Developed for treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, Arimidex blocks aromatase enzymes from converting male hormones, i.e., testosterone into estrogens.
Both estrogen and testosterone exist in males and females. Females produce estrogen in the ovaries; males produce testosterone in the testicles. Additionally, small amounts of sex hormones are produced in the adrenal glands meaning that women produce some testosterone, and men produce some estrogen. These hormones also control sexual characteristics in adult males and females. An overabundance of the male hormone testosterone in a female can cause masculine characteristics such as a deep voice, facial hair or increased muscle mass. Men with too much estrogen can develop breasts (gynecomastia) or other unwanted female characteristics.
Aromatase enzymes which exist in the liver, muscles and fat cells convert testosterone into estrogen. Since Arimidex is all about estrogen, it may seem unlikely that there are Arimidex uses in men.
Since the body’s aromatase enzymes convert testosterone into estrogen, increased female characteristics can also result from increased levels of testosterone. Men who take anabolic steroids in their quest for lean, muscular, sculpted bodies are dismayed to find that they also develop breasts and retain fluids. This is where Arimidex enters the picture. Arimidex blocks the aromatase enzyme from creating estrogen in women cancer patients, it could be good for men who take testosterone to keep them from suffering the unwanted results of increased estrogen.
Arimidex is approved for use in the treatment of breast cancer in women from the FDA in 2002. It is not approved for use by men. However, in men who are testosterone deficient, who do not respond to testosterone replacement and have an elevated estrogen level, I believe a trial of Arimidex is warranted.
There is a wide range of Arimidex side effects, the most serious of which is weakening and/or thinning of the bones. More common and minor side effects of Anastrozole include bone and joint pain, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. Despite the discomfort of these potential side effects, Arimidex’s ability to diminish tumor metastasis, increase the time between recurrences of cancer, and reduce the chance of cancer spreading to the other breast or other body parts make the side effects worth the risk.
No medication is without side effects, and this is especially true of cancer-fighting drugs and those which change the body’s production and regulation of hormones. Arimidex has several potential side effects.
The most common Anastrozole side effects include:
• Bone and joint pain
• Hot flashes
• Loss of Appetite
• Weight Gain
• Mood Changes
• Difficulty Sleeping
• Vaginal Bleeding and/or dryness
• Dry Mouth
• Dry Skin
• Hair Changes
One of the most important and potentially severe Arimidex side effects is bone problems, due to lower blood estrogen levels. When less estrogen reaches your bones, they become thinner and weaker. This in turn can lead to higher incidences of fractures and breaks, as well as osteoporosis. Most physicians will prescribe bisphosphonate medications to counteract these Anastrozole side effects. If you already have or are at a high likelihood of developing osteoporosis, your physician will probably not prescribe Arimidex.
Bottom line: Increased estrogen may be the culprit of some men’s lack of libido and erectile dysfunction. Arimidex may be helpful in that situation. A simple blood test can make the diagnosis.
Source: Arimidex Side Effects (Anastrozole) – Drugsdb.com http://www.drugsdb.com/rx/arimidex/arimidex-side-effects/#ixzz3AOL76QK8