Drugs & Supplements

The Comprehensive Guide To Anastrozole Side Effects And Precautions


Has your doctor prescribed Anastrozole?

Or are any of your loved ones taking this medication?

It is obvious that you would like to check Anastrozole side effects out of concern or curiosity. We take a lot of medications, some of them come with minor side effects, and at the same time, some take a lot of them.

Anastrozole is one of those medications that is used for treating serious health conditions.

Which one?

I am coming to that later in this article.

Now, coming to the side effects part; Anastrozole comes with some serious side effects. Also, there are some things you need to keep in mind during the time of this treatment. Here, in this article, I’ll give you answers to your concerns.

Let’s start with the basic understanding of Anastrozole.

What Is Anastrozole?


It is a particular medicine that is responsible for lowering estrogen levels in postmenopausal women. This might slow the growth of some particular types of breast tumors, which require estrogen in order to grow in the body.

This medicine is used for treating mainly breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Usually, it is prescribed to those women whose cancer has already progressed even though they have taken tamoxifen.

Apart from this, Anastrozole also can be used for other medicinal purposes. But majorly, it is a treating medicine for breast cancers in postmenopausal women.

Uses Of Anastrozole: Dosage

Here are the uses of Anastrozole.

  • First-line treatment for all those postmenopausal women who are suffering from metastatic breast cancer, hormone receptor unknown locally advanced, or hormone receptor-positive.
  • Also, adjuvant treatment for all those postmenopausal women with hormone receptors-positive early breast cancer.
  • Last but not least, second-line treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer with disease progression following tamoxifen therapy.

Now, come to the dosage. Here I am mentioning the usual adult dose, particularly for breast cancer, as this medicine is specifically used for that.

Initial Dose: once a day, 1 mg should be taken orally.

Duration Of Therapy: treatment of advanced breast cancer until the tumor progression. Also, adjuvant treatment for early breast cancer is unknown.

Warnings: Anastrozole might decrease the blood flow to the heart, especially for those individuals who have ever had coronary artery disease, such as clogged arteries. That is why, in case you are experiencing shortness of breath and new or worsening chest pain, take medical assistance quickly.

Things To Know Before Taking Anastrozole

I believe you are going to take this medicine once your doctor is prescribing you. Still, it is good to know about the Anastrozole side effects that I have covered in the next part. But along with the side effects of Anastrozole, you should have an idea about some things before taking this medicine.

The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t use Anastrozole in case you are allergic to it or in case you haven’t completed your menopause yet.

This medicine is also approved to use both in children and men.

You should never take this medicine in case you are already taking tamoxifen.

Things To Keeps In Mind

In case your doctor is going to prescribe you this medicine, you must inform your doctor if you have the below-mentioned things.

  • High cholesterol.
  • Coronary artery disease or clogged artery disease.
  • Heart problems.
  • Low bone mineral density or osteoporosis.

You might not know, but hormonal cancer treatment can actually weaken your bones. You can be more likely to get a broken or damaged bone when you are using Anastrozole.

So, I will always advise you to consult with your healthcare provider about different ways of keeping your bones strong and healthy.

When we are considering postmenopausal women, it is more unlikely to get pregnant, still, you should know that this medicine might harm an unborn baby or fetus. That is why, before starting this treatment, you might require a negative pregnancy test.

And, in case you are not yet past menopause, use effective birth control for at least 3 weeks before your last dose of this medicine is needed. Still, in case you get pregnant, don’t forget to mention that to your doctor.

In addition to all these, breastfeeding while using Anastrozole is also non-advisable for at least 2 weeks from your last dose.

Anastrozole Side Effects

Now, I am coming to the main point, and that is the Anastrozole side effects.

Before starting with the major side effects of Anastrozole, I would like to advise you to get emergency medical help in case you have signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, swelling in your throat or face, and difficulty breathing.

If you are suffering from severe skin reactions, sore throat, skin pain, burning eyes, fever, and a purple or red skin rash with peeling and blistering, you should consult with a doctor.

In addition to all these, Anastrozole also might decrease the blood flow to your heart, specifically in case you ever had any type of coronary artery disease like clogged arteries. In case you are having any new or worsening chest pain or shortness of breath, consult with your doctor.

Major Side Effects

Here are the major anastrozole side effects that you should not neglect and consult with a doctor immediately.

  • Prickly feeling, weakness, pain, or numbness in your wrists or hands.
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling, and shortness of breath, even with mild exertion.
  • Symptoms of bone fracture- swelling, tenderness, bruising, and pain, which worsens with movement.
  • Signs of stroke- sudden weakness or numbness, especially in one particular side of your body, slurred speech, severe headache, problems with balance and vision.

Here are some most anastrozole side effects.

  • Hot flashes.
  • Bone pain, risk of fracture.
  • Tingling, tickling, or numbness in your skin.
  • Weakness.
  • Swelling in your legs, feet, or arms.
  • Headache, back pain.
  • Sore throat, shortness of breath, cough.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Sleep problems or insomnia, depression.
  • Rash.
  • Vomiting, nausea.
  • Joint pain or stiffness.

Apart from all these anastrozole side effects that I have mentioned here, there are some more. So, in case you are feeling anything unusual, it is always best to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Precautions To Take For Anastrozole 

Though I have mentioned the important things that you need to keep in mind before taking Anastrozole, still, here are some precautions. In case you are allergic to this medicine, inform your pharmacist or doctor before taking it.

It is best to keep your doctor or pharmacist informed about whatever allergies you have so that they can prescribe the medicine or dosage as per that. Anastrozole might contain some inactive ingredients that can be the reason for your allergic reaction or any other problems.

Also, do not forget to tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, specifically any bone loss, high blood pressure, liver disease, blood clots, or heart disease like a heart attack.

Along with all these, this particular medicine also can make you dizzy. So, consuming marijuana or alcohol might make you dizzier. Using machinery, driving, or performing any other thing that requires your complete alertness till the time you are capable of doing it safely.

To Do:

Limiting alcoholic beverages is a must here. Also, in case you are already using cannabis or marijuana, talk to your doctor about that. In case you are going through surgery, inform your doctor about all the products you are currently using.

That might include herbal products, non-prescription drugs, and also prescription drugs. As Anastrozole can be absorbed through your lungs and lungs and also can harm the unborn, any pregnant woman or someone who might become pregnant should not take this medication.

Also, breathing from the dust of this medicine is completely prohibited for them.

Mainly in women after menopause, Anastrozole is used. In case you haven’t yet gone through menopause, you must not use this medication during pregnancy. As it might harm the unborn baby or the fetus, it is strictly not advisable.

That is why in case you are taking this medicine, it is advised to use reliable birth control. Also, though you have stopped taking medicine, continue using birth control after 3 weeks of stopping the medicine.

When considering birth control, the condom is the most suitable one. You should avoid any products that contain estrogen, like birth control pills. In case you are pregnant, or you think that you might be pregnant, tell your doctor at the very first.

Though it is not yet clear whether this drug passes into the breast milk, it is advisable to stop using this medicine at least 2 weeks prior to breastfeeding, as it might pose some risk to the infant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Here are the answers to the most common questions that I have been asked several times. So, now, when I am covering the anastrozole side effects, it is the best time to answer these questions.

I believe you might also be looking for some of these answers. So, let’s check them out now.

Q1: What Are The Anastrozole For Men Side Effects?

Ans: Some studies have found evidence against using AI medications, such as Anastrozole. It is because men have a correlation between long-term use of this and decreased bone mineral density. As a result of decreased bone density, bones become weak, and that leaves an increased risk of fractures and bone damage.

Q2: How Long After Starting Anastrozole Do Side Effects Start?

Ans: Some of the anastrozole side effects might start in the first few days when you begin taking this medicine. Those side effects include the following.
• Digestive system problems.
• Dry mouth.
• Insomnia.
• Headache.
• Hot flashes.
Some individuals also can get the side effects after a few months.

Q3: How Can I Reduce The Side Effects Of Anastrozole?  

Ans: In most cases, Anastrozole makes the individual feel nauseous or vomit. All these symptoms usually get better or become easier to manage with time. If you are taking Anastrozole after or with food, you can reduce the sickness.

Q4: What To Avoid When Taking Anastrozole?

Ans: When you are taking Anastrozole, you should avoid the below-mentioned food.
• Seeds.
• Cereals.
• Whole-grain bread.
• Raw vegetables.
• Raw fruits.
Also, there are some foods with soluble fibers and absorb fluid that can help in relieving diarrhea.

Final Talks

I believe after going through this article; you got the answer to your queries. Apart from the Anastrozole side effects, I have covered other essential information as well for your convenience. Still, in case you have any queries or questions, I will be more than happy to assist you.

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Harsha Sharma
Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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