Anastrozole is an antineoplastic medication used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer. It must not be used in pregnancy, breastfeeding or children, and must be used with caution before the menopause and in patients with liver and kidney disease.
The side effects include hot flushes, dry vagina, nausea and thinning of the hair. Unusual effects include vaginal bleeding, tiredness, headache, rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, an increase in blood cholesterol and rarely liver or kidney failure. It interacts with oestrogen.
It was introduced in 1996 and acts to destroy oestrogen producing cells in the body.