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All about: Anastrozole

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Generic Name: Anastrozole (an-ASS-troe-zole)
Brand Name: Arimidex

Anastrozole is used for:

Treating breast cancer in women who have been through menopause, including women with disease progression after tamoxifen therapy. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor. It works by lowering blood estradiol concentrations, which may decrease the size and growth of the tumor.

Do NOT use Anastrozole if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Anastrozole
  • you are taking estrogen or tamoxifen

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Anastrozole :

Some medical conditions may interact with Anastrozole . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver problems or high cholesterol or lipid levels

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Anastrozole . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Estrogen or tamoxifen because they may decrease Anastrozole 's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Anastrozole may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Anastrozole :

Use Anastrozole as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Anastrozole by mouth with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Anastrozole , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. If more than one dose is missed, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Anastrozole .

Important safety information:

  • Anastrozole may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Anastrozole with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Lab tests, including blood cholesterol or bone mineral density, may be performed while you use Anastrozole . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Anastrozole should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Anastrozole has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Anastrozole while you are pregnant. It is not known if Anastrozole is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Anastrozole , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Anastrozole :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Anxiety; back, bone, breast, joint, or pelvic pain; constipation; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; flu-like symptoms (tiredness; muscle aches); headache; hot flashes; loss of appetite; nausea; skin numbness or tingling; sleeplessness; stomach pain or upset; sweating; vaginal dryness; vomiting; weakness; weight gain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bone fracture; calf pain, swelling, or tenderness; chest pain; depression; frequent or painful urination; infection (chills; fever; sore throat); mental or mood changes; one-sided weakness; shortness of breath; sudden, severe headache; swelling of the hands or feet; vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge; vision or speech changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Anastrozole :

Store Anastrozole at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Anastrozole out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Anastrozole , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Anastrozole is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Anastrozole . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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