Generic Name: Anastrozole (an AS troe zole)
Brand Name: Arimidex
Uses of Anastrozole:
- It is used to treat breast cancer in women after change of life.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Anastrozole?
- If you have an allergy to anastrozole or any other part of anastrozole.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant.
- If you have not been through menopause or you are still able to have a baby.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Estrogen products or tamoxifen.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with anastrozole.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Anastrozole?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take anastrozole. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine lowers the estrogen in your body, which may cause your bones to get thinner and weaker. This may raise the chance of broken bones like in the spine, hip, and wrist. Talk with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Anastrozole) best taken?
Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Keep taking anastrozole as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of high calcium levels like weakness, confusion, feeling tired, headache, upset stomach and throwing up, hard stools (constipation), or bone pain.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
- Very bad headache.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Mood changes.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Passing urine more often.
- Pain when passing urine.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Swollen gland.
- Vaginal bleeding that is not normal.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
- People who have ever had a block in their heart blood vessels (ischemic heart disease) may have more signs of problems with blood flow to the heart. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worse chest pain or shortness of breath.
What are some other side effects of Anastrozole?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Joint pain or swelling.
- Not able to sleep.
- Sore throat.
- Back pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Anastrozole?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take anastrozole or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to anastrozole. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Review Date: October 4, 2017
More about anastrozole
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
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- Drug class: aromatase inhibitors
Other brands: Arimidex