muscle stiffness and lethargy. Potentially serious side effects include sudden body weakness or numbness, swollen glands and sudden confusion, vision problems, speech problems or balance problems. All side effects should be reported to a doctor to determine whether further attention is needed.

Hormone therapy is not the only use of this aromatase inhibitor. Aromatase inhibitors sometimes are used as bodybuilding supplements by people who are trying to increase muscle mass, because this type of hormone therapy can reduce the side effects of anabolic steroid use. It should be noted that anastrozole and similar aromatase inhibitor supplements are not steroids and are neither illegal nor banned by major sporting bodies, like anabolic steroids themselves are in many countries.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.