Anastrozole (By mouth)
Uses of This Medicine
Anastrozole is used to treat certain types of breast cancer in women who have already stopped menstruating (postmenopausal). It is also used for women who have already had other cancer treatments (e.g., tamoxifen).
Many breast cancer tumors grow in response to estrogen. This medicine interferes with the production of estrogen in the body. As a result, the amount of estrogen that the tumor is exposed to is reduced, limiting the growth of the tumor.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, anastrozole is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Breast cancer, neoadjuvant treatment for hormone receptor-positive, operable or potentially operable, locally advanced disease in postmenopausal women (treatment for advanced breast cancer that may respond to surgery in women who have already stopped menstruating).
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
If you vomit after taking your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Some medicines can affect how anastrozole works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:Medicine that contains estrogen Tamoxifen
When Not To Use
This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to anastrozole, if you are pregnant, or if you have not stopped menstruating (premenopausal).
This medicine may cause the following problems:Increased risk for weak bones or osteoporosis Increased cholesterol levels Increased risk for heart attack or stroke
Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
Chest pain or shortness of breath
Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
Severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
Vaginal bleeding or discharge
Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Dizziness, headache, tiredness, or weakness
Mood changes, anxiety, or irritability
Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
There may be other brand names for this medicine.