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What Is Arimidex

what is arimidex

About arimidex

arimidex 1mg is a prescription hormonal treatment that helps fight breast cancer by lowering the amount of estrogen in the body. ARIMIDEX is a selective, non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor, which signifcantly lowers serum estradiol (estrogen) concentrations, without interfering with the formation of adrenal corticosteroids or aldosterone.

It is FDA approved for the following 3 conditions:

  • As an adjuvant treatment for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer
  • For the initial treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive or hormone receptor-unknown locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer
  • For the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer that has progressed following treatment with tamoxifen.

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 does anastrozole work?

Some breast cancers are stimulated to grow by the hormone oestrogen. In women who have been through the menopause, oestrogen is no longer produced by the ovaries. But some oestrogen is still made in body fat using an enzyme (a type of protein) called aromatase. Aromatase inhibitors stop this enzyme from working so there’s less oestrogen in the body.

Anastrozole will only be prescribed if your breast cancer has receptors within the cell that bind to the hormone oestrogen, known as oestrogen receptor positive or ER+ breast cancer. All breast cancers are tested for oestrogen receptors using tissue from a biopsy or after surgery. When oestrogen binds to these receptors, it can stimulate the cancer to grow.

When is anastrozole prescribed?

Anastrozole is used to treat post-menopausal women with oestrogen receptor positive primary breast cancer. Taking anastrozole helps reduce the chance of breast cancer returning in the same breast or spreading somewhere else in the body. It can also reduce the chances of developing a new breast cancer in the same or opposite breast.

It’s usually given after surgery (known as adjuvant treatment) and following chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

It can be used to treat breast cancer that comes back in the chest/breast area (known as local recurrence) or surrounding area (known as locally advanced or regional recurrence). It can also be prescribed if you are diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.

Anastrozole is not used on its own as a hormone treatment in pre-menopausal women because it’s not an effective treatment while the ovaries are still making oestrogen. But it’s sometimes given alongside another drug called goserelin which stops the ovaries from working.

How long do I take Arimidex?

In most cases, you'll take Arimidex for 5 years. Doctors may recommend that some women take it for a longer or shorter period of time.

How is anastrozole taken?

Anastrozole is a tablet (1mg) that you take once a day. It can be taken with or without food.

It’s best to take it at the same time every day. If you miss a dose, you don’t need to take an extra dose the next day as the level of drug in your body will remain high enough from the previous day. If for any reason you want to stop taking anastrozole it’s important that you talk to your specialist first. This is because not taking the drug for the recommended time means you may increase your risk of your breast cancer coming back.

Sometimes it may be possible to change to another hormone tablet.

Can I take anastrozole with other drugs?

You should not take other drugs containing oestrogen, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), while you are taking anastrozole as this may interfere with its effectiveness.

It’s a good idea to talk to your specialist or pharmacist if you are taking any other prescribed or over the counter medicines in case they interact with anastrozole. You should also discuss any complementary therapies, herbal remedies or supplements you wish to use before you start them.

Pregnancy and Arimidex

Arimidex is an FDA Pregnancy Category X drug, meaning it causes birth defects.

You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medication.

The drug is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers, though whether or not it is safe remains unclear.

You should tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed before taking Arimidex.

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