Side Effects of Arimidex (Anastrozole)

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Arimidex is a brand name version of the prescription drug anastrozole. Arimidex is used in the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It works by reducing the amount of estrogen produced by the body to inhibit tumor growth. The side effects of Arimidex or anastrozole can be wide-ranging and include hot flashes, constipation or diarrhea, breast pain, and headaches.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Arimidex can be prescribed as a standalone medication or in tandem with other breast cancer treatments like radiation. It is a pill that is usually prescribed to be taken once per day for months or years at a time. Arimidex may also be used as a measure to help prevent a relapse; women who have had breast cancer once face a greater than average risk of being diagnosed with the condition a second time.

The potential side effects of Arimidex or anastrozole can be extensive. According to the National Institutes of Health, some of the most common Arimidex side effects include digestive issues like changes in appetite, upset stomach, burping, nausea and vomiting, and constipation or diarrhea. Dry mouth, changes in mood or depression, and headache may develop as well. Hot flashes, sweating, and breast pain are also common side effects of Arimidex.

One of the more concerning side effects of Arimidex involves the weakening of bones. Since the drug is available to postmenopausal women, it is taken by the group most likely to suffer from osteoporosis. Long-term use of anastrozole can contribute to reduced bone density. This can affect they way it is prescribed to women with osteoporosis. It also follows that bone or joint pain are common side effects of Arimidex.

Some side effects of Arimidex are more concerning and they should be brought to the attention of your doctor as soon as possible. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, these side effects include rapid weight gain, chest pain, numbness in the extremities, blurry vision, and yellowed skin or eyes. In the event of an allergic reaction, symptoms can include skin rash or hives, itching, swelling of the face and throat, and difficulty breathing.

Arimidex, also known as anastrozole, is a medication used to treat breast cancer and reduce its likelihood of coming back. It is a type of drug known as a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor, reducing the body’s production of estrogen. The side effects of Arimidex are potentially extensive and include nausea, breast pain, and depression. Over an extended period of use, it can also wear away at bone density, causing concern for women with osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about the side effects of anastrozole.


Anastrozole. National Institutes of Health.

Anastrozole (By Mouth). University of Maryland Medical Center.


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