Why is Arimidex prescribed?
Anastrozole is used to treat advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have failed to respond to therapy with other drugs, such as tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Arimidex works by decreasing the amount of estrogen your body makes, so that breast cancers which require estrogen for growth may decrease in growth rate and size.
Anastrozole is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should Arimidex be used?
Arimidex comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Arimidex exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take Anastrozole even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Arimidex without talking to your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Arimidex,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Anastrozole, povidone, lactose, or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, high levels of blood cholesterol, blood clots (thrombophlebitis), or hypertension (high blood pressure).
- if you are premenopausal, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Arimidex should not be taken during pregnancy. Therefore, premenopausal women should use a reliable method of birth control. If you become pregnant while taking anatrozole, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Arimidex.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can Arimidex cause?
Although side effects from Anastrozole are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- weakness or tiredness
- upset stomach or vomiting
- hot flashes
- bone, pelvic, and back pain
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- sore throat
- dry mouth
- swelling of the arms, legs, or ankles (edema)
- vaginal hemorrhage
- weight gain
- increased appetite
- increased blood cholesterol
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- calf pain
- redness, warmth, and swelling of arms or legs
What storage conditions are needed for Arimidex?
Keep Anastrozole in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.
Store it at room temperature and away from heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw way any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.