Compare Arimidex vs. Femara

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Treats breast cancer in postmenopausal women

Arimidex (anastrozole) is one of the first-line treatments for breast cancer that helps improve survival rates, but it is used only in post-menopausal women.

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Upsides
  • Available as a pill unlike some chemotherapies.
  • Can be used safely and effectively even in those with kidney or liver problems.
  • Available as a generic version
  • Can be used as first line or second line hormone therapy for certain advanced breast cancers.
No information currently available
Downsides
  • Arimidex (anastrozole) can cause serious allergic reactions, such as rash, hives, tightness in the chest or throat, and trouble breathing.
  • You will have to get your blood drawn regularly while on Arimidex (anastrozole).
  • Unlike other chemotherapies, Arimidex (anastrozole) reduces the amount of estrogen in your body, which can lead to weaker bones and other symptoms typically only seen in postmenopausal women.
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Used for
  • Hormone receptor positive breast cancer
  • Reduction of risk for breast cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Adjuvant
  • Postmenopausal
  • Hormone receptor-positive Breast cancer
  • Advanced
  • Postmenopausal
  • Following antiestrogen therapy Breast cancer
  • Extended adjuvant
  • Postmenopausal
  • Following 5 years of tamoxifen therapy Breast cancer
  • Locally advanced or metastatic
  • Postmenopausal
  • Hormone receptor-positive or unknown
  • First-line
  • Breast cancer
  • Neoadjuvant
  • Postmenopausal
  • Hormone receptor-positive Delayed puberty Endometriosis - Ovulation induction Ovulation induction - Polycystic ovary syndrome
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
26possible side effects
  • Stomach pain
    32%
  • Dilation of blood vessels
    31%
  • Hot flashes
    24%
  • Fatigue
    19%
  • Mood disorder
    19%
  • Worsening of heart disease in those with pre-existing heart condition
    17%
  • Joint inflammation
    17%
  • Nausea
    16%
  • Weakness
    16%
  • Headache
    14%
  • Pain
    14%
  • Severe chest pain in those with pre-existing heart condition
    12%
  • Vomiting
    11%
  • Weak bones
    11%
  • Back pain
    11%
  • Inflammation of the throat
    10%
  • Difficulty breathing
    10%
  • Swelling
    9%
  • Skin rash
    9%
  • Joint pain
    9%
  • Bone pain
    9%
  • Coughing
    9%
  • High blood pressure
    8%
  • Depression
    8%
  • Heart disease
    4%
  • Severe chest pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Femara (Letrozole) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Decreased bone mineral density
  • High cholesterol
    • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
    • History of heart problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
No information currently available