(Rx) - indicates only available by prescription
Arimidex is a drug that is prescribed for women who have been through the menopause and have breast cancer. This type of medication is known as an aromatase inhibitor can also be used after surgery in women of all ages with breast cancer.
As is the case with all drugs, it is vital that you carefully follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. In most cases this will be written on the label of the medicine bottle or box and you must read this information very carefully. If you do happen to have any questions about how to take this medicine then you should talk to your pharmacist, nurse or doctor and they will be happy to help you. You must not crush, break or chew this medicine and should instead swallow it whole with a glass of water. It is not important if you take this medicine with food or on an empty stomach, however you must not mix the medicine in with your food or with any liquid. Where you keep the medicine is very important and in this case it must be stored at room temperature (77 degrees F) away from the sun and in an airtight container. You must take the medicine as directed by your doctor and if you can take it at the same time everyday i.e. at breakfast time, then that may help you to remember. It is very important that you take this medicine everyday as directed and do not miss a dose, even if you are feeling better. Failure to take your medicine as directed will likely result in the worsening of your symptoms. In the unfortunate scenario that you do forget to take a dose, you must take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless this is near the time of your next dose. In this case you should just forget about the missed dose and carry on with your normal schedule, as you must never take two doses of a single medication at the same time. If you have any concerns then you should contact your pharmacist, nurse or doctor for more information.
If Arimidex is taken in combination with alcohol or any other forms of medications your ability to perform everyday tasks may be impaired and you should talk to your doctor about this if you are concerned. Arimidex can cause various symptoms and so you should avoid performing tasks such as driving, operating heavy machinery or any other dangerous activities until you know what effects the medicine will have on you. It is vital that if you are a female of childbearing age and there is any chance that you could become pregnant you must use a method of birth control that is free of hormones. Arimidex has been shown to have adverse effects on the fetus in pregnant women and so all women who may be thinking about getting pregnant should weigh up the pros and cons of taking this medicine during pregnancy with their doctor. Also it is unknown if Arimidex is excreted in the breast milk and so general advice at this time is to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about whether it is safe for you to breastfeed.
As is the case with most drugs Arimidex is not without its side effects. Some of the things that you may notice when taking this medication include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache, pain, weakness, hot flashes or cough. Many of these may be minor and go away during the course of treatment, however if they do bother you then you must talk to your doctor. If at any point you experience a sore throat or fever then you must visit your doctor as soon as possible. Fortunately it is uncommon for someone to have an allergic reaction to this medicine, however they do occur and if you notice severe dizziness, a rash, itching, trouble breathing or swelling then you must seek immediate medical attention.
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