From Pharmacy Drug Guide
Arimidex®, or anastrozole, is prescribed to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Manufactured by AstraZeneca, Arimidex® is a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor that decreases the amount of estrogen made by the body. Arimidex® can be used on its own or with other treatments, including radiation or surgery. Approved in 1995 by the Food and Drug Administration, Arimidex® is administered once daily in tablet form.
As with any medication, adverse reactions may occur. Some of the most common side effects of Arimidex® include hot flashes, problems with the joints, lowered bone density, altered moods, pain in the body, and sleeplessness.
|Brand name for||Anastrozole|
|Uses||Treats breast cancer|
|Common side effects||Hot flashes, joint symptoms, fractures, weakness, nausea, vomiting, etc.|
|Who should not take Arimidex||Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or pre-menopausal|
|The information provided by PharmacyDrugGuide.com is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.|
Common Arimidex Side Effects
The most widely-experienced side effects in early Arimidex® clinical trials include:
- Hot flashes
- Swollen arms
- Swollen legs
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in mood
- High blood pressure
Arimidex® has also been known to raise cholesterol levels in some patients.
The manufacturer states that patients can minimize the effects of adverse reactions by taking certain steps. These include drinking plenty of water, consuming smaller meals, and keeping active without overexerting oneself.
About Medication Side Effects
Arimidex Allergic Reactions
Some patients taking Arimidex® in clinical trials experienced skin reactions and allergies. Some of the drug's side effects may actually be an allergic reaction. Patients experiencing any of the following are advised by the National Institutes of Health to contact a healthcare provider:
- Blurred vision
- Racing heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Rash or hives
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat, eyes, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Breast pain or additional lumps in the breasts
Patients allergic to the main ingredient in Arimidex®, anastrizole, may also experience a reaction. Reactions may also occur in patients allergic to any of the inactive ingredients, including lactose, titanium dioxide, hypromelloses, povidone, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycols, and sodium starch glycolate type a potato.
Arimidex Precautions and Warnings
- Arimidex® is not intended for use along with medications that contain estrogen, or with the cancer drug tamoxifen.
- Patients taking Arimidex® may have altered blood tests or liver-function tests.
- Arimidex® can cause damage to fetuses, and is therefore typically only recommended for post-menopausal women who are incapable of conceiving. In cases where pre-menopausal women are prescribed Arimidex®, patients are advised to use condoms or other birth control methods. However, birth control pills are not recommended, as they contain estrogen and can interfere with treatment.
- Arimidex® can cause bones to become softer, resulting in osteoporosis and fractures. The instances of bone fractures are higher among women who take Arimidex than in women who take tamoxifen.
- Women with a history of ischemic heart disease may have a higher chance of getting this disease than those who take tamoxifen.
About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the second-most common type of cancer for females in the United States (skin cancer is the first). It can also occur in men, but is far more rare. It typically starts out in the milk ducts, and from there can spread throughout the body. Experts do not yet know what causes breast cancer, but risks seem to be both genetic and environmental. Standard treatment options include surgery, hormones, radiation and chemotherapy.