What is anastrozole?
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.
Anastrozole 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).
Anastrozole may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to anastrozole, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:
- heart disease;
- circulation problems;
- a history of stroke or blood clot;
- severe liver disease;
- severe kidney disease; or
- not yet completed menopause.
FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use anastrozole without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
You may need to take a pregnancy test before using anastrozole, to make sure you are not pregnant.
It is not known whether anastrozole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Anastrozole can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or blood in your stools.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- swollen glands;
- a bone fracture; or
- swelling in your hands or feet;
Less serious side effects may include:
- hot flashes;
- joint pain or stiffness;
- sore throat;
- depression, mood changes;
- nausea; or
- back pain, bone pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Anastrozole may not work as well if you take it together with tamoxifen or an estrogen medication. Before you start taking anastrozole, tell your doctor if you also take tamoxifen or estrogen.
There may be other drugs that can interact with anastrozole. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Arimidex and anastrozole
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