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Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are the main hormonal therapy| used in postmenopausal women. Women are usually prescribed an aromatase inhibitor, such as anastrozole|, letrozole| or exemestane|, for a number of years.
The drugs are taken daily as tablets. Side effects can include:
AIs can also cause bone thinning (osteoporosis|) over a long period of time. You’ll have a scan called a DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan, to assess your bone health (density) before you start taking an AI.
If you’re at risk of osteoporosis, your cancer specialist may prescribe drugs called bisphosphonates to protect your bones. You will probably also be advised to take calcium and vitamin D supplements to help with your bone strength - your cancer specialist can talk to you about this.
Content last reviewed: 1 August 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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