print_label | resize_label
Official ARIMIDEX® (anastrozole) 1 mg Tablets

Glossary of Common Terms

Here are some common terms which are related to ARIMIDEX or HR+ breast cancer.






In breast cancer, adjuvant treatment is given in addition to your primary or initial treatment (surgery with or without radiation) to help prevent or delay cancer cells from multiplying.


Hormones made by the adrenal glands that are turned into estrogen by the enzyme aromatase.


Any agent or drug that blocks the effects of estrogen; these medications are used to treat breast cancers that depend on estrogen for growth.


The enzyme that changes androgens made by the adrenal glands into estrogen.

Aromatase inhibitors:

A type of hormonal treatment that reduces the action of aromatase, an enzyme needed to make the hormone estrogen.


Breast cancer:

Cancer that forms in tissues of the breast, usually the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that make milk).



Treatment with drugs that attack and kill cancer cells and rapidly growing normal cells.

Clinical trial:

A medical study that tests the safety and effectiveness of a drug or treatment in people.

Cytotoxic chemotherapy:

Treatment with drugs that attack and kill cancer cells and rapidly growing normal cells.



Proteins that are produced in cells and that affect chemical reactions.


A female hormone; one of the hormones that can help some breast cancer tumors to grow.


Hormonal treatment:

In breast cancer treatment, hormonal treatment is the use of drugs to block the effects or production of estrogen.

Hormone receptor:

A protein on the surface of a cell that recognizes and binds with specific hormone molecules.

Hormone receptor-positive:

In breast cancer, this means the tumor cells have hormone receptors and therefore depend on hormones to grow.


Locally advanced:

In breast cancer, tumors measuring 5 cm (2 inches) or more in diameter and that may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes or other tissues.


A clear fluid that travels through lymph vessels carrying immune-system cells and tissue waste products.

Lymph nodes:

Small, bean-shaped collections of tissue found near the breast under the arm, above the collarbone, in the chest, and in many other parts of the body. Lymph nodes filter lymph and store immune cells such as lymphocytes.


A condition in which fluid does not drain from the lymph nodes, causing swelling. Sometimes this happens in the arm after lymph nodes have been removed from the underarm. It can also happen after radiation therapy.



The time in a woman's life when the ovaries stop producing eggs and she permanently stops having menstrual periods.


In breast cancer, cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of the body, such as the bone, lungs, liver, or brain.



A condition that is marked by a decrease in bone mass and density, causing bones to become fragile.



The stage in a woman's life following her final menstrual period.



In cancer treatment, use of X-rays, gamma rays, and alpha and beta particles to destroy cancer cells.


A return of cancer after primary (initial) treatment, either at the same site as the original, primary tumor or somewhere else in the body.



Important Safety Information About ARIMIDEX

  • Prescription ARIMIDEX is only for postmenopausal women. ARIMIDEX should not be taken if you are pregnant because it may harm your unborn child. Do not take ARIMIDEX if you are allergic to any of its ingredients
  • Based on information from a study in patients with early breast cancer, women with a history of blockages in heart arteries (ischemic heart disease) who take ARIMIDEX may have a slight increase in this type of heart disease compared to similar patients who take tamoxifen
  • ARIMIDEX can cause bone softening/weakening (osteoporosis) increasing the chance of fractures. In a clinical study in early breast cancer, there were more fractures (including fractures of the spine, hip, and wrist) with ARIMIDEX (10%) than with tamoxifen (7%)
  • In a clinical study in early breast cancer, some patients taking ARIMIDEX had an increase in cholesterol. Skin reactions, allergic reactions, and changes in blood tests of liver function have also been reported
  • In the early breast cancer clinical trial, the most common side effects seen with ARIMIDEX include hot flashes, joint symptoms (including arthritis and arthralgia), weakness, mood changes, pain, back pain, sore throat, nausea and vomiting, rash, depression, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, fractures, swelling of arms/legs, insomnia, and headache
  • In advanced breast cancer trials, the most common side effects seen with ARIMIDEX versus tamoxifen include hot flashes, nausea, decreased energy and weakness, pain, back pain, headache, bone pain, increased cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and swelling of arms and legs. Joint pain/stiffness has been reported in association with the use of ARIMIDEX
  • ARIMIDEX should not be taken with tamoxifen or estrogen-containing therapies

Approved Uses for ARIMIDEX

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 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.