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Brand name: Arimidex

Chemical name: Anastrozole

Class: Aromatase inhibitor hormonal therapy. Aromasin and Femara are other aromatase inhibitors.

How it works: Aromatase inhibitors lower the amount of estrogen in postmenopausal women.

Uses: Arimidex, used to treat postmenopausal women, typically is used to:

  • reduce the risk of early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer coming back after surgery and other treatments
  • treat advanced-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer

Research presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium showed that Arimidex can lower the risk of first-time, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women at high risk who haven’t been diagnosed. Arimidex isn’t approved by the FDA for this use, but doctors may consider it a good alternative to other hormonal therapies approved to reduce risk in high-risk women.

It’s possible that the FDA may approve Arimidex to be used to reduce risk in high-risk postmenopausal women who haven’t been diagnosed.

Arimidex usually is taken for 5 years. Doctors may recommend that some women take it for a longer or shorter period of time.

How it's given: Arimidex is taken orally as a pill.

Additional information: Arimidex shouldn't be taken at the same time as tamoxifen.

Side effects:

Read more about Arimidex.

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