WHAT ANASTROZOLE TABLETS ARE AND WHAT THEY ARE USED FOR
Anastrozole tablets contain a substance called anastrozole. This belongs to a group of medicines called ‘aromatase inhibitors’. Anastrozole tablets are used to treat breast cancer in women who have gone through the menopause. Anastrozole tablets work by cutting down the amount of the hormone called estrogen that your body makes. It does this by blocking a natural substance (an enzyme) in your body called ‘aromatase’.
BEFORE YOU TAKE
Do not take Anastrozole tablets if you
• are allergic (hypersensitive) to anastrozole or any of the other
ingredients of Anastrozole tablets .
• are pregnant or breast feeding .
• Do not take Anastrozole tablets if any of the above apply to you.
If you are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Anastrozole tablets.
Take special care with Anastrozole tablets
Before treatment with Anastrozole tablets check with your doctor or pharmacist:
• if you still have menstrual periods and
have not yet gone through the
• if you are taking a medicine that contains tamoxifen or medicines that contain estrogen (see the section called ‘Taking other medicines’).
• if you have ever had a condition that affects the strength of your bones (osteoporosis).
• if you have problems with your liver or kidneys.
If you are not sure if any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before
taking Anastrozole tablets.
If you go into the hospital, let the medical staff know you are taking Anastrozole tablets.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other
medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
This includes medicines that you buy without a prescription and herbal medicines. This is because Anastrozole tablets can affect the way some medicines work and some medicines can have an effect on Anastrozole tablets.
Do not take Anastrozole tablets if you are already taking any of the following medicines:
• Certain medicines used to treat breast cancer (selective estrogen receptor modulators), e.g., medicines that contain tamoxifen. This is because these medicines may stop Anastrozole tablets from working properly.
• Medicines that contain estrogen, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
• If this applies to you, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
• Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the following:
A medicine known as an ‘LHRH analogue’. This includes gonadorelin, buserelin, goserelin,
leuprorelin and triptorelin. These medicines are used to treat breast cancer, certain female
health (gynaecological) conditions, and infertility.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take Anastrozole tablets if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Stop taking Anastrozole tablets if you become pregnant and talk to your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Driving and using machines
Anastrozole tablets are not likely to affect your ability to drive or use any tools or machines.
However, some people may occasionally feel weak or sleepy while taking Anastrozole tablets.
If this happens to you, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Anastrozole tablets
Anastrozole tablets contain lactose which is a type of sugar. If you have been told by your
doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicine.
HOW TO TAKE
Always take anastrozole exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor
or pharmacist if you are not sure.
• The usual dose is one tablet (1mg anastrozole) once a day.
• Try to take your tablet at the same time each day.
• Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water.
• It does not matter if you take Anastrozole tablets before, with or after food.
• Keep taking Anastrozole tablets for as long as your doctor tells you to. It is a long-term treatment and you may need to take it for several years.
Use in children
• Anastrozole tablets should not be given to children and adolescents.
• If you take more Anastrozole tablets than you should
• If you take more Anastrozole tablets than you should, talk to a doctor straight away.
• If you forget to take Anastrozole tablets
• If you forget to take a dose, just take your next dose as normal. Do not take a double dose (two doses at the same time) to make up for a forgotten dose.
• If you stop taking Anastrozole tablets
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, anastrozole can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Very common side effects (affects more than 1 in 10 people):
• Hot flushes
• Feeling sick (nausea)
• Skin rash
• Pain or stiffness in your joints
• Inflammation of the joints (arthritis)
Common side effects (affect 1 to 10 people in 100):
• Loss of appetite
• Raised or high levels of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in your blood. This would be seen in a blood test
• Feeling sleepy
• Carpal Tunnel syndrome (tingling, pain, coldness, weakness in parts of the hand)
• Being sick (vomiting)
• Changes in blood test that show how well your liver is working
Uncommon side effects (affects 1 to 10 people in 1,000):
• Changes in special blood tests that show how your liver is working (gamma-GT and bilirubin)
• Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
• Hives or nettle rash
• Trigger finger (a condition in which your finger or thumb catches in a bend position)
Rare side effects (affect 1 to 10 people in 10,000):
• Rare inflammation of your skin that may include red patches or blisters
• Skin rash caused by hypersensitivity (this can be from allergic or anaphylactoid reaction)
• Inflammation of the small blood vessels causing red or purple colouring of the
skin. Very rarely symptoms of joint, stomach, and kidney pain may occur; this is known as ‘Henoch-Schönlein purpura’
Very rare side effects (affect less than 1 person in 10,000 people):
• An extremely severe skin reaction with ulcers or blisters on the skin. This is
known as ‘Stevens-Johnson syndrome’
• Allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions with swelling of the throat that may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing. This is known as ‘angioedema’
If any of these happen to you, call an ambulance or see a doctor straight away – you may need urgent medical treatment.
Effects on your bones
Anastrozole lowers the amount of the hormone called estrogen that is in your body. This may lower the mineral content of your bones. Your bones may be less strong and may be more likely to fracture.
Your doctor will manage these risks according to treatment guidelines for managing bone health in women who have gone through the menopause.
HOW TO STORE
• Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Keep your tablets in a safe place where children cannot see or reach them. Your tablets could harm them.
• This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
• Do not use anastrozole after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and blister after ‘EXP’. The first two digits indicate the month and the last four digits indicate the year. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
• Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste.
• Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.