Like all medications, ARIMIDEX has potential side effects. Listed below are some of the most common side effects you should be familiar with when taking or considering taking ARIMIDEX.
These tips for managing side effects are only suggestions and are not meant to be tried without the knowledge of your doctor or health care provider. If you’re experiencing serious discomfort, contact your doctor immediately. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication routine.
Hot flashes are one of the most common side effects of hormonal treatment, and they have a lot to do with the hormonal changes within your body. These changes can be caused by menopause and medication, and may be influenced by lifestyle.
Knowing what can trigger hot flashes may help you manage them:
It may help to write down when your hot flashes occur and what you were eating, doing, and feeling at the time. That way, you can start to figure out the things that trigger your hot flashes—and try to avoid them.
Talk to your doctor about certain medications that may reduce hot flashes. There may be an option that's right for you.
Many women find that stress is also one of the most common triggers of hot flashes. To help avoid being stressed, try these ideas:
Certain cancer treatments can change the way your body responds to food. You may, for example, experience symptoms of nausea and vomiting, or changes in taste, smell, or bowel habits, as a result of these treatments. While symptoms are usually temporary, you may need to adjust what, when, and how you eat to keep up your strength during treatment.
On days when you simply can't bring yourself to eat, don't worry. Just do what you can to make yourself feel better, and get back to eating as soon as you can. If your appetite doesn't return in a few days, talk to your doctor. Specific medications may help. Let your doctor know if nausea/vomiting is interfering with your daily activities. He or she can discuss treatment options with you.
Some women taking hormonal treatment may experience joint pain. Sometimes this joint pain is the result of taking hormonal treatment, like aromatase inhibitors, and sometimes it can be a result of a preexisting joint condition.
Talk to your doctor to discuss treatment options, such as over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or prescription pain relievers. Or, apply a little heat. Try using a heat pack or taking a hot shower.
Postmenopausal women in general may be at increased risk for bone loss (osteoporosis) due to decreasing levels of estrogen in the body. Certain hormonal treatments for breast cancer can increase this risk. The impact breast cancer can have on your bones depends on several factors, including:
Talk to your doctor to see if you need to have a BMD test to help determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis.
Treatment-related fatigue can be physically and mentally draining. Unlike normal tiredness—relieved by rest, exercise, or a good night's sleep—fatigue brought on by cancer treatments can leave you feeling wiped out, even after getting plenty of rest. It may also make it hard to concentrate or think clearly.
Some women who have had breast cancer that affected the lymph nodes may develop lymphedema. This is a swelling of the arm that is caused by an accumulation of lymph fluid. It sometimes occurs after surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer. Some signs of lymphedema include increased thickness of your skin, a feeling of tightness, and decreased flexibility.
These precautions may help you avoid or manage lymphedema:
Call your doctor if your arm or hand becomes red, warm, or swollen. You may have an infection that requires immediate treatment.
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Common Questions & Answers
ARIMIDEX is approved for adjuvant treatment (treatment following surgery with or without radiation) of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer.
ARIMIDEX is approved for the initial treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive or hormone receptor-unknown locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer and for the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer that has progressed following treatment with tamoxifen. Patients with hormone receptor-negative disease and patients who did not previously respond to tamoxifen therapy rarely responded to ARIMIDEX.
For more information, see your doctor.
Please see full Prescribing Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
This site is intended for US consumers only.
The information on this Web site should not take the place of talking with your doctor or health care professional. If you have any questions about your condition, or if you would like more information about ARIMIDEX, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Only you and your health care professional can decide if ARIMIDEX is right for you.