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What Is Arimidex Used For

what is arimidex used for

What is Arimidex?

Arimidex (anastrozole) lowers estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the body.

Arimidex is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox).

Arimidex may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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.

Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor. This means it blocks the enzyme aromatase (found in the body's muscle, skin, breast and fat), which is used to convert androgens (hormones produced by the adrenal glands) into estrogens. Tumor cells dependent on estrogens grow less when there is no estrogen.

How should I take Arimidex?

Arimidex is usually taken once per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take Arimidex with or without food.

You may need to keep taking this medication for up to 5 years. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

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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