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Arimidex (anastrozole) is an nonsteroidal aromatase
inhibitor, primarily used for treating breast cancer in
post-menopausal women by inhibiting the body's production of
estrogen. It is occasionally prescribed for other conditions.
Who Uses Arimidex?
Arimidex is usually prescribed to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women. It may be used in early or advanced stages of breast cancer.
This medication is also prescribed for post-menopausal women at
high risk for developing breast cancer.
It is sometimes used in conjunction with other cancer treatments or after other treatments have failed to produce good results. In some patients Arimidex is more effective if started after two or more years of treatment with tamoxifen.
A pregnancy test may be required before Arimidex is prescribed.
How does it Work?
Many types of breast cancer thrive on estrogen. By lowering estrogen production, the amount of estrogen in the body will diminish and the cancer will slow, shrink, or stop growing. In some cases it may prevent cancer from developing in the first place, or prevent it from developing in the other breast.
Because this medication is designed to lower estrogen levels, it will not work well when used with estrogen replacement therapies, estrogen creams, birth control pills, or any other treatment that may impact hormone levels. For this reason it is important the prescribing physician is aware of all other prescription and non-prescription medications being taken for the duration of treatment.
How is it Taken?
Arimidex comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day, around the same time each day. It may be taken with or without food.
Dosage and duration of treatment will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the condition being treated, other medications involved, and patient response to treatment. It is not unusual for treatment to last 5 years or longer.
Missed doses should be taken when remembered. If it is near time for the next dose, it may be skipped entirely. Double doses should be avoided. In case of overdose, seek medical help immediately.
Physician instructions should be followed carefully while taking Arimidex for maximal effectiveness.
Active ingredient: anastrozole
Inactive ingredients: polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, sodium starch glycolate, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, povidone, lactose
Patients with known hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients in Arimidex should not use this medication. This product contains lactose.
Side effects are rare, usually mild, and frequently stop after the body adjusts to treatment. If side effects persist, are severe, or worsen, a physician should be consulted:
No current Rx required
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.