Anastrozole is a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor medication that is commonly used in conjunction with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy, to manage early breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This medication is also frequently used as a first-line therapy for women who have experienced menopause and have breast cancer that has metastasized within the breast or to other areas of the body.
Anastrozole is employed in the treatment of breast cancer in women whose cancer has worsened following tamoxifen therapy. The medication operates by reducing the body’s production of estrogen, which can slow or even halt the growth of a variety of breast cancer cells that require estrogen to thrive.
Uses and Dosage
Anastrozole is administered orally in tablet form, usually once a day, and can be taken with or without food.
Take anastrozole at the same time each day and adhere closely to the instructions provided on the prescription label. If any aspect of the medication’s administration is unclear, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for further clarification.
Follow the medication regimen precisely and not to modify the dosage or frequency of anastrozole intake without your doctor’s guidance.
Anastrozole may need to be taken for an extended period, often several years, and should be continued even if you are feeling well. Do not discontinue anastrozole use without consulting your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- back pain
- body aches or pain
- decrease in height
- feeling of warmth
- flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
- increased appetite
- lack or loss of strength
- mood or mental changes
- pain in the back, ribs, arms, or legs
- pain, general
- pelvic pain
- runny nose
- stomach discomfort or upset
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- trouble in swallowing
- voice changes
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- blurred vision
- bone pain
- chest pain or discomfort
- pounding in the ears
- slow or fast heartbeat
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
Prior to taking anastrozole, inform your doctor or pharmacist of any existing allergies you may have, including an allergy to this medication, or any other allergies. This product may contain inert ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using anastrozole, discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of heart disease, osteoporosis, liver disease, high blood pressure, or blood clots.
Anastrozole has the potential to cause dizziness, and alcohol or marijuana use may exacerbate this effect. Until you can do so safely, avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness.
Since anastrozole can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and can cause harm to an unborn baby, it should not be handled by pregnant women or breathed in as dust from tablets.
Anastrozole is primarily used in women after menopause, and it must not be taken during pregnancy if menopause has not yet occurred. Reliable forms of birth control, such as latex condoms, must be used while taking this medication and for at least three weeks following the cessation of treatment.
Products containing estrogen, such as birth control pills, should be avoided. If you suspect that you may be pregnant or become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.
It is unknown if anastrozole is transmitted through breast milk, it is not advised to breastfeed while taking this medication or for at least two weeks after treatment has ended. Prior to breastfeeding, consult with your doctor.
Form and Strength
Arimidex is available in the following forms and strengths:
anastrozole film-coated tablet:
Is Arimidex an estrogen blocker?
Arimidex is considered an estrogen blocker because it decreases the amount of the hormone estrogen in your body. It isn’t a steroid drug or a type of chemotherapy.
How long does it take for Arimidex to kick in?
Anastrozole will immediately start to reduce the amount of oestrogen in your body. However, it takes several weeks or months for the medicine to work fully. During this time you’re likely to have menopause symptoms as your body gets used to having less oestrogen.