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Arimidex vs. Clomid

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Arimidex and Clomid the Same Thing?

Arimidex (anastrozole) and Clomid (clomiphene citrate) are both considered anti-estrogens.

Arimidex is a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Arimidex is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox).

Clomid is a nonsteroidal, ovulatory stimulant used to treat ovulatory dysfunction and polycystic ovary syndrome in women who, after other reasons for pregnancy failure have been ruled out, desire pregnancy and follow additional instructions that make pregnancy more likely to occur with this drug use.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Arimidex?

Common side effects of Arimidex include:

  • stomach upset,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling),
  • constipation,
  • headache,
  • confusion,
  • memory problems,
  • loss of balance or coordination,
  • blurred vision,
  • double vision,
  • eye redness,
  • lightheadedness,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • drowsiness,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • stuffy nose,
  • itching, or
  • rash, especially during the first few days as your body adjusts to this medication.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Arimidex including:

  • fever,
  • chills,
  • flu symptoms,
  • slow heart rate,
  • feeling like you might pass out,
  • seizures (convulsions), or
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Clomid?

Common side effects of Clomid include:

  • abnormal vaginal/uterine bleeding,
  • breast tenderness or discomfort,
  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • flushing,
  • blurred vision or other visual disturbances, or
  • ovarian enlargement presenting as abdominal or pelvic pain, tenderness, pressure, or swelling.
  • Clomid may increase the likelihood of multiple births.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) may occur: ovarian enlargement, severe GI symptoms, abdominal swelling, shortness of breath, pleural effusions, decreased urination. Seek medical care if these symptoms develop.

What is Arimidex?

Arimidex (anastrozole) is a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Arimidex is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox). Arimidex is available in generic form.

What is Clomid?

Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is a nonsteroidal, ovulatory stimulant used to treat ovulatory dysfunction and polycystic ovary syndrome in women who, after other reasons for pregnancy failure have been ruled out, desire pregnancy and follow additional instructions that make pregnancy more likely to occur with this drug use (see below about dosage and use). In addition, these women and their sperm donors usually need to undergo a number of tests scheduled by their OB-GYN doctor before Clomid is started.

What Drugs Interact With Arimidex?

Arimidex may interact with tamoxifen or an estrogen medication (such as hormone replacement therapy, estrogen creams, or birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings).

What Drugs Interact With Clomid?

Clomid may interact with other drugs.

How Should Arimidex Be Taken?

The dose of Arimidex is one 1 mg tablet taken once a day. For patients with advanced breast cancer, the medication should be continued until tumor progression.

How Should Clomid Be Taken?

Clomid is available in 50 mg tablets. Treatment of the selected patient should begin with a low dose, 50 mg daily (1 tablet) for 5 days; dose changes are made by the treating physician. The first dose should occur on the 5th day of the female's ovulatory cycle and then subsequent doses at about the same time of day for a total of 5 days. Patients should be familiar with their ovulatory cycle so that properly timed coitus and ovulation stimulated by the drug occur. Long term therapy (past 6 cycles) is not recommended to avoid possible increases in cancer risk. Clomid may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Reviewed on 6/11/2018

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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