Understanding Estrogen lowering Pills and Their Side Effects

Amisha Jain
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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estrogen lowering pills

Estrogen plays a crucial role in the female body, influencing various physiological processes. 

However, there are instances when Estrogen levels need to be regulated for medical reasons. 

Estrogen lowering pills have emerged as a significant option in such cases. 

In recent years, their use has garnered attention in medical circles due to their potential benefits in managing certain conditions. 

Moving ahead, we will learn about Estrogen lowering pills commonly referred to as Aromatase inhibitors.

We will also discuss their possible side effects to help you make informed decisions about your health.

Aromatase Inhibitors

As the name suggests, Estrogen lowering pills work by regulating the levels of Estrogen in the body.

Aromatase inhibitors are particularly useful in postmenopausal women. 

They work by inhibiting the enzyme Aromatase, which is responsible for converting Androgens into Estrogens. 

By inhibiting this conversion, Aromatase inhibitors effectively reduce the overall Estrogen levels in the body by about 95%. 

This has proven beneficial in the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers, as these tumors use Estrogen to grow.

What is hormone receptor-positive breast cancer?
Hormone receptor-positive (or hormone-positive) breast cancer cells have either Estrogen receptors (ER), or Progesterone receptors (PR), or both. If a cancer cell is ER+, it means that it can get messages from Estrogen telling it to grow.

The following medications are examples of Aromatase inhibitors.

Letrozole

Letrozole is a potent FDA-approved Estrogen lowering pill.

It is commonly prescribed to postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. 

It works by interacting with Estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, inhibiting Estrogen’s ability to stimulate tumor growth. 

By doing so, Letrozole helps to slow down or halt the progression of hormone-responsive breast cancer, thereby improving treatment outcomes and survival rates.

Anastrozole

Anastrozole is another FDA-approved medication used in treating early hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in women post-menopause. 

It is also used as a first-line treatment of hormone receptor-unknown advanced or metastatic (cancer that has spread) breast cancer. 

Additionally, it forms part of a treatment for advanced breast cancer that has worsened after Tamoxifen treatment.

Anastrozole is also, at times, used to keep women who are at high risk of getting breast cancer from getting it.

Exemestane

Exemestane is a unique Estrogen lowering pill that falls under the category of Aromatase inhibitors.

It is also approved by the FDA to treat certain cases of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Exemestane can also help keep the cancer from coming back. 

It also helps manage breast cancer effectively, especially in cases where other Estrogen lowering medications may have become less effective.

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Side effects of Aromatase inhibitors

stiffness may be a side effectsSource: fizkes from Getty Images
Stiffness

The most common side effects of Aromatase inhibitors include severe joint pain or stiffness.

Symptoms of Menopause could also be generally observed if you are on Aromatase inhibitors.  

These include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting

These medications are also known to cause bone thinning, which might lead up to Osteoporosis.

The susceptibility to broken bones makes it important to check for bone density before starting these Estrogen lowering pills.

Additionally, these pills are also known to raise cholesterol levels.

Hence, women who have a pre-existing heart disease may be at a higher risk of developing heart problems.

Takeaway

Estrogen lowering pills have emerged as valuable tools in managing various Estrogen-related conditions.

Aromatase inhibitors are widely used in treating hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. 

Letrozole, Anastrozole, and Exemestane are aromatase inhibitors that effectively block Estrogen production and signaling, thereby reducing Estrogen levels.

However, it is vital to be aware of potential side effects, such as joint pain, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and bone thinning.

In certain cases, they might also show an impact on cholesterol levels and heart health. 

As with any medication, a healthcare provider’s guidance and regular monitoring are essential for optimizing treatment and minimizing risks.

Warning:
Aromatase inhibitors should not be taken without a medical professional’s prescription. Doing so might cause severe side effects and worsen your condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What pill can I take to lower Estrogen?

Aromatase inhibitors are pills that can be taken to lower Estrogen levels in the body. They are commonly used in the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Some such medications include Letrozole, Anastrozole, and Exemestane.

Is it better to take lower Estrogen pills?

Whether it is better to take lower Estrogen pills depends on individual health needs and medical conditions. It is advised that you consult a healthcare expert to determine the most appropriate treatment option.

Is there a pill to reduce Estrogen?

Aromatase inhibitors are medications that effectively lower Estrogen levels in the body. They are frequently prescribed to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Letrozole, Anastrozole, and Exemestane are examples of Aromatase inhibitors.

What are the side effects of Estrogen reducing pills?

The side effects of Estrogen reducing pills, such as aromatase inhibitors, may include severe joint pain or stiffness, menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, risk of bone thinning, and heart problems. Regular monitoring is crucial to minimize risks.

Do birth control pills lower Estrogen?

Birth control pills do not lower Estrogen levels in the body. However, the Estrogen and/or Progesterone in these pills reduces the body’s production of these hormones because of the negative feedback loop mechanism. This means that the body inhibits producing the hormone that is already present in sufficient quantities.

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