Arimidex (Anastrozole)

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What is Arimidex (Anastrozole) prescribed for?

Breast cancer is made of abnormal cells that have grown uncontrollably. These cells then travel to places in your body where they were not originally formed. Breast cancer usually begins in a small confined area in the glands, which produce milk, which then carry to the nipple. It can grow larger in the breast and spread through channels to nearby lymph nodes or through your bloodstream to other organs.

Arimidex is a medication used to treat breast cancer in women that are finished with menopause.  Some breast cancers can grow faster by the use of a natural hormone called estrogen. The active ingredient in Arimidex, known as Anastrozole, decreases the amount of estrogen the body produces and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.

This medication is taken by mouth, with or without food. This pills is often taken once daily. Use this medication regularly to gain the most benefit.  Do not increase your dose or use this medication more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve at a faster rate, and your risk of serious side effects will increase.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to anastrozole or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease (such as history of heart attack), bone loss (osteoporosis), liver disease, high blood pressure, blood clots.

Anastrozole is used mainly in women after menopause. If you have not gone through menopause, this medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as latex condoms) while taking this medication and for at least 3 weeks after stopping treatment with your doctor. Products containing estrogen (such as birth control pills) should not be used. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

Hot flashes, headache, trouble sleeping, dizziness, stomach upset, nausea/vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight gain, tiredness/weakness, increased coughing, or sore throat may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: bone pain, easily broken bones, joint stiffness/pain, muscle pain/stiffness, mental/mood changes (such as depression), numb/tingling skin, swelling hands/ankle/feet, shortness of breath, unusual vaginal discharge/bleeding/burning/itching/odor, pain/redness/swelling of arms or legs, vision changes, signs of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body

 What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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