Aromasin Side Effects Linked to Bone Loss: Study

A new study suggests that side effects of Aromasin, Pfizer’s cancer drug, may increase bone loss among post-menopausal women. 

According to research published online in The Lancet Oncology medical journal, Canadian researchers contradict prior studies, which indicated that Aromasin may actually increase bone growth.

Researchers say that the findings raise questions about the potential use of Aromasin as a cancer prophylactic among breast cancer survivors.

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The study looked at clinical trials on 351 women, with a median age of 61 years, half of whom were given Aromasin and half of whom were given a placebo. Researchers reported on the findings after monitoring the women over the course of two years, but the study will continue to monitor the women for a total of five years.

Women who were given Aromasin lost bone mineral density at three times the rate of those given a placebo. Researchers also determined that the effects were not mitigated by giving the women calcium and Vitamin D supplements.

The researchers indicated that long-term studies need to be conducted to better understand the effects and the potential for bone fracture risks with Aromasin.

Aromasin (exemestane) was approved for the treatment of breast cancer in 1999. It was also approved as a preventative measure to keep breast cancer from returning to women who have survived it. However, it has increasingly been used off-label as a breast cancer preventative therapy for post-menopausal women who have never had breast cancer.

While federal law forbids drug manufacturers from promoting drugs for uses not approved by the FDA, doctors have no such restrictions and can prescribe a drug for whatever purpose they see fit.


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