Aromatase inhibitors as a treatment for breast cancer in women
Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are the hormonal therapy therapy used in post-menopausal women. They stop oestrogen being made in the fatty tissue after the menopause.
Your doctor may prescribe an aromatase inhibitor such as anastrozole, letrozole or exemestane.
These drugs are taken daily as a tablet. Side effects can include:
If taken over a long period of time, AIs can cause bone thinning (osteoporosis). You will have a scan called a DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan, to check your bone health (density) before starting an AI.
If you are at risk of osteoporosis, your cancer specialist may prescribe drugs called bisphosphonates to protect your bones. They will probably also advise you to take calcium and vitamin D supplements to help with your bone strength. We have more information about bone health that you might find helpful.