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What Are the Most Common Anastrozole Side Effects?

Some patients report headaches and dizziness while taking anastrozole.
Hot flashes are a reported side effect of anastrozole.
Nausea is a common side effect of anastrozole.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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Anastrozole side effects are usually mild and do not pose any significant health risks, although any persistent or bothersome symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this medication should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. Some of the most frequently reported anastrozole side effects include dizziness, gastrointestinal disturbances, and pain. Additional side effects of this medication may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or weight gain. Severe side effects that should be reported to a physician immediately include chest pain, facial swelling, or trouble breathing. Any specific questions or concerns about potential anastrozole side effects in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Mild to moderate dizziness may occur when taking anastrozole, although this side effect usually lessens after the body has had a chance to adjust to the medication. Caution should be used when operating machinery or performing tasks that require intense focus or concentration. If the dizziness worsens or fainting occurs, further medical evaluation is warranted. Women who take this medication may experience symptoms such as vaginal dryness, weight gain, or hot flashes.

Gastrointestinal problems are among the most commonly reported anastrozole side effects and may include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. In some cases, additional medications may need to be prescribed to alleviate these side effects. Red or black vomit or stool could indicate the development of serious complications and should be reported to the supervising physician.

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A variety of pain issues may develop as anastrozole side effects. This pain may affect the muscles, joints, or bones and can range from mild to incapacitating in nature. Headaches and flu-like symptoms are sometimes reported as well. Some patients may have to have the dosage adjusted, or the medication may need to be changed if these side effects prevent normal mobility.

While allergic reactions to anastrozole are not particularly common, they can be fatal. A mild rash and itching are not usually a cause for concern. If these symptoms are accompanied my facial swelling, chest pain, or difficulty breathing, it may indicate the presence of a severe type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. This type of reaction can prove to be fatal within a matter of minutes if left untreated, so emergency medical attention is crucial. Oxygen therapy and other life support methods typically begin on the way to the hospital, so it is better for the patient to be transported by ambulance whenever possible.

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