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®).
Anastrozole may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Pregnancy And Premenopausal Women
Arimidex® may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman and offers no clinical benefit to premenopausal women with breast cancer. Arimidex® is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women using Arimidex®. If Arimidex® is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus or potential risk for loss of the pregnancy.
Arimidex® is contraindicated in any patient who has shown a hypersensitivity reaction to the drug or to any of the excipients. Observed reactions include anaphylaxis, angioedema, and urticaria.
Arimidex® is usually taken once per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take anastrozole with or without food.
Ischemic Cardiovascular Events
In women with pre-existing ischemic heart disease, an increased incidence of ischemic cardiovascular events was observed with Arimidex® in the ATAC trial (17% of patients on ARIMIDEX and 10% of patients on tamoxifen). Consider risk and benefits of Arimidex® therapy in patients with pre-existing ischemic heart disease.
Results from the ATAC trial bone substudy at 12 and 24 months demonstrated that patients receiving Arimidex® had a mean decrease in both lumbar spine and total hip bone mineral density (BMD) compared to baseline. Patients receiving tamoxifen had a mean increase in both lumbar spine and total hip BMD compared to baseline. Consider bone mineral density monitoring in patients treated with Arimidex®.
During the ATAC trial, more patients receiving Arimidex® were reported to have elevated serum cholesterol compared to patients receiving tamoxifen (9% versus 3.5%, respectively).
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
- a bone fracture;
- swollen glands;
- liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
- severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
- weakness, hot flashes;
- numbness or tingly feeling in your skin;
- swelling in your ankles or feet;
- joint pain or stiffness, problems with your fingers while gripping;
- sore throat, headache, back pain, bone pain;
- depression, mood changes, sleep problems (insomnia);
- high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears);
- nausea, vomiting;
- mild rash.
In case, an overdose with Arimidex happened seek emergency help.