Arimidex is a trade name of anastrozole – a drug used in postmenopausal women as adjunctive therapy for breast cancer, specifically its hormone receptor-positive form. High-risk patients are also prescribed Arimidex to prevent the disease. Anastrozole is used in medicine since 1995, when it was approved. It is considered one of the safest and most effective drugs in the field. Both branded and generic versions of the medication are available in the market.
The drug has the ability to reduce the levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women, thus keeping certain estrogen-dependent breast tumors from growing. Women for whom tamoxifen turns out to be ineffective, are also given Arimidex.
Administration Recommendations and Precautions
Arimidex is intended for oral administration, with or without food. The common schedule supposes intake once a day, but anyway, the patients should follow the prescription label directions and adhere to the schedule made up by the doctor. The medicine must not be taken in smaller/larger amounts or during shorter/longer period of time, because such improvisation can cancel the treatment results. Sometimes a cancer patient has to take anastrozole for several years.
The normal dose is 1 mg per day, though it’s determined individually. Elderly patients, those with renal impairment or mild/moderate hepatic impairment need no dosage adjustment.
Sufficient time interval should be observed between the intakes. So if you’ve missed a dose, take it when you remember, but give it up if there’s little time left prior to the next dose.
Be careful when driving or doing work requiring alertness, as your reactions or thinking can be temporarily impaired.
Pregnant or breast-feeding women should choose the medicines other than Arimidex, since anastrozole can harm the baby.
Take into account that simultaneous administration of estrogen medications (birth control pills, vaginal rings, hormone replacement therapy, estrogen preparations can prevent Arimidex from working well.
It’s recommended to control and test bone mineral density during treatment, because it may be decreased, leading to higher osteoporosis risk.
The drug is not for use in children, men, and women whose menopause is not yet completed.
The recommended storage is away from heat/moisture, at room temperature.
Possible Side Effects and Allergy
Those taking Arimidex should know the common adverse effects it may cause:
- blurred vision, severe headache, etc. (consequences of high blood pressure);
- insomnia, mood changes, depression;
- sore throat;
- hot flashes;
- mild rash;
- skin tingling;
- bone pain, back in the pain;
- swelling of feet/ankles;
- vomiting, nausea.
This list is not full. If you notice any negative reactions, address for medical help as soon as possible. Don’t ignore allergy signs as well, such as swelling of face/throat, difficulty breathing, hives, and so on.