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Arimidex ®

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Generic Name: Anastrozolearimidex-anastrozole

Other Name: Arimidex ® is a trade name of generic drug anastrozole. Health care workers may use the name Arimidex, in a few cases,  when speaking about the generic name anastrozole.

Drug Type: Arimidex is the hormone therapy that fights cancer as an "aromatase inhibitor." 

Indication

  • Treatment of breast cancer who have passed through the menopause stage. Anastrozole lowers the levels of estrogen hormone to shrink the tumors and slow down their growth.

Note: If the drug was approved for just one use, the physicians sometimes use the same drug in other problems with the belief that it could be helpful.

Administration

  • Arimidex is a pill that is taken by mouth.
  • Never stop the medication without consulting with a physician.
  • Take Arimidex the same time every day.  Arimidex may be taken with or without any food.  Never take double dosage the following day in the case of a missed dose.
  • The dosage will depend on a lot of factors such as the overall health or health issues as well as the kind of condition or cancer being treated. The doctor is going to determine the right dosage

Common Side Effects

Things to keep in mind regarding its side effects:

  • Nearly all people have not experienced any of the listed side effects.
  • Side effects, most of the time is mostly reversible that will likely to go away once treatment is done
  • Side effects often are predictable of their duration and onset.
  • There are a lot of options to prevent or minimize side effects.
  • The severity or presence of side effects as well as the effectiveness of this medication.

The following are side effects that are commonly experienced by patients who are taking Arimidex:

  • Vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • breast pain, swelling, and tenderness
  • Increased coughing
  • scratchy throat
  • weakness and tiredness
  • Upset stomach
  • body pains and aches 
  • a headache
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • trouble sleeping
  • flushing and sweating (hot flashes)
  • hair thinning
  • weight change

A change in the diet like a number of small meals will help lower the occurrence of vomiting and nausea. If one of these worsens or persists, notify the pharmacist or doctor promptly.

Keep in mind that the doctor prescribed the medication with the belief that the benefit will be greater than any possibility of side effects. A lot of people who use the medication have no serious side effects.

Adverse Effects

Notify the doctor immediately when one of these serious side effects happen:

  • mood changes
  • excessive thirst
  • tingling, numbness or swelling of feet and hands  
  • unusual feeling of  tickling
  • persistent coughing
  • unusual vaginal odor, burning, discharge or itching
  • muscles and joint stiffness
  • muscle pain
  • redness and swelling of  arms or legs, 
  • vision changes
  • bone fracture or pain
  • signs of infection

Get  immediate medical assistance when one of these very serious side effects occur: 

A serious allergic reaction is unlikely, however, get immediate medical assistance if it happens. Symptoms may include: 

  • itching, rash or swelling of face, throat or tongue
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble in breathing

Precautions:

  • Before beginning the Arimidex treatment, be sure to tell the doctor of any medications that you are taking, such as over-the-counter vitamins,  drugs or herbal treatments.
  • Notify the healthcare worker when you are pregnant or may be pregnant before starting the treatment.  Pregnancy category D (this drug can be dangerous to the fetus.  Pregnant women should be advised about the possible hazard to the fetus).
  • Do not get pregnant while on Arimidex. The use of contraception like condoms are recommended. Discuss with a doctor when is it safe to become pregnant after the therapy.
  • Breastfeeding is not allowed while on Arimidex.
  • If hot flashes are experienced, wear light clothing, stay in a cool place and put cool cloths on the head to reduce symptoms. Seek a healthcare worker if these become intolerable or worsen.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may relieve discomfort resulting from generalized pains and aches.  But make sure to discuss these symptoms with the doctor prior to taking it.
  • Arimidex can cause nausea.  Take anti-nausea drugs as prescribed by the doctor, and eat frequent small meals.
  • Have adequate rest 
  • Observe proper nutrition
  • If there are side effects or symptoms, discuss these with the health care provider to prescribe medications and give other recommendations that will be effective in treating such problems.

You are going to be checked regularly by a doctor while taking Arimidex, however, no particular tests or blood tests will be required.

Mechanism of Work

Hormones are the chemical substances produced by the glands in our body that enter our bloodstream and bring some effects in some tissues.  Like for instance, hormone testosterone that is produced in the testicles and responsible for the male characteristics like increased hair in the body and deepening voice.  The employment of a hormone therapy for the treatment of cancer is due to the observation that the receptors for some specific hormones needed for the cell growth can be found on the surface of tumor cells.  The hormone therapies will work by disrupting the generation of a particular hormone, blocking of hormone receptors, or replacing chemically the same agents for an active hormone that cannot be utilized by a tumor cell. 

Arimidex blocks an enzyme aromatase that is found in a body's breast, skin, fat, and muscles, which is used to transform androgens (hormones made by the adrenal glands) into estrogen. On the lack of estrogen, tumors that are dependent on such hormone for growth is going to shrink.

Note: We highly encourage that you consider talking with a health care worker about the particular medical treatments and condition. The information in this site is meant to help and educate, however, it  is not an alternative for some medical advice

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