27 Jun 2017
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General Info: Uses and Effects
Anastrozole is the generic brand name for the drug, Arimidex. As a matter of fact, some medical practitioners refer to Anastrozole as Arimidex in some cases. This medication is used for the treatment of breast cancer in women dealing with post menopausal symptoms. It is important to mention that although Arimidex is approved for the treatment of breast cancer, medical practitioners often prescribe the drug for other health problems they think it might be useful for.
Contraindication: Important to Know
In case you experience hot flashes in the course of your treatment, try staying in a cool environment and place cool cloth on your head to reduce the symptoms. You should consult your doctor if the symptoms become intolerable or worsen. Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can help reduce the discomfort from pain and aches you may feel while using the drug. You should however let your doctor know before you use these drugs. Anastrozole can cause nausea but you can reduce it by using anti-nausea drugs as recommended by your doctor.
It is important that you regularly check with your doctor while taking Anastrozole so that they can monitor your side effects and review your response to the therapy. You do not need to do additional tests or blood work while using the medication.
Arimidex Anastrozole is known to be aromatase inhibitor which means it works by blocking the aromatase enzymes. These enzymes are found in the breast, fat, skin, and body muscle. The enzymes are used for converting androgens to estrogens. Tumor cells that are dependent on estrogens reduce in growth where estrogen is unavailable.
Instructions on Taking
Arimidex Generic (Anastrozole) comes in the form of a pill and is recommended to be taken by mouth. It is also recommended that you take the medication about the same time on a daily basis to avoid missing your dose. The drug can be taken with or without food. In case you miss a dose, you need to take it as soon as you remember except it is close to the time of your next dose. You should never take a double dose of the drug to make up for a missed dosage. You should also stick to the dosage given to you by your physician and you should not stop taking the medication without informing your physician. The quantity and duration of Anastrozole that is prescribed for you is dependents on a lot of factors. Such factors include your general health, health problems, type of cancer, and the condition for which you are being treated.
It is important to mention that most patients do not experience all the side effects of Anastrozole mentioned here. In addition to this, many of the side effects are usually predictable in terms of severity, onset, and duration. However, you do not have to worry about the long term effects of the medication because they will usually improve after you complete your therapy. The adverse effects are usually manageable and there are different things you can do to reduce or prevent the many side effects of Arimidex Anastrozole.
Some of the side effects of the medication are highlighted below. It is essential to mention that these adverse reactions occur in more than 30% of the patients using the medication.
- Stomach upset;
- Hot flashes;
- Muscle or joint pain.
Other less common side effects of the medication are listed below. These side effects occur in about 10-29% of patients taking this drug.
- Decreased Energy;
- Sore Throat;
- Mood Disturbances;
- High Blood Pressure;
- Increased Cough;
- Back Pain;
- Peripheral Edema and Lymphedema;
It is crucial to point out that the list of side effects highlighted above is not exhaustive. There are some rare adverse effects that occur in less than 10% of patients. You should therefore let your physician know immediately if you experience any unusual side effects.
You should contact your health care provider if you experience any of the under listed symptoms:
- Swelling of the lips, throat, and/or face;
- New or worsening pain in the chest;
- Difficulty breathing and/or swallowing;
- Shortness of breath.
There are some other symptoms that require medical attention but do not qualify as emergency conditions:
- Tingling, numbness or tickling of the skin;
- Vaginal bleeding like period flow;
- Nausea that interfere with your ability to eat;
- Yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes;
- Pain on the right side of your stomach;
- Vomiting more than four to five times within 24 hours.
It is important to reiterate the fact that you need to contact your health care provider if you experience any other side effects other than the ones listed above.
Interaction with Other Drugs
Before you start your treatment on Anastrozole, it is critical that you inform your doctor of any other medications you are using, including vitamins, herbal supplements, or any other over-the-counter medications. This is because Arimidex Anastrozole interacts with some other medications. You should inform your doctor if you are taking the drugs listed below:
- Estradiol/Estrogen (commonly used for birth control and menopause).
You should also inform your doctor of any health condition before you start your medication. Let your physician know if you have health conditions such as heart conditions, abnormal cholesterol, and osteoporosis. The drug has the potential to increase the risk of heart disease. You should therefore inform your doctor so that they can weigh the risks and benefits of using the medication. Your doctor should also be informed if you are still in the stage of premenopausal. You should let your physician know if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant during the course of your treatment. This is because Anastrozole can have adverse effect on the foetus. Arimidex can also pass to breast milk. It is therefore important that you let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding because the effects on babies are still not clear.
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