MHRA authorises Anastrozole to prevent breast cancer in post-menopausal women

Anastrozole is now authorised as a preventative treatment for post-menopausal women at moderate or high risk of breast cancer.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised this new indication for Anastrozole, a hormone treatment used for breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Anastrozole was already authorised for use in the treatment of breast cancer in post-menopausal women and has been used off-label for prevention.

Evidence was based on the IBIS-II study, an international, randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, which showed fewer women developed breast cancer in the anastrozole group compared to the placebo group.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer. Around 1 in 7 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

The treatment is taken as a 1mg tablet, once a day for 5 years.

Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor. This works by cutting down the amount of the hormone oestrogen that a patient’s body makes by blocking an enzyme called ‘aromatase’.

The most common side effects of the medicine are hot flushes, feeling weak, pain/stiffness in the joints, arthritis, skin rash, nausea, headache, osteoporosis, and depression.

Authorisation for this new indication for Anastrozole was granted to Accord Healthcare Ltd.

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