Brand Names

Arimidex (There may be other names for this medication.)

How is it Administered?

Arimidex comes as a tablet. You may take it with or without food, but take it at the same time every day.

Why Am I Taking Anastrozole?

This medication is used:

  • alone or with other treatments to treat early breast cancer in postmenopausal women
  • as a first treatment of breast cancer that has spread within the breast or to other parts of the body
  • in women whose breast cancer has worsened after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex®)
  • to prevent breast cancer in women who are at high risk of developing the disease

How Does it Work?

Anastrozole is in a class of medications called aromatase inhibitors, a type of hormone therapy. It stops an enzyme (aromatase) from changing hormones made by the adrenal glands (androgens) into the hormone estrogen. In postmenopausal women, this is the primary source of estrogen.

When aromatase is blocked, estrogen levels go down. If the breast cancer is a type that grows when estrogen is present, then less estrogen may cause tumor growth to slow or stop.

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