Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

Anastrozole is used to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women. It works by reducing the amount of estrogen, a hormone produced by your body.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Take Anastrozole once a day.
  • You may take it with or without food.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is less than 12 hours to your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses at the same time.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding
    • You should use effective birth control during treatment and for at least 3 weeks after stopping Anastrozole
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies
  • You have any other medical conditions e.g. heart problems

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Bone pain, joint stiffness or aching, muscle ache
  • Hot flushes
    • If this affects you, try taking Anastrozole at bedtime.
  • Osteoporosis
    • Calcium supplementation can reduce or prevent bone thinning.
  • Feeling tired
    • If this affects you, do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery. Avoid alcohol as it may cause you to feel more tired and drowsy.
  • Stomach discomfort or nausea
  • Hair thinning may occur
    • If this occurs, use a gentle baby shampoo and a soft hair brush.
  • Vaginal dryness may worsen
    • If this occurs, try using a water-based vaginal lubricant.
  • Leg swelling
    • Raising your legs on a foot stool or with a cushion or pillow may help to reduce the swelling.
  • Increase in cholesterol or triglycerides
    • You may have your cholesterol levels checked before starting Anastrozole, and periodically after starting.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

  • Vaginal discomfort or bleeding that lasts longer than a few days
  • Chest pain
  • Liver problems such as yellowing of eye whites or skin, or dark tea-coloured urine
  • Mood changes

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?


How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack Anastrozole into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin. 


If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Jan 2022

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