Anastrozole (Page 2 of 8)

6.2 Post-Marketing Experience

These adverse reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size. Therefore, it is not always possible to estimate reliably their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. The following have been reported in post-approval use of anastrozole:

  • Hepatobiliary events including increases in alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-GT, and bilirubin; hepatitis
  • Rash including cases of mucocutaneous disorders such as erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Cases of allergic reactions including angioedema, urticaria and anaphylaxis [see Contraindications (4.2) ]
  • Myalgia, trigger finger and hypercalcemia (with or without an increase in parathyroid hormone)


7.1 Tamoxifen

Co-administration of anastrozole and tamoxifen in breast cancer patients reduced anastrozole plasma concentration by 27%. However, the co-administration of anastrozole and tamoxifen did not affect the pharmacokinetics of tamoxifen or N-desmethyltamoxifen. At a median follow-up of 33 months, the combination of anastrozole and tamoxifen did not demonstrate any efficacy benefit when compared with tamoxifen in all patients as well as in the hormone receptor-positive subpopulation. This treatment arm was discontinued from the trial [see Clinical Studies (14.1) ]. Based on clinical and pharmacokinetic results from the ATAC trial, tamoxifen should not be administered with anastrozole.

7.2 Estrogen

Estrogen-containing therapies should not be used with anastrozole as they may diminish its pharmacological action.

7.3 Warfarin

In a study conducted in 16 male volunteers, anastrozole did not alter the exposure (as measured by Cmax and AUC) and anticoagulant activity (as measured by prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, and thrombin time) of both R- and S-warfarin.

7.4 Cytochrome P450

Based on in vitro and in vivo results, it is unlikely that co-administration of anastrozole 1 mg will affect other drugs as a result of inhibition of cytochrome P450 [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ].


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Based on findings from animal studies and its mechanism of action, anastrozole tablets may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.1)]. There are no studies of anastrozole tablet use in pregnant women. Anastrozole caused embryo-fetal toxicities in rats at maternal exposure that were 9 times the human clinical exposure, based on area under the curve (AUC). In rabbits, anastrozole caused pregnancy failure at doses equal to or greater than 16 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis. Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus.

The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.


Animal Data

In animal reproduction studies, pregnant rats and rabbits received anastrozole during organogenesis at doses equal to or greater than 0.1 and 0.02 mg/kg/day, respectively, (about 1 and 1/3 the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis, respectively). In both species, anastrozole crossed the placenta, and there was increased pregnancy loss (increased pre- and/or post-implantation loss, increased resorption, and decreased numbers of live fetuses). In rats, these effects were dose related, and placental weights were significantly increased at doses equal to or greater than 0.1 mg/kg/day.

Fetotoxicity, including delayed fetal development (i.e., incomplete ossification and depressed fetal body weights), occurred in rats at anastrozole doses of 1 mg/kg/day that produced peak plasma levels 19 times higher than serum levels in humans at the therapeutic dose (AUC0-24hr 9 times higher). In rabbits, anastrozole caused pregnancy failure at doses equal to or greater than 1.0 mg/kg/day (about 16 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis).

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of anastrozole or its metabolites in human milk, or its effects on the breast-fed child or on milk production. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the tumorigenicity shown for anastrozole in animal studies, or the potential for serious adverse reactions in the breast-fed child from anastrozole tablets, advise lactating women not to breastfeed during treatment with anastrozole tablets and for 2 weeks after the last dose.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential

Pregnancy Testing

Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiation of anastrozole tablets.



Based on animal studies, anastrozole tablets can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with anastrozole tablets and for at least 3 weeks after the last dose.



Based on studies in female animals, anastrozole tablets may impair fertility in females of reproductive potential [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)].

8.4 Pediatric Use

Clinical studies in pediatric patients included a placebo-controlled trial in pubertal boys of adolescent age with gynecomastia and a single-arm trial in girls with McCune-Albright Syndrome and progressive precocious puberty. The efficacy of anastrozole tablets in the treatment of pubertal gynecomastia in adolescent boys and in the treatment of precocious puberty in girls with McCune-Albright Syndrome has not been demonstrated.

Gynecomastia Study

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study enrolled 80 boys with pubertal gynecomastia aged 11 to 18 years. Patients were randomized to a daily regimen of either anastrozole tablets 1 mg or placebo. After 6 months of treatment there was no statistically significant difference in the percentage of patients who experienced a ≥50% reduction in gynecomastia (primary efficacy analysis). Secondary efficacy analyses (absolute change in breast volume, the percentage of patients who had any reduction in the calculated volume of gynecomastia, breast pain resolution) were consistent with the primary efficacy analysis. Serum estradiol concentrations at Month 6 of treatment were reduced by 15.4% in the anastrozole group and 4.5% in the placebo group.

Adverse reactions that were assessed as treatment-related by the investigators occurred in 16.3% of the anastrozole-treated patients and 8.1% of the placebo-treated patients with the most frequent being acne (7% anastrozole and 2.7% placebo) and headache (7% anastrozole and 0% placebo); all other adverse reactions showed small differences between treatment groups. One patient treated with anastrozole tablets discontinued the trial because of testicular enlargement. The mean baseline-subtracted change in testicular volume after 6 months of treatment was + 6.6 ± 7.9 cm3 in the anastrozole-treated patients and + 5.2 ± 8.0 cm3 in the placebo group.

McCune-Albright Syndrome Study

A multi-center, single-arm, open-label study was conducted in 28 girls with McCune-Albright Syndrome and progressive precocious puberty aged 2 to <10 years. All patients received a 1 mg daily dose of anastrozole tablets. The trial duration was 12 months. Patients were enrolled on the basis of a diagnosis of typical (27/28) or atypical (1/27) McCune-Albright Syndrome, precocious puberty, history of vaginal bleeding, and/or advanced bone age. Patients’ baseline characteristics included the following: a mean chronological age of 5.9 ± 2.0 years, a mean bone age of 8.6 ± 2.6 years, a mean growth rate of 7.9 ± 2.9 cm/year and a mean Tanner stage for breast of 2.7 ± 0.81. Compared to pre-treatment data there were no on-treatment statistically significant reductions in the frequency of vaginal bleeding days, or in the rate of increase of bone age (defined as a ratio between the change in bone age over the change of chronological age). There were no clinically significant changes in Tanner staging, mean ovarian volume, mean uterine volume and mean predicted adult height. A small but statistically significant reduction of growth rate from 7.9 ± 2.9 cm/year to 6.5 ± 2.8 cm/year was observed but the absence of a control group precludes attribution of this effect to treatment or to other confounding factors such as variations in endogenous estrogen levels commonly seen in McCune-Albright Syndrome patients.

Five patients (18%) experienced adverse reactions that were considered possibly related to anastrozole tablets. These were nausea, acne, pain in an extremity, increased alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase, and allergic dermatitis.

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