This medication is mainly used for the treatment of breast cancer ( hormonal dependent breast cancer) in women who have been through menopause.

IUPAC name: 2-[3-(2-cyanopropan-2-yl)-5-(1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl)phenyl]-2-methylpropanenitrile

Drug class: Nonsteroidal Aromatase inhibitors

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Brand name: Arimidex

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Route of administration: Oral (tablet)

Mechanism of action

Anastrozole works by decreasing the level of estrogen in your body, which may slow the growth of breast cancer that requires estrogen to grow.

Side effects

Common side effects may include nausea/vomiting, headache, difficulty in sleeping, hot flushes, cough, weakness, sore throat, diarrhea, rash, weight gain and stomach upset.

Serious side effects may include bone pain, joint pain, muscle/chest/back/pelvic pain, depression, shortness of breath, brittle bone, swelling in ankle, feet, hands, change in vaginal discharge/bleeding/odor, severe allergic reactions, liver toxicity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, swelling of face, lips, tongue.


Before taking anastrozole, tell your doctor:

  1. If you are allergic to this medication, to other medication, or any kind of other allergies.
  2. If you have or ever had a medical history of heart attack, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, blood clots.
  3. Do not use this with tamoxifen.
  4. Limit alcoholic consumption as it makes you more drowsy. Loss of alertness may occur.
  5. If you are taking other medications (such as prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, or herbal products).
  6. This medication should be used after menopause in women. During pregnancy, this medication is strictly avoided or it may harm the unborn baby.
  7. Sometimes, it may cause severe allergic reactions such as angioedema and anaphylaxis.

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