Arimidex (anastrozole) is an anti-cancer drug, which belongs to the group of aromatase inhibitors. It is used in post-menopausal women dealing with breast cancer. The medicine has the FDA approval and is used to treat breast cancer no matter how far the disease has progressed: from early to highly metastatic. Arimidex is a hormonal drug, which requires prescription and careful administering.
Mechanism of Action
Estrogens fuel the growth of breast tumors. Anastrozole inhibits aromataze, an enzyme, which converts hormones produced by the adrenal glands (androgens) to estrogens and, thus, reduces its concentration. The lack of estrogen slows down the growth of cancer cells.
Usually Arimidex is prescribed to women, who have undergone treatment with Novadex (tamoxifen), for whom it has not worked. If you have used other drugs recently or are still using some, notify your doctor. If you combine Arimidex with them, it may fail to produce the desired effect or cause severe adverse reactions. The treatment requires professional supervision!
How to Use Arimidex
When using Arimidex, rely on the prescription label. Follow the schedule and dosage requirements. Most doctors advise their patients to take one pill each day, with or without food. Do not exceed your dose or withdraw the treatment without your doctor’s advice.
Arimidex must be stored in a cool and dry place;
Do not expose it to direct sunlight or moist,
Keep it away from children and/or pets;
Do not throw expired tablets into the waste bin or flush them down the toilet;
Contact your pharmacist and/or local waste disposal agency and have it disposed of professionally.
Precautions, Warnings and Contraindications
You can take Arimidex only if you have reached menopause! Do not take anastrozole if you are planning pregnancy, are already pregnant or breastfeeding. This drug is not intended for children or men. Contact your physician, as he/she should define how serious your case is and if Arimidex can make things worse for you. Do not take Arimidex if you:
Have a history of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, arterial blockages;
Are susceptible to strokes;
Have hyper- or hypotension;
Are prone to fractures or have osteoporosis.
If you are undergoing ERT (estrogen replacement therapy), using estrogen-based creams, birth control pills, vaginal rings, etc., there may be too much estrogen in your body for one Arimidex pill per day to handle. Herbal medicines, vitamins and other non-prescription drugs can reduce its effect or cause unexpected symptoms.
Here are the most common reactions:
Skin rash, hives;
Shortness of breath;
Lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
Dark urine, light-colored stools, jaundice;
Numbness in one half of the body, slurred speech, severe headache;
Agitation, anxiety, fears, lack of sleep;
Fatigue, poor performance;
Rapidly changing blood pressure.