What its like taking the new breast cancer drug, anastrozole

Those effects that were seen (placental enlargement in rats and pregnancy failure in rabbits) were related to the pharmacology of the compound. Anastrozole pharmacokinetics are independent of age in postmenopausal women. Two further similar trials (GABG/ARNO 95 and ITA), in one of which patients had received surgery and chemotherapy, as well as a combined analysis of ABCSG 8 and GABG/ARNO 95, supported these results. A Disease-free survival includes all recurrence events and is defined as the first occurrence of loco-regional recurrence, contralateral new breast cancer, distant recurrence or death (for any reason).

  • Promoting early diagnosis, screening and lifestyle changes, we believe we can stop the problem before it starts.
  • It’s sometimes given before surgery to shrink a large breast cancer.
  • However, this process could involve a further consultation with a specialist.
  • Breast cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK, with around 11,500 deaths from breast cancer in the UK every year.

By taking this medicine for 5 years, you have a better chance of being alive 15 years after your breast cancer was first diagnosed. It works by lowering the levels of oestrogen hormones in your body. You should tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Likewise, you should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines during treatment with this one, so they can check that the combination is safe. “Taking anastrozole was an easy decision for me, as I’d watched my mum battle breast cancer and my risk was very high.

Coping with side effects

It is the first drug to go through NHS England’s Medicines Repurposing Programme. And the protective effect lasts for years after a woman has stopped taking the drug, officials said. For small molecules with SMILES these are drawn using the NCI/CADD Chemical Identifier Resolver. Click on the image to access the chemical structure search tool with the ligand pre-loaded in the structure editor.

All deliveries are subject to the availability of the product and product sale conditions been met. Always take Anastrozole exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. If you are reading this page and can’t see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at Please include your name, age and location with any submission. Lesley-Ann Woodhams, 61, has just completed a five-year course of one tablet a day. Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer. But the new official approval is expected to make it easier for more women to get hold of it, with NHS chiefs saying around 289,000 women will be eligible.


Anastrazole belongs to a type of hormone therapy called aromatase inhibitors. Lowering the level of oestrogen aims to prevent, stop or slow the growth of these cancers. The results of a trialled by researchers at Queen Mary University of London and funded by Cancer Research UK and supported by a number of our sites indicated that the risk of breast cancer developing could be halved. Further research suggests that just one in four eligible women taking anastrozole should prevent around 2,000 cases of breast cancer. Recent trials show the drug can reduce the incidence of breast cancer by almost 50% in post-menopausal women at moderate or high risk of the disease. Considering that even a woman at a high risk of developing breast cancer has a higher chance of dodging the disease than receiving a cancer diagnosis, some women may decide that taking the medication for five years isn’t worth it.

  • It is the first medicine the MHRA has relicensed as part of NHS England’s Medicines Repurposing Programme and is ‘off-patent’, meaning that multiple pharmaceutical companies can produce the tablets.
  • Bioscientifica Abstracts is the gateway to a series of products that provide a permanent, citable record of abstracts for biomedical and life science conferences.
  • Arimidex was studied in two controlled clinical trials (Study 0004 and Study 0005) in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer who had disease progression following tamoxifen therapy for either advanced or early breast cancer.
  • Serious side effects are rare and happen in less than 1 in 100 people.
  • Anastrozole prevents this from happening by blocking the enzyme, called aromatase.

Anastrozole, used for many years to treat the disease, has now been licensed as a preventative option. Some women will be more susceptible to them than others, or suffer more severe symptoms while taking the drug, so may opt to stop taking it. For women specifically, breast cancer is second biggest cause of death of all versions of the disease.

Following the MHRA’s authorisation, anastrozole is estimated to help prevent around 2,000 cases of breast cancer in England. Standard Delivery within EEC from £12.50 Delivery time up to 5 days depending on the local delivery service within your country. Standard Delivery within the UK £3.50 Delivery time 3-4 days First Class Delivery within the UK £5.90 Delivery time 1-2 days Priority Delivery within the UK £7.10. The protective effect lasts for years after a woman has stopped taking the drug, officials said. “I could live a life without constantly worrying or giving a thought to what could be if I’d developed breast cancer,” Lesley-Ann says.

Tens of thousands more women at increased risk of breast cancer could now benefit from a proven risk-reducing drug on the NHS, after it was licensed in a new use to help prevent the disease. Women who have a medium or high risk of developing breast cancer because of a family history might have anastrozole. Anastrozole belongs to a group of medicines called ‘aromatase inhibitors’. Basically, what this means is that it works to prevent the production of estrogen in the body. Estrogen can promote the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, so by reducing its levels, Anastrozole can help to slow down or even stop the cancer from spreading. Breast cancer cases fell by 49 per cent among women at high risk of developing breast cancer who took anastrozole, according to clinical trials.

Patient’s usual medications included furosemide 20 mg, mirtazapine 15 mg, laxido, morphine sulphate 10 mg and alendronic acid 70 mg. She did not consume any alcohol and a thorough review by pharmacists revealed no other offending drugs. A gastroenterology consultation was undertaken however a liver biopsy was not considered Dianabol 10 mg due to frailty and worsening general condition. Viral hepatitis and autoimmune screen were not performed in view of normal transaminases throughout the illness. Unfortunately, no clinical or biochemical improvement was observed, and she succumbed to liver failure which lead to death 3 weeks after drug withdrawal.

Important information about Arimidex

One of the high-risk women who was offered anastrozole ‘off-label’ as a preventive drug is Lesley-Ann Woodhams. The 61-year-old completed the full five-year course of one tablet a day in January 2023. “Approaches to help prevent breast cancer in women at high risk are badly needed, so this is a welcome announcement,” said Dr David Crosby, head of prevention and early detection at Cancer Research UK. Some people start taking anastrozole after a number of years of taking another hormone therapy drug called tamoxifen. Your healthcare team can tell you what products you can use on your skin to help. However, do not take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or any other medicines that relieve menopausal symptoms.