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Arimidex

 
  Generic Name: Anastrozole (an AS troe zole)
 
  Brand Names: Arimidex  
     
   
 

What is anastrozole?

Anastrozole lowers estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the body.

Anastrozole is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox).

Anastrozole may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about anastrozole?

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use anastrozole without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

You may need to take a pregnancy test before using anastrozole, to make sure you are not pregnant.

You also should not use this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby, or if you are allergic to anastrozole.

Before using anastrozole, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, circulation problems, a history of stroke of blood clot, severe liver disease, or if you have not yet completed menopause.

You may need to keep taking anastrozole for up to 5 years. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Anastrozole may not work as well if you take it together with tamoxifen or an estrogen medication. Before you start taking anastrozole, tell your doctor if you also take tamoxifen or estrogen.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking anastrozole?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to anastrozole, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:

  • heart disease;

  • circulation problems;

  • a history of stroke or blood clot;

  • severe liver disease; or

  • if you have not yet completed menopause.

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use anastrozole without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

You may need to take a pregnancy test before using anastrozole, to make sure you are not pregnant.

It is not known whether anastrozole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take anastrozole?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Anastrozole is usually taken once per day. You may need to keep taking this medication for up to 5 years. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store anastrozole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

The symptoms of an anastrozole overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking anastrozole?

Anastrozole can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Anastrozole side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;

  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • swollen glands;

  • a bone fracture; or

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

Less serious side effects may include:

  • hot flashes;

  • joint pain or stiffness;

  • weakness;

  • sore throat;

  • depression, mood changes;

  • nausea; or

  • back pain, bone pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect anastrozole?

Anastrozole may not work as well if you take it together with tamoxifen or an estrogen medication. Before you start taking anastrozole, tell your doctor if you also take tamoxifen or estrogen.

There may be other drugs that can interact with anastrozole. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about anastrozole.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 07/20/2009 8:50:51 AM.;
 
 
 
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