While it is not a surprise that vital organs are essential for our survival, and quality of our life depends on their conditions. Hormones are responsible for keeping our organs and other body parts in pristine condition. In total, there are 50 hormones in the human body and all of them perform specific actions; however, the production of hormones can be compromised because of certain diseases and injuries leading to other complications. In females, polycystic ovary syndrome is referred to as hormonal imbalance. Alarmingly, hormonal balance can also be caused by medication.
Anastrozole is an estrogen inhibitor, i.e., it reduces the production of estrogen in the body. It was developed in 1987 by Imperial Chemical Industries, the largest pharmaceutical company in Britain at that time, and it was the result of four chemical companies merging. Anastrozole was approved to be used in the treatment of breast cancer in 1995, and to this day, it is being used for the said purpose. Since breast cancer cells thrive on estrogen, it works by binding to aromatase enzymes, which are responsible for the conversion of androgen to estrogen. One positive aspect of this medicine is that it does not affect levels of corticosteroids and adrenal steroids. Although it works great for the designed purpose, there are nasty side effects of this medicine that include hot flashes, osteoporosis, edema, depression, difficulty swallowing, and hormone imbalance.
Brand Name: Arimidex
It belongs to the category of progestin medicines that are synthetic progestogens. Drospirenone is a common compound that is used in most birth control pills. Drospirenone is largely used with ethinylestradiol to achieve the desired results. It was developed and patented in 1976 by Schering AG, a German pharmaceutical company, but it was not until 2000 that it was approved for medical use. The mechanism of action of drospirenone is drastic, as it inhibits the development of the egg, resulting in the egg being unable to accept sperm. While it is effective, it should be noted that it does not begin working for a week of administration. Women who have been prescribed this medicine are often observed to experience weight gain, headaches, blood clots, menstrual changes, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Brand Name: Slynd
Exemestane is similar to anastrozole, as it works by inhibiting the production of estrogen in the body to treat hormonal breast cancer. Although ovaries are the primary source of estrogen, aromatase enzymes are also responsible for its production, and these enzymes convert androgen to estrogen. Exemestane reversibly binds to the aromatase enzymes and stops the production of androgen, this process is also referred to as suicide inhibition. Interestingly, exemestane has been used by female athletes to enhance their anabolic performance. In some cases, it is also used to treat edema and gynecomastia. As for the side effects, it can cause hormonal imbalance along with insomnia, nausea, and fatigue.
Brand Name: Aromasin
This is another aromatase enzyme inhibitor that is used in the treatment of breast cancer; however, its uses are not limited to breast cancer, as it is also prescribed to eliminate pregnancy, treat gynecomastia, and endometriosis. It has been in use since 1996. Side effects of letrozole include hot flashes, joint pain, and fatigue. Since it works by stopping the production of estrogen, it causes hormonal imbalance as well.
Brand Name: Femara
While toremifene is also used in the treatment of breast cancer, it is prescribed to post-menopausal women. It belongs to the class of medicines known as selective estrogen receptor modulators, and it works by inhibiting the activity of estrogen in the body. Frequently experienced side effects of toremifene include vaginal bleeding, cataracts, hypercalcemia, and imbalances in hormones.
Brand Name: Fareston