Does Anastrozole Cause Weight Gain? Know the Facts
Anastrozole is a medication used in the treatment of breast cancer. It belongs to a class of drugs known as aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase inhibitors work by reducing the production of estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of certain types of breast cancers.
Anastrozole is primarily used in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, which means the cancer cells rely on estrogen to grow. By blocking the action of the enzyme aromatase, which is responsible for the conversion of androgens into estrogen, anastrozole lowers the estrogen levels in the body, thus inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
Things You Must Know About Anastrozole
Usage: Anastrozole is prescribed for the treatment of early-stage, advanced, or metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Dosage: The recommended dose is usually 1 milligram (mg) taken orally once daily. It is important to follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider.
Anastrozole and Sun Exposure
Side effects: Common side effects of anastrozole may include hot flashes, joint pain, fatigue, nausea, headache, and bone thinning. However, side effects can vary from person to person.
Monitoring: Regular check-ups and monitoring of bone health may be recommended while taking anastrozole, as it can increase the risk of osteoporosis or bone fractures.
Duration of treatment: The duration of anastrozole treatment will depend on several factors, including the stage of breast cancer and the response to treatment. Your doctor will determine the appropriate duration for your specific situation.
Precautions: Anastrozole should not be used in premenopausal women or in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to the drug. It is important to inform your doctor about any other medications or health conditions you have before starting anastrozole.
Anastrozole and Weight
Anastrozole does not frequently cause weight gain as a side effect. In fact, some other breast cancer treatments, like hormonal therapies like tamoxifen or specific chemotherapy drugs, are more frequently linked to weight gain.
It is important to remember that each person can respond to medications differently, and that taking anastrozole may cause weight changes in some people.
Significant weight changes are typically not a side effect of anastrozole that is commonly reported. Although each person reacts differently to medications, some people may experience weight changes while taking anastrozole.
In clinical studies, a small proportion of anastrozole-taking patients experienced weight gain. It is significant to remember that various elements, such as lifestyle, diet, exercise, and individual metabolism, can affect weight changes. It is unclear if weight changes that take place while taking anastrozole are directly brought on by the drug or are the result of other factors.
Does Anastrozole Really Affect Weight?
Despite the fact that many people who are receiving treatment for breast cancer report gaining weight, studies have found no discernible differences in weight gain between anastrozole, tamoxifen, or placebo (a fake pill):
Women taking anastrozole gained an average of 0.8 kg during the 12-month follow-up period of the IBIS-II study, compared to an average of 0.5 kg for those taking a placebo.
In the ATAC trial, anastrozole-taking women gained an average of 1.4 kg, whereas tamoxifen-taking women gained an average of 1.5 kg.
Within the first 12 months of receiving active therapy, weight gain is more common. None of these variations were statistically noteworthy.
Women who were younger than 60, smoked, or had undergone a mastectomy were more likely to gain more than 5 kg of weight.
With breast cancer treatments, many women put on weight, especially if they also take steroids like prednisone. Because women are more likely to gain weight after menopause than men, this extra weight may persist and even seem to increase if you use hormonal therapy (such as anastrozole) and your body enters menopause as a result of chemotherapy.
Additionally, weight gain might happen as a result of aromatase inhibitors (like anastrozole), which block the effects of estrogen.
Reasons for weight gain on aromatase inhibitors
In order to gain weight while taking an aromatase inhibitor, more than just an increase in appetite is required. While helping to stop the growth of ER+ breast cancer, hormonal therapies that alter ER signaling also have some unfavorable side effects on patients. One of them is a propensity to inhibit the growth of normal-sized fat cells while promoting the development of extra-large fat cells. Inadvertently, this leads to an increase in the amount of circulating insulin, the development of insulin resistance, and a worsening of glucose intolerance, all of which encourage weight gain (and the onset or progression of type 2 diabetes).
What Research Tells About Arimidex
While taking Arimidex, some patients may put on weight. In fact, 9% of women taking Arimidex in a clinical study of those with early-stage breast cancer reported gaining weight. Additionally, weight gain occurred in 9% of women who took the cancer drug tamoxifen for 5 years.
2% of women taking Arimidex in studies with advanced breast cancer experienced weight gain. Comparatively, weight gain happened in 12% of women taking megestrol and 2% of women taking tamoxifen. (Megestrol, a drug also used to treat breast cancer, has the added side effect of making people feel more hungry.)
Your appetite and body weight can frequently change as a result of cancer, both before and after treatment. Consult your doctor if weight gain during breast cancer treatment is a concern for you. They can recommend ways to help you manage a weight that’s healthy for you.
Guidelines for Taking Anastrozole
Knowing the signs of an allergic reaction before taking anastrozole will help you contact your doctor if they materialize.
The medication may have a number of unpleasant side effects, which can be overwhelming and frustrating. The majority of them leave on their own.
Your doctor will keep an eye on your blood pressure, bone density, and cholesterol levels as the treatment progresses.
It is also useful to be aware that individuals with kidney or liver disease are typically not good candidates for this medication.
Recognize The Ideal Period For Taking Anastrozole
There is no specific time of day considered best to take anastrozole. Patients can take it any time of day they like.
Ideally, you should take the medicine at whatever time of day is easiest for you to remember. For the best effects, you should take the drug at the same time every day.
That being said, for patients who experience hot flashes after taking anastrozole, you may want to take it at bedtime. On the flip side, patients who experience night sweats may want to take anastrozole in the morning
How Long Is The Anastrozole Shelf Life?
Anastrozole treatment typically lasts five years, but only for those who have breast cancer or are trying to prevent breast cancer.
Five years after the initial treatment, according to some studies, anastrozole treatment is safe and effective, meaning it may be safe to use for 10 or even 12 years (5).
A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you live a healthy lifestyle, which can improve your overall health and possibly even help you lose weight