What is Arimidex?Arimidex is a first-line treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Arimidex is also used to treat advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women whose disease has spread to other parts of the body following treatment with tamoxifen, another anticancer drug. Arimidex can also be prescribed along with other drugs to treat the early stages of breast cancer in postmenopausal women after surgery, with or without radiation. If the breast cancer is known to be hormone receptor-positive or the hormone receptors are unknown, Arimidex can also be used.
What is the most important information I should know about Arimidex?Arimidex may worsen heart disease in women with early breast cancer who have a history of heart blockages (ischemic heart disease). Stop taking Arimidex and call your doctor right away if you have chest pain or shortness of breath.
Arimidex may increase your chance of fractures, specifically of the spine, hip, and wrist, by softening and weakening the bones (osteoporosis).
Who should not take Arimidex?Do not take Arimidex if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, or if you have not finished menopause. Arimidex should not be used by women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. In addition, Arimidex should not be used by men or children.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Arimidex?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Arimidex. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever had heart problems, high cholesterol, or osteoporosis. Also tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dose is a 1-milligram (mg) tablet taken once a day.
How should I take Arimidex?Take Arimidex exactly as directed. It can be taken with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking Arimidex?Avoid becoming pregnant or nursing a baby while taking this drug.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Arimidex?If Arimidex is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Arimidex with tamoxifen or estrogen-containing drugs, such as hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, estrogen creams, vaginal rings, or vaginal suppositories.
What are the possible side effects of Arimidex?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: hot flashes, weakness, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, pain, sore throat, mood changes, high blood pressure, depression, nausea and vomiting, rash, fractures, back pain, sleep problems, bone pain, swelling, increased cough, shortness of breath, lymphedema (build-up of lymph fluid in the tissues of your affected arm)
Can I receive Arimidex if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, do not take Arimidex.
Arimidex increases your chances of having a miscarriage or a stillborn baby. If you should accidentally become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
It is not known whether Arimidex passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breastfeeding is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Arimidex?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Arimidex?Store at room temperature.