Arimidex classified as a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor is anti-cancer hormone therapy. This drug is primarily used alongside other breast cancer treatments. Arimidex is the brand name for Anastrozole.
Arimidex tablets contain Anastrozole and other inactive ingredients such as titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, sodium starch glycolate, lactose, povidone, and polyethylene glycol.
Estrogen is responsible for promoting faster growth of some types of breast cancer. Anastrozole works to lower the amount of hormone estrogen in the body, which either reverses or slows down the growth of breast cancer. Hormones are chemicals that are produced by glands in the body and get into the bloodstream to cause various effects in different parts of the body. As an aromatase inhibitor, anastrozole blocks enzyme aromatase found in the skin, breast, fat and body muscles from converting into estrogens. Tumor cells are prevented from growing since they depend on estrogens to grow.
Anastrozole is indicated for breast cancer treatment in postmenopausal women.
Mode of Indication, Dosage and Treatment Duration
The recommended dose for Arimidex is 1mg tablet taken once daily. This medicine is an oral pill that should be taken about the same time daily. You can take anastrozole with or without food, and should you miss or forget to take your dose, you should do so as soon as possible. Always ensure to complete your entire medication, so you shouldn’t stop taking your pills even if you feel better after some time. Consult with your doctor before suspending, increasing or reducing your medication. Ensure you take the correct dosage and do not overdose as it may cause serious side effects.
Arimidex Side Effects
Having side effects is a possibility when one is on any medication. In this case, not everyone on Arimidex medication experiences the side effects listed below. Side effects of Anastrozole are often classified according to their severity, duration, and onset. In a majority of cases, side effects subside when you complete medication. Most side effects are manageable and you may not necessarily require to see a doctor. Very common side effects of Anastrozole include:
- Hot flashes;
- Stomach upset;
- Feeling weak;
- Muscle and joint pains.
Less common side effects of this medication include:
- Back pain;
- Mood swings;
- High blood pressure;
- Weak bones (osteoporosis);
- Breathing difficulties;
- Lymphedema and Peripheral edema.
You should plan to see the doctor probably within the next 24 hours if you experience any of the following side effects.
- Numbness of the skin, tickling or tingling effect;
- Frequent vomiting episodes i.e. more than 5 times in a day;
- Stomach pains especially on the right side;
- Vaginal bleeding resembling as a menstrual period;
- Yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes;
- Excessive nausea that interferes with your appetite or fails to subside after medication.
Before commencing Anastrozole medication, you should let your doctor know about any health conditions you currently have or have recently been treated for. This information will help the doctor to know whether using Arimidex will be safe for you. Be sure to specify if you have a history of any of these medical conditions:
- Heart disease and related complications;
- Abnormal cholesterol;
- Menopause (Your doctor needs to know whether you’ve had menopause or not);
- Pregnancy or you intend to become pregnant as Anastrozole can be harmful to the fetus;
- Breastfeeding mothers should avoid this medication as this medicine may be absorbed into breast milk.
Arimidex interacts on various levels with different drugs which can either negatively or positively impact on this medication. Before using Anastrozole, inform your doctor if you are using any of these medicines:
- Medications that contain estrogen/estradiol commonly used for birth control or during menopause;