What is Anastrozole?
The function of anastrozole is to decrease the amount of estradiol (estrogen E2) the body makes.
Estradiol is the most potent form of estrogen, and it is synthesized from testosterone through the enzymatic activity of aromatase. Aromatase activity has been found in fat, hair, bone, muscle, vascular and breast tissue. Anastrozole is a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor. It reversibly binds to the aromatase enzyme and, through competitive inhibition, blocks the conversion of testosterone to estradiol, especially in the peripheral (extragonadal) tissues.
The chemical formula for anastrozole is C17H19N5 and it is only available in the U.S. via traditional or compounding prescriptions.
Who May Benefit From Anastrozole?Although anastrozole has been used primarily in treating estrogen-dependent breast cancer in postmenopausal women, it has also been found to be useful in supporting the right balance of hormones in other patients.
Studies have shown that testosterone, in combination with a low dose of anastrozole, helps relieve menopausal symptoms when estrogen therapy is contraindicated — for breast cancer survivors or women at high risk for the disease.
For some women, estrogen therapy can result in levels that are too high. Also, if women develop low testosterone or low progesterone levels, it can upset hormonal balance, with the result that estrogen is abnormally high compared to the other hormones. Since every patient’s body reacts differently, it is important to adjust hormone therapy to the individual. Anastrozole can be a useful adjunct treatment in some cases. It may relieve symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, cold hands, or mood swings. It also may help lower the risks of health conditions related to high estrogen, including endometrial and breast cancers, blood clots, stroke, and thyroid problems.
Anastrozole may help increase testosterone levels in males by blocking its conversion into estrogen. It has been studied as an alternative method of androgen replacement therapy.
In men, as well as women, hormone balance appears to be more important than individual hormone levels. In men specifically, the serum T/E2 (testosterone/estradiol) ratio needs to be optimal. If too much testosterone is being converted into estradiol in the body, this can have negative effects on the prostate, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular health or fertility, as well as physical effects such as breast enlargement. Treatment with anastrozole can lower estradiol levels to help resolve side effects and lower these health risks.
Estrogen, particularly estradiol, is vital to male fertility – specifically to sperm count. Low sperm count and infertility can occur when estrogen levels are too low or too high. Estradiol also affects libido and erectile function, partly due to bountiful estrogen receptors in a man’s sexual organs and brain. When estrogen levels are high, there’s a greater chance of erectile dysfunction. Anastrozole may help with any male sexual issues related to high estrogen levels.
Dosage and Form
Estradiol is often combined with other hormones to support a healthy balance of hormones in the body. The following dosage forms and strengths of estradiol and estradiol combinations currently fall within our formulary:
|Anastrozole||Tablet||0.25mg per 24 tablets|
|Anastrozole (commercial)||Tablet||1mg per 24 tablets|
How Belmar Can Help
If you’re a clinician interested in prescribing compound medications to your patients, contact us for information on how to get started and to access all of our clinical resources. If you are new to compounding, you may find our page on How to Write a Compounding Prescription helpful. You can also visit our Treatment Options page to find a formulary and learn more about all the medication solutions available from Belmar.
Contact Belmar Pharma Solutions
If you’re a patient, we’re here to help you fill prescriptions or provide you the information you need to work with your doctor to help decide if a compounded prescription might be a good treatment for you.
Prescribers, for a complete formulary or access to our clinical resources fill out the form below and one of our Solutions Engineers will be in touch shortly. If you are new to compounding, you may also find our page on How to Write a Compounding Prescription helpful.
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