Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Anastrozole
Why is this drug prescribed: Arimidex is a first-line treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It slows the growth of advanced cancer within the breast and cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Arimidex is also used to treat advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women whose disease has spread to other parts of the body following treatment with tamoxifen (Nolvadex), another anticancer drug. Arimidex combats the kind of breast cancer that thrives on estrogen. One of the hormones produced by the adrenal gland is converted to a form of estrogen by an enzyme called aromatase. Arimidex suppresses this enzyme and thereby reduces the level of estrogen circulating in the body.
Most important fact about this drug: Arimidex, like many other anticancer medications, may prolong survival and improve quality of life. To keep this medication working properly, it's important to continue taking it even when you don't feel well. If you develop bothersome side effects, call your doctor. He or she can recommend ways to reduce your discomfort.
How should you take this medication: Take Arimidex exactly as directed. --If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose if you remember within 12 hours. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at once. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Arimidex. More common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, back pain, bone pain, chest pain, constipation, cough, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, hot flashes, loss of appetite, nausea, pain, pelvic pain and stiffness, "pins and needles", rash, shortness of breath, sore throat, stomach and intestinal upset, swelling of arms and legs, vomiting, weakness, weight gain, Less common or rare side effects may include: Accidental injury, anxiety, blood clots, breast pain, bronchitis, confusion, drowsiness, feeling of illness, fever, flu-like symptoms, fractures, hair thinning, heart attack, high blood pressure, increased appetite, infection, insomnia, itching, joint pain, muscle pain, nasal or sinus inflammation, neck pain, nervousness, severe blisters in the mouth or other mucous membranes, sluggishness, stroke, sweating, temporary tumor growth, tense muscles, urinary tract infection, vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, vaginal dryness, weight loss
Why should this drug not be prescribed: Do not take Arimidex if you are pregnant.
Special warnings about this medication: Because Arimidex may raise the level of cholesterol in your blood, your doctor may periodically do blood tests to check.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: At present, no drug interactions are known.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, do not take Arimidex. In animal studies, this medication has caused severe birth defects, including incomplete bone formation and low birth weight; it could be poisonous to your unborn child. Arimidex also increases your chances of having a miscarriage or a stillborn baby. If you should accidentally become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Because of the possibility of Arimidex passing through your breast milk to your baby, you should probably avoid breastfeeding.
Recommended dosage: The usual dose is a 1-milligram tablet taken once a day. If Arimidex is being used as an initial treatment for breast cancer, you will continue taking the medication until it no longer works against the tumor.
Overdosage: Although there have been no reports of Arimidex overdose, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.