Anastrozole

Description

Anastrozole is an anticancer medicine. It is used to treat early breast cancer in postmenopausal women (women who have not had their menstruation for an entire year marking the end of the menstrual cycle). It is used alone or along with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy. Anastrozole is used as a first-line treatment for breast cancer that has spread within the breast or to other parts of the body in women who have attained menopause. It is also used to treat advanced breast cancer that has worsened even after Tamoxifen treatment (a medicine used to treat breast cancer). Anastrozole works by lowering the level of estrogen (a type of sex hormone in women) in the body. As a result, the growth of breast cancer cells is stopped or delayed. Anastrozole may cause some side effects like weakness, headache, sweating, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hair thinning, depression, dizziness, loss of appetite, etc. Consult your doctor if these side effects persist or worsen. Avoid taking this medicine if you are allergic to it. Anastrozole is available on prescription in tablet form. It can be taken with or without food. It is recommended that you take it at the same time every day for the ease of remembering and better results. Your doctor will decide the dose and duration of treatment based on your clinical conditions. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting your doctor, as it may worsen your condition. Avoid taking more than the recommended dose as it may cause undesired effects. Anastrozole is not recommended for use if you are still having periods. It should only be taken by women who are no longer having menstruation. Inform your doctor if you have heart problems, high cholesterol levels, osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones), or any other medical conditions. It is not recommended for use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Anastrozole

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Hair thinning
  • Change in mood
  • Hot flashes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Drowsiness

Uses of Anastrozole

What is it prescribed for?

  • Breast cancer
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The time taken for Anastrozole to show its effect is not known.
  • Duration of effect
    Anastrozole may remain active in your body for approximately 24 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendency has been reported for Anastrozole.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    Anastrozole is unsafe for use during pregnancy.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    Anastrozole is unsafe for use while breastfeeding.

Allergy

Avoid taking Anastrozole if you are allergic to it. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any symptoms such as rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, breathing difficulty, etc.

Premenopausal women

Anastrozole is not recommended for use if you are still having periods. It should only be taken by women who are no longer having menstruation.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

Anastrozole is unsafe for use during pregnancy.

Breast-feeding

Anastrozole is unsafe for use while breastfeeding.
General warnings

Driving or operating machines

Anastrozole may cause symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness, etc. If you experience such symptoms while taking this medication, avoid performing activities that require mental alertness, such as driving vehicles or operating machines.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Anastrozole, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.

Overdose

Never take more than the prescribed dose, Seek emergency medical attention in case of an overdose of Anastrozole.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Estradiol

Tamoxifen

Thalidomide

Disease interactions

Cardiovascular disease

Ischemic heart disease is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle does not receive sufficient blood due to the narrowing of the blood vessels. Anastrozole should be used with caution if you have pre-existing ischemic heart disease as it may worsen your condition.

Hyperlipidaemia

Hyperlipidaemia refers to high levels of fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood. Anastrozole should be used with extreme caution if you have hyperlipidaemia as it may cause a further increase in blood cholesterol levels and worsen your condition.

Liver Disease

Anastrozole should be used with caution if you have liver problems due to an increased risk of liver toxicity. Your doctor may suggests tests to monitor your liver function and recommend dose adjustments based on your clinical condition.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become weak and brittle. Anastrozole works by lowering estrogen levels in your body, which may cause your bones to become thinner and weaker and increase the risk of fractures. Hence, it should be used with caution if you have osteoporosis.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Anastrozole as instructed by your doctor. Do not take larger amounts than prescribed. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting your doctor. Consult your doctor if you experience side effects that persist or worsen. Avoid driving vehicles or operating machines if you feel dizzy or drowsy after taking this medicine.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
Anastrozole works by lowering the level of estrogen (a type of sex hormone in women) in the body. As a result, the growth of breast cancer cells is stopped or delayed.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Aromatase inhibitors, Hormones/antineoplastics

Schedule

Schedule H

Drugs, H., 2021. Anastrozole: MedlinePlus Drug Information. [online] Medlineplus.gov. Available at: < [Accessed 26 October 2021].

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a696018.html>

Accessdata.fda.gov. 2021. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 26 October 2021].

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2004/020541s015.pdf>

Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2021. These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Anastrozole Tablets safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Anastrazole Tablets. Anastrozole Tablets for oral use Initial U.S. Approval: 1995. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 26 October 2021].

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=a96e22b2-eca3-4438-b959-dc5381085d31>

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Information on this page was last updated on 3 Feb 2022

Disclaimer

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