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Arimidex vs Aromasin: Main Differences and Similarities
Drug vs. Drug

Arimidex vs Aromasin: Main Differences and Similarities

Breast cancer is heavily influenced and maintained by the amount of estrogen in the body.
An enzyme called aromatase converts androgens, such as testosterone, into estrogen. By blocking aromatase, there is less estrogen in the body.

Arimidex (anastrozole) and Aromasin (exemestane) are aromatase inhibitors which help treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Although they have similar effects, Arimidex and Aromasin differ in a few ways.

Arimidex

Arimidex is the brand name for anastrozole. It is FDA approved to treat postmenopausal women with breast cancer that responds to estrogen-receptor treatment. It is primarily used to treat women with advanced disease progression, especially if they have received tamoxifen treatment before. It can also be used as first-line therapy as well.

Arimidex is available as a 1 mg oral tablet taken once daily with or without a meal.

Aromasin

Aromasin is the brand name for exemestane. It is FDA approved to treat estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women after 2 to 3 years of tamoxifen therapy. It is primarily used to treat advanced progression of breast cancer after tamoxifen treatment has failed.

Aromasin comes as a 25 mg oral tablet that is taken once daily after a meal.

Arimidex vs Aromasin Side by Side Comparison

Arimidex and Aromasin have some important similarities and differences. Their details can be compared in the table below.

 

Arimidex Aromasin
Prescribed For
  • Breast cancer in postmenopausal women
  • Breast cancer in postmenopausal women
Drug Classification
  • Aromatase inhibitor
  • Aromatase inhibitor
Manufacturer
Common Side Effects
  • Hot flashes
  • High blood pressure
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea
  • Osteoporosis
  • Increased appetite
  • Depression
Is there a generic?
Is it covered by insurance?
  • Varies according to your provider
  • Varies according to your provider
Dosage Forms
  • Oral tablet
  • Oral tablet
Average Cash Price
  • $613 per 30 tablets (1 mg)
  • $410.33 per 30 tablets (25 mg)
SingleCare Discount Price
Drug Interactions
  • Tamoxifen
  • Estrogen-containing products
  • Warfarin
  • CYP3A4 inducers (phenytoin, carbamazepine, St. John’s Wort, etc.)
  • Estrogen-containing products
Can I use while planning pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding?
  • Arimidex is in Pregnancy Category X and may cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. Arimidex is not recommended in pregnant women.
  • Aromasin is in Pregnancy Category X and may cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. Aromasin is not recommended in pregnant women.

Summary

Arimidex (anastrozole) and Aromasin (exemestane) are two aromatase inhibitors that treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Both drugs are used following a period of tamoxifen treatment. However, Arimidex can also be used as first-line therapy in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer.

Arimidex can be taken with or without food while Aromasin should be taken after a meal. Although both medications have similar side effects such as hot flashes and decreased bone mineral density, they carry some differences in drug interactions. Both Arimidex and Aromasin should not be used during pregnancy.

Arimidex and Aromasin are often taken for 5 to 10 years depending on previous tamoxifen therapy and other factors. The use of Arimidex or Aromasin should be discussed with a doctor to determine the best treatment option for you. The information here is provided as a brief comparison and overview.