What is this medicine?

ANASTROZOLE (an AS troe zole) is used to treat breast cancer in women who have gone through menopause. Some types of breast cancer depend on estrogen to grow, and this medicine can stop tumor growth by blocking estrogen production.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Arimidex

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bone problems
  • heart disease
  • high cholesterol
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to anastrozole, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

This medicine may interact with the following medications:

  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
  • tamoxifen

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Let your doctor or health care professional know about any unusual vaginal bleeding.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for at least 3 weeks after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for 2 weeks after stopping it.

This medicine may interfere with the ability to have a child. Talk with your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.

Using this medicine for a long time may increase your risk of low bone mass. Talk to your doctor about bone health.

You should make sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • signs and symptoms of a blood clot such as breathing problems; changes in vision; chest pain; sudden headache; pain, swelling, warmth in the leg; trouble speaking; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg
  • signs and symptoms of infection like fever or chills; cough; sore throat; pain or trouble passing urine

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • bone pain
  • dizziness
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • hot flashes
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • vaginal discharge, itching, or odor in women

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy