Anastrozole (brand name- Arimidex, Adova, Stazonex, Femistra, Altraz, Anabrez, Anaday, Aromita) is an FDA-approved treatment for breast cancer in women who have experienced menopause (end of monthly menstrual periods). It is also used to treat breast cancer that has worsened after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex).
Anastrozole is in a class of medications called non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of estrogen the body makes. This can slow or stop the growth of many breast cancer cells that need estrogen.
Let us walk you through key things you need to know about anastrozole.
How should I take anastrozole or Arimidex?
Anastrozole comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take anastrozole at around the same time every day.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take anastrozole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Do not stop taking anastrozole without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of Anastrozole or Arimidex?
Common Side effects
- hot flashes
- belly pain
- swelling, redness, or warmth in the hand or arm
- loss of appetite
- weight gain
- joint pain
- sore throat
- swollen glands
- other signs of infection
- bone or muscle pain
- breast pain
- mood changes
- vaginal dryness or irritation
- pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
- dry mouth
- hair thinning
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- blurred vision or vision changes
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- skin lesions, ulcers, or blisters
Anastrozole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking anastrozole or Arimidex
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor about any disease or symptom in the past or now
While you are on anastrozole or Arimidex
You should know that anastrozole should only be taken by women who have undergone menopause and cannot become pregnant. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should tell your doctor before taking this medication. Anastrozole may harm the fetus.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
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.
How should I safely store and dispose of anastrozole or Arimidex?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
You should not flush this medication down the toilet. The best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) if you cannot access a take-back program.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 91
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet
Last Revised – 03/02/2023, FDA updated- N/A, SG
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