Arimidex is a drug used in the treatment of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
How It Works
The active ingredient in Arimidex is anastrozole, which is known as an aromatase inhibitor. This medication can lower the levels of estrogen produced by certain body tissue. In menstruating women, estrogen is produced in the ovaries. In post-menopausal women, estrogen is produced by other tissues in the body, such as the adipose tissue in the breasts. Arimidex can directly lower or reduce the estrogen production by these peripheral tissues when these tissues are affected by cancer. Doing so is effective to treat types of breast cancer sensitive to hormone levels.
Arimidex is prescribed to shrink breast cancer tumors and treat types of breast cancer that respond to levels of estrogen in the blood. Arimidex is only prescribed to women who have undergone menopause.
Arimidex can treat breast cancer after surgery, and to prevent metastasis, the spread of cancer from one part of the body to others.
Arimidex should be taken as prescribed by a doctor.
Follow the dosage instructions exactly as prescribed. Follow a regular schedule and do not forget doses.
Arimidex should be taken by the mouth, usually once a day (or as the doctor instructions). You can take your dose with or without food.
It’s recommended to take each dose of Arimidex the same time each day.
Do not increase or decrease the daily dose of Arimidex unless instructed by a doctor. Do not take double doses to make up for a missed dose. Double dosing can increase the severity and risk for side effects.
Arimidex may cause the following side effects:
Loss of appetite
Breast swelling, tenderness or pain
Body aches and pains
Hot flashes or hot flushes
Tiredness or feeling weak
Trouble sleeping Rare but severe side effects that require immediate medical consideration:
Pain in jaw or left arm
Weakness on one side of the body
Do not take Arimidex if you are still experiencing menstrual cycles.
Arimidex may not be safe for women with heart disease, liver disease, hypertension, brittle bone disease (osteoporosis) or blood clots.
Arimidex should not be taken if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medication.
Arimidex can be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, pregnant women and women who are expecting to get pregnant are cautioned against handling Arimidex using bare hands. The women should never break Arimidex with ungloved hands.
Arimidex can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting. You can lessen the severity of these side effects by making changes to your diet. For example, reduce vomiting by eating several small meals instead of three large ones.