Why Would a Man Take Anastrozole?

Elite HRT

Written by Elite HRT on September 15, 2021

Medically reviewed by

Camille Frecking, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, MEDICAL ADVISOR

Anastrozole can be helpful for both men and women, but the uses are just a little bit different. Anastrozole decreases the production of estrogen in the body. But what does estrogen have to do with men? And why would a man even take anastrozole? 

Keep reading to learn the answer to these questions along with a comprehensive guide on all things anastrozole to help you be an informed participant in your health. 

What is Anastrozole?

Anastrozole is a medication that is also known by the brand name Arimidex. Anastrozole is a type of medication known as a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor. As an aromatase inhibitor, it blocks the enzyme aromatase that is an important catalyst for transforming testosterone into estradiol. This is very important when there is too much estrogen in the body as it can help to decrease estradiol and maintain testosterone levels.

Some other aromatase inhibitors are steroidal. However, anastrozole does not have any steroidal activity and therefore does not inhibit the adrenal glands from producing their own steroids such as cortisol. 

Overall, anastrozole is a very helpful medication that blocks the aromatization process that converts testosterone to estrogen. 

Why Would You Take Anastrozole?

Anastrozole is primarily used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. However, it is sometimes used off-label in men. For men, the most common reason for taking anastrozole is an excess of estrogen in the body. 

Excessive estrogen in men can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons for high estrogen is aging. As you get older, your levels of testosterone begin to drop and the levels of estrogen begin to rise which can lead to unwanted symptoms. Some other causes for rising estrogen levels are stress, weight gain, and testosterone replacement therapy.

High Estrogen and Testosterone Replacement Therapy

When taking testosterone replacement therapy, you would think that your levels of estrogen would be very low since you are raising levels of testosterone. Testosterone and estrogen are very closely related and testosterone is converted into estradiol, a form of estrogen. 

In testosterone hormone replacement therapy, you are taking medications in the form of testosterone to raise your natural levels. With an increase in testosterone in the body, there can be more of the aromatase enzyme. Aromatization leads to the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. The aromatase enzyme helps to initiate and support the aromatization process. With more aromatase enzymes present, there is an increase in estrogen in the body which can lead to the opposite of the desired effects. 

Taking aromatase inhibitors like anastrozole in combination with testosterone replacement therapy can be used as a comprehensive treatment strategy for hormone replacement therapy. By combining an aromatase inhibitor with testosterone hormones you can make the most out of the testosterone injections and prevent side effects that come with excessive estrogen in the body. 

What Are the Benefits of Anastrozole?

Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor that can have several benefits in the body. Many of the benefits in men are related to a boost in testosterone levels. Boosting testosterone, preventing man boobs, and supporting weight loss are some of the benefits that aromatase inhibitors can have for men. 

Boost Testosterone Levels

Blocking testosterone from transforming into estradiol may help to boost free testosterone levels. Testosterone has many important roles in the body including a notable role in sex drive and sperm production. Testosterone is also important in other areas of the body such as supporting the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, and emotional health. 

Having the appropriate levels can truly impact your quality of life. Boosting testosterone levels is most appropriate when your levels of testosterone are actually in a deficit. This can be known if a blood test is done to determine your natural levels of testosterone. 

If your doctor has confirmed your low testosterone, anastrozole’s benefit of boosting testosterone may be well welcomed. 

Prevent Man Boobs

Testosterone replacement therapy can be very therapeutic, but there is a side effect that is well known: gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is also known as man boobs or an increase in breast tissue in men. This side effect can occur from the increased transformation of testosterone to estrogen. When this occurs, there may be increased fat production in the breasts. 

Anastrozole can be used as a comprehensive treatment in conjunction with testosterone replacement therapy to help prevent this unwanted symptom. By blocking the aromatization of testosterone, it prevents an excess of estrogen and therefore gynecomastia. 

Choosing a provider that understands the use of comprehensive testosterone replacement is important so that they can help to minimize unwanted side effects. 

Elite HRT is up to date with conjunctive treatments that make the process easier and more comprehensive including aromatase inhibitors and human chorionic gonadotropin. 

Support Weight Loss

High levels of testosterone are also associated with a decrease in body fat and water retention. Testosterone plays a role in increasing muscle mass. 

When levels of testosterone begin to drop such as with aging you may notice more body fat accumulation around the body in areas such as the abdomen and chest area. Estrogen blockers can help to keep more testosterone in the body circulating so that the body can work more efficiently.

One of the many benefits of this is supporting a decrease in body fat and helping the body to let go of excess water that has been retained in the body. Losing weight or fat should never be the only goal of anastrozole therapy, but it may be an added benefit that may help you to look and feel more confident. 

What Are the Side Effects of Anastrozole?

Anastrozole does have many benefits, but there are some side effects that you should be aware of. 

Some of the most common side effects are:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Pain in the joints, bones, or muscles
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Dry eyes or mouth

Some emotional side effects can occur as well, such as: 

  • Changes in mood
  • Depressed mood
  • Trouble sleeping

Symptoms of an allergic reaction constitutes a medical emergency and you should seek medical attention immediately if you notice these symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Hives and itchiness paired with the above

The side effects that are experienced by one person will not impact another in the same way. If you experience side effects after taking anastrozole, report these side effects to your healthcare provider and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction. 

Is Anastrozole an Injection?

When it comes to hormone replacement therapy almost every medication in the lineup is an injection. Luckily with anastrozole, you can save yourself a couple of needle sticks since it is a pill. Anastrozole comes in both pills and capsules. Your healthcare provider will prescribe you the appropriate form of medication for your specific situation. 

What Is the Common Dosage?

There are varying doses of the medication based on several factors that make each person’s situation unique. 

One important aspect of dosing is how you respond to the medication. You may start at one dose and have it increased or decreased based on how you respond to the medication. 

Another changing factor is how much you weigh, since someone that weighs 100 pounds will likely need less medication than someone that weighs 300 pounds. 

Some of the other factors that may influence the dosage are other medications the patient is currently taking, and the indication for taking the medication. 

The most common dose is 1 mg taken once per day. 

Conclusion

Anastrozole can help support men that have an excess of estrogen in the body and it can also serve as an adjunct to testosterone hormone replacement therapy. 

If you are considering taking anastrozole speak with your healthcare provider or get in touch with us right here at Elite HRT. It is likely that a physical exam, as well as lab testing, will be done prior to obtaining a prescription to ensure the medication will be appropriate for your needs.

Sources:

Anastrozole Capsules

Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia) – Symptoms and causes

Aromatization – an overview.