What is Anastrozole?
Anastrozole is available under the brand name called Arimidex; it is an Aromatase Inhibitor. Doctors prescribe this medicine to treat all types and stages of breast cancer. Anastrozole works by interfering with the production of estrogen in the body. It is mostly available in the oral form. One can avail of this medication only with a proper prescription from a doctor.
- You need to regularly visit your doctor and take a frequent blood test while on this medication.
- Women affected with breast cancer, and taking this medication should also take contraceptive measures; it will reduce the chances of getting pregnant.
What to know before taking Anastrozole?
You should avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to it or any of its components or if you have:
- Allergic reaction to any other drugs
- Taken any estrogen products or tamoxifen
- Not been through menopause
To ensure that Anastrozole is safe for you, you should tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following medical issues:
- Bone density problem (osteoporosis)
- High cholesterol level in the body (Hypercholesterolemia)
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- History of heart attack or angina
Expecting women and premenopausal women should not use this medication. Lactating mothers should not use this medication. They should not breast-feed while taking Anastrozole and for two weeks after the last dose.
How to take Anastrozole?
Take Anastrozole precisely as prescribed by the doctor. You must follow all the instructions given on the prescription label and medication guide carefully. Please don’t take it more than recommended and try to be consistent throughout the treatment. Consult your doctor if you are not feeling any improvement in your condition. It would be best if you do not switch your dose without consulting your doctor.
Keep the medication out of children’s reach and store it at room temperature away from heat and moisture. After completion of treatment, ask your pharmacist regarding the disposal of leftover medicines.
The dosage of Anastrozole prescribed by the doctor is dependent on several factors, such as :
- The age and weight of the patient
- The seriousness of the condition
- Other medical issues that the patient is having
- Other medications that the patient is using
- How the patient reacted to the first dose of the medication
The doctor may prescribe the dosage of Anastrozole according to the different medical conditions of the patient.
Dosage for breast cancer
In the form of oral tablets
- For adults
1 mg of Anastrozole tablets once a day, Your doctor may adjust your medicine quantity if he thinks appropriate.
- For children
Your doctor will determine the dose for the child after a full medical check-up.
There are no specific Anastrozole overdose symptoms, but if you ever feel uneasy while taking this medication, you can consult your doctor and seek a medical assistant. You can also call the poison helpline number at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid while using Anastrozole?
Using Anastrozole will make you experience dizziness. Take alcoholic drinks at the same time will make you feel dizzier. Taking this medication can impair your thinking process or reaction to that. You must be very careful while driving and doing activities that require alertness and attention.
Anastrozole side effects
Some of the common side effects of using Anastrozole are as follows:
- Hot flashes
- Weakness or tiredness
- Upset stomach
- Pain or swelling in the joints
- Pain in muscles
- Trouble in sleeping
- Cough or sore throat
- Back pain
- Weight gain
- Sweating more than usual
- Symptoms of flu
- Dry mouth
- Pelvic pain
It is obvious to experience mild side effect symptoms, but if these symptoms bother you so much and are unbearable, you should consult your doctor and ask for medical help. You can stop taking medication and tell your doctor if you face the following problems while taking Anastrozole:
- An allergic reaction to this medication such as rashes or hives in the skin, swelling of the face, tongue, mouth, eyes, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, etc
- Symptoms of problems in the liver- dark urine, loss of appetite, pain in the stomach, signs of jaundice
- Signs of high blood pressure such as dizziness, lightheadedness, change in vision
- Urine tract infections- blood in the urine, frequent urination, pain in the lower stomach, pelvic pain
- Unusual burning, tingling, or numbness
- Swollen glands
- Pain in bones
- Dearth of breath
- Swelling in arms or legs
- Mood swings
- Change in vision
- Pain in breast
- Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Itching in vagina
You should also report to your doctor from time to time if you experience any new symptoms or your symptoms are getting even more worst.
What drugs can interact with Anastrozole?
If your doctor is treating you with Anastrozole, he must be knowing all the possible interactions with other medications. It is your responsibility to tell the doctor about all the over-the-counter medicines you take or taken in the past few days. Some of the following medications which can interact with Anastrozole are:
- Estrogen products
- Other over the counter medications
- Herbal products
- Vitamins and other nutritional supplements