Arimidex 1 mg

Generic Name: Anastrozole 1 mg
Arimidex 1 mg Image

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Arimidex Facts

Arimidex fights breast cancer by lowering the amount of the hormone estrogen in the body.

Arimidex is prescribed only to post-menopausal women to treat breast cancer.

Arimidex is an adjuvant therapy, which means that it is used in conjunction with one or more breast cancer treatments.

Of some 200,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year, about 75% are in women over the age of 50.


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Arimidex General Information

Arimidex (Anastrazole) is a breast cancer treatment for postmenopausal women after surgery. Some breast cancer cells require estrogen to grow. Arimidex is a non-steroidal, aromatase inhibitor that eliminates or reduces the estrogen levels in the body. Without estrogen the growth of the cancer cells are suppressed. Arimedex is often used to treat advanced breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body following treatment with tamoxifen.

Annual sales of Arimidex are approximately $2.2 billion and the patent expires in 2010.

How does Arimidex work?

Arimidex is used as treatment only for cancers that thrive in an environment of elevated estrogen levels. Elevated levels of estrogens increase the risk and severity of breast cancer, as these hormones may cause hyperplasia and differentiation at estrogen receptor sites.

The adrenal gland produces the androgen hormone. Aromatase is responsible for converting androgens to estrogens. Arimidex is an aromatase inhibitor that blocks the synthesis of estrogen. It inhibits the enzyme aromatase by binding to the enzyme through competitive inhibition. The process decreases the estrogen level and combats cancerous tumor growth.

When/How is Arimidex taken/used/applied?

Take a 1 mg tablet orally with or without food, usually once per day as directed by your physician. For the most effective results be sure to take the medication at the same time each day. Continue to take the medication until it is no longer effective against the tumor. In most cases, this will be a period of 5 years.

Arimidex is a potent drug. Be certain not to increase the medication without consulting the physician. Increasing the medication will not improve the condition faster and will increase risk of serious side effects.

Women who are pregnant should not handle or break the tablets of this medication, as is may be absorbed through the skin. The same precautions should be taken for women who are to become pregnant.

Side Effects of Arimidex

Common side effects of Arimidex are diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, hot flashes, dizziness, dry mouth, back pain, vaginal dryness, hair loss and cough.

Changes in diet such as eating smaller meals and limiting activity may help lessen nausea and vomiting. In some cases, another drug may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea.

The physician should be consulted if you have trouble breathing, rash, vaginal bleeding, shortness of breath, chest pain, pain, swelling in the legs, swelling of the feet or ankles, weight gain, tingling of the hands or feet or depression.

One may also experience arthritis, arthrosis, arthralgia, osteoporosis and fractures. Hypercholesterolemia is another side effect.

Osteoporosis may develop as a result of aromatase inhibitors. Biophosphonates are sometimes prescribed to prevent osteoporosis, but can increase risk of osteonecrosis of the jaws. Statins are often combined with an aromatase inhibitor to increase bone strength without the side effects. Additional benefits of statins are that they lessen cardiovascular risks. A 10mg dose of Fosamax daily was associated with a 38 percent reduced fracture risk.

Other Brand Names

There currently are no other brand names for Arimidex

Anastrozole (Generic name)

Safety Information:

Arimidex is not recommended for breast cancer treatment in premenopausal women. In premenopausal women, the estrogen in the body is produced by the ovaries and not by the conversion of androgens to estrogen. Therefore, blocking the aromatase enzyme will not cease estrogen production, but will instead activate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to increase gonadotropin secretion. Gonadotropin increases androgen production in the ovaries and thus conteracts the aromatase inhibitor, Arimidex.

Also inform the physician before taking Arimedex if the patient has other illnesses, liver disease or any allergies that may increase complications with the medication. The medication is not recommended during pregnancy. Contraceptive measures are recommended during therapy as it not advised to become pregnant while taking this medication. Discuss all risks and benefits with your physician.

Dosage:

1 mg tablet once daily

Visual Description:

Arimidex is a 1 mg white circular tablet. It comes in package that contains 28 doses or 2 weeks dosage of medication on each card. Each day is labeled similar to a birth control pill.

About Arimidex

What Arimidex is used for

ARIMIDEX is used for the treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer in the following conditions:

  • adjuvant treatment for early breast cancer

  • advanced breast cancer

What Arimidex does

In hormone sensitive breast cancer, estrogens fuel tumour growth. Following menopause, estrogens are still produced in small amounts in other tissues of the body such as the breasts, muscle and fat. These estrogens are produced when androgens (hormones produced by the adrenal glands) interact with aromatase, a naturally occurring enzyme in the body.

ARIMIDEX belongs to a group of medicines called aromatase inhibitors and works by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, thereby, suppressing the production of estrogens that can stimulate tumour growth. Suppressing the production of estrogens may help reduce the growth of breast cancer and delay the breast cancer from recurring.

Adjuvant means “in addition to.” In early breast cancer, this means that additional treatment is required after primary treatment. The reason for this is that after surgery, a small number of cancer cells may remain in the body. These cells can continue to multiply and spread. Adjuvant therapy is given to prevent or delay these cells from multiplying and spreading. The purpose of adjuvant therapy with ARIMIDEX is to help to delay the breast cancer from recurring. Cytotoxic chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal treatment are three common forms of adjuvant treatment.

When it should not be used:
  • If you are allergic to the active ingredient anastrozole or any nonmedicinal ingredients of ARIMIDEX. If you think you may be allergic, ask your doctor for advice.

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

What the medicinal ingredient is

Anastrozole.

What the important nonmedicinal ingredients for Arimidex are

Lactose monohydrate, povidone, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, macrogol 300 and titanium dioxide.

What dosage forms Arimidex comes in

Each ARIMIDEX tablet contains 1 milligram of anastrozole.


Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

ARIMIDEX should not be given to premenopausal women.

ARIMIDEX should not be given to children.

Patients with liver and/or kidney problems, and patients with osteoporosis or at risk for osteoporosis should be carefully monitored by the doctor.

ARIMIDEX should be prescribed by a doctor experienced in the use of anti-cancer drugs.

BEFORE you use ARIMIDEX talk to your doctor or pharmacist

  • If you have any disorder or disease which affects your heart, liver or kidneys.

  • ARIMIDEX lowers the level of female hormones and this may lead to a loss of mineral content of bones, which might decrease their strength and lead to a broken bone. You should talk to your doctor about your osteoporosis risk before using ARIMIDEX.

ARIMIDEX tablets are unlikely to affect your ability to drive a car or to operate machinery. However, some patients may occasionally feel weak or sleepy. If this happens, you should not drive or operate machinery.


Interactions with Arimidex

BEFORE you use ARIMIDEX talk to your doctor or pharmacist

  • If you take medicine containing estrogen (a female sex hormone). It may oppose the effect of ARIMIDEX. Some herbal products contain estrogen.

  • If you are currently taking tamoxifen.

  • If you are taking or have recently taken other medicines, even those not prescribed by a doctor.

Please note that these statements may also apply to medicine used some time ago.


Proper Use of Arimidex

Usual dose

Follow your doctor’s instructions about when and how to take your ARIMIDEX tablets. The usual dose is one tablet once a day. Swallow the tablet with fluids. Try to take your tablet at the same time each day.

For adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer, currently it is recommended that ARIMIDEX be taken for 5 years.

Overdose

If you take more than your normal dose of ARIMIDEX, contact your doctor, pharmacist, regional poison control centre or nearest hospital.

Missed dose

Take the last missed dose as soon as you remember, as long as it is at least 12 hours before the next dose is due. If it is less than 12 hours to the next dose, do not take the dose you have missed.


Side Effects for Arimidex and What to Do About Them

Like all medicines, ARIMIDEX can have side effects.

Contact your doctor immediately if any of the following happens to you. You may need further examinations or treatment:

  • Severe skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) with lesions, ulcers or blisters. This type of skin reaction is very rare.

  • Allergic reaction with swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing and/or breathing.

  • Chest pain or angina, as a result of ischemic heart disease (reduced blood flow in the vessels of the heart).

  • Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis). Symptoms may include a general feeling of being unwell, with or without jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and pain in the upper abdomen on the right side.

Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them
Symptom/Effect Talk with your doctor or pharmacist in all cases Stop taking drug and call your doctor or pharmacist
Very Common (greater than or equal to 10 of every 100 patients are likely to have these events)
Hot flushes  
Common (greater than or equal to 1 of every 100 patients, but less than 10 of every 100 patients, are likely to have these events)
Weakness  
Joint pain, joint stiffness or broken bones  
Carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling, pain, coldness, weakness in parts of the hand)  
Vaginal dryness  
Hair thinning (alopecia)  
Rash  
Nausea  
Diarrhea  
Headache  
Changes in blood tests of liver function  
Uncommon (greater than or equal to 1 of every 1000 patients, but less than 10 of every 1000 patients, are likely to have these events)
Vaginal bleeding  
Loss of appetite  
High blood cholesterol  
Vomiting  
Sleepiness/tiredness  
Trigger finger  
Hepatitis
Very Rare (less than 1 of every 10 000 patients are likely to have these events)
Severe skin reactions
Allergic reactions

This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking ARIMIDEX, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Technical Information