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What Happens When You Stop Taking Arimidex

what happens when you stop taking arimidex

What Is Arimidex (Anastrazole)?

Arimidex is the brand name of the generic drug anastrazole, used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Arimidex belongs to class of drugs known as nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors, which slow or stop the growth of breast cancers that are stimulated by estrogen by decreasing the amount of estrogen the body makes after menopause.

If a post-menopausal woman has early stage breast cancer, a doctor may prescribe Arimidex in addition to surgery or radiation therapy.

Arimidex is also used when Soltamox (tamoxifen) stops working for postmenopausal women with late-stage breast cancer.

Uses

Anastrozole is used to treat breast cancer in women after menopause. Some breast cancers are made to grow faster by a natural hormone called estrogen. Anastrozole decreases the amount of estrogen the body makes and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.

How Anastrozole Works

Hormones are chemical substances that are produced by glands in the body, which enter the bloodstream and can cause effects in other parts of the body. For example, the hormone testosterone is made in the testicles and is responsible for male characteristics such as deepening voice and increased body hair. The use of hormone therapy to treat cancer is based on the observation that cancer cell growth can partially depend on hormone binding to receptors on the cancer cell surface.

Hormone therapies can work through methods such as stopping the production of a certain hormone or interfering with hormone binding to the cancer cell receptor. The different types of hormone therapies are categorized by their function and/or the type of hormone that is affected.

Arimidex Side Effects

Common side effects of Arimidex include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Stomach, bone, and joint pain and arthritis
  • Pain in other areas of the body
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Throat infection
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Infection
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling
  • Bone breaks
  • Abnormal sensations or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Arimidex for Men

Arimidex is sometimes used to treat male breast cancer, but it has not been well studied in men.

Arimidex been studied for use by infertile men to balance testosterone levels and maintain a healthy sperm count.

Some male athletes and bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids to build muscle also take Arimidex to reduce the estrogen production that is a side effect of steroid use.

An increase in estrogen levels is responsible for the female characteristics-a high-pitched voice, shrinking of the testicles or penis, and breast enlargement-that occur in bodybuilders who take steroids.

Precautions

Before starting anastrozole treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or herbal remedies)

Anastrozole interacts with certain medications. Make sure you tell your doctor if you are taking these medications:

  • Tamoxifen
  • Estrogen
  • Warfarin

Estrogen/estradiol-containing medications (commonly used for menopause and birth-control)

Before starting anastrozole treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about health conditions you have including: heart conditions, osteoporosis, and abnormal cholesterol. Anastrozole may cause increased risk for heart disease. Talk with your healthcare provider to weigh the benefit and risks.

Inform your health care professional if you have not had menopause yet (premenopausal).

Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Anastrozole is pregnancy category X (anastrozole may be hazardous to the fetus. Anastrozole is contraindicted in women who are pregnant or may become pregnant).

Anastrozole may enter breast milk. It is unclear what effect this may have on babies. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

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