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Anastrozole: Side Effects, Dosage, Interaction and Precautions

Anastrozole Drug and Medication

BRAND NAME— Arimidex

GENERIC NAME— Anastrozole

OTHER NAME(s)— Anastrazole, Anastrozol, ICI-D1033, ZD-1033

What Is Anastrozole?

Anastrozole is a medication used to treat breast cancer in women after menopause. The medication reduces the levels of estrogen hormone in postmenopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast cancers. It is taken by mouth.

It was patented in 1987 and was approved for medical use in 1995. The medicine was the 258th most commonly prescribed medication in 2017 in the United States, with more than 1 million prescriptions. Anastrozole is available as a generic medication. [Trusted Source 1]


This breast cancer medication may not work if you take it together with an estrogen medication; such as [Trusted Source 2]

Some products that may interact with this drug; include [Trusted Source 2]

  • Estrogens
  • Tamoxifen
  • Tibolone
  • Some prescription medication
  • Some vitamins and herbal products


Before taking Anastrozole, tell your health care provider if you are allergic to it or if you have a history of any other allergy. [Trusted Source 3]


Before using this medication, tell your doctor your medical history; especially of —

Avoid consuming alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) because it can make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness.

Ask your doctor or health care provider if you are pregnant. The medication may be absorbed through the lungs and skin and may harm an unborn baby. [Trusted Source 3]

It is not clear whether the drug passes into the breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast—feeding. [Trusted Source 3]

Anastrozole Dosage:

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer [Trusted Source 2]

Initial Dose— 1 mg once a day
Duration of Therapy— Until tumor progression (treatment of advanced breast cancer); unknown (adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer)

What Are The Side Effects Of Anastrozole?

Common side effects may include [Trusted Source 3] [Trusted Source 2]

  • Weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mild rash
  • Swelling in ankles or feet
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Back and bone pain
  • Problems with fingers while gripping

Call your doctor if you have —

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • A bone fracture
  • Swollen glands
  • Liver problems — upper stomach pain, itching, nausea, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice, clay—colored stools
  • Signs of stroke — sudden severe headache, slurred speech, sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision or balance
  • Severe skin reaction — swelling in the face or tongue, fever, sore throat, burning in the eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling

How Should I Take Anastrozole?

Anastrozole medication is usually taken once per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label or consult your doctor.

Do not take Anastrozole in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. You may take it with or without food.

What Happens If I Miss A Dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What Happens If I Take An Overdose?

Seek emergency medical help or call the Poison Help line at 1—800—222—1222.


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