The name of your medicine is APO-Anastrozole. It contains the active ingredient anastrozole.
It is used to treat breast cancer in women who no longer have their menstrual periods either naturally, due to their age or after surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine for another reason.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Anastrozole is a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor, which reduces the amount of oestrogen (female sex hormone) made by the body. In some types of breast cancer, oestrogen can help the cancer cells grow. By blocking oestrogen, anastrozole may slow or stop the growth of cancer.
There is no evidence that this medicine is addictive.
Do not give anastrozole to a child.
Anastrozole is not recommended for use in children.
Do not take this medicine if:
Before you start taking this medicine, tell your doctor if:
1. You have allergies to:
2. You have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
Aromatase inhibitors may decrease bone mineral density (BMD) in women who have been through menopause, with a possible increased risk of fractures. Your doctor should discuss with you your treatment options for managing this possible increased risk of fractures.
3. You are currently pregnant or you plan to become pregnant.
4. You are currently breastfeeding or you plan to breastfeed. Do not take this medicine whilst breastfeeding until you and your doctor have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
5. You are planning to have surgery or an anaesthetic.
6. You are taking or are planning to take any other medicines, This includes vitamins and supplements that are available from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interact with anastrozole. These include:
If you are taking any of these you may need a different dose or you may need to take different medicines.
Other medicines not listed above may also interact with anastrozole.
Follow carefully all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist. Their instructions may be different to the information in this leaflet.
Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how many anastrozole tablets to take each day. This will depend on your condition and whether you are taking any other medicines.
Do not stop taking your medicine or change your dosage without first checking with your doctor.
Swallow anastrozole tablets whole, with a glass of water.
Take this medicine at the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect and will also help you remember when to take it.
It does not matter if you take anastrozole before, with or after food.
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
Do not stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to - even if you feel better.
Make sure you have enough to last over weekends and holidays.
If it is almost time to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise take it as soon as you remember and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for missed doses.
This may increase the chance of you experiencing side effects.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints to help you remember.
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Tel: 13 11 26 in Australia) for advice. Alternatively go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine if:
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you take this medicine.
Be careful when driving or operating machinery until you know how anastrozole affects you.
Some patients may occasionally feel weak or sleepy.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking anastrozole or if you have any questions or concerns.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following.
This list includes the more common side effects. Mostly, these are mild:
If you experience any of the following, stop taking your medicine and contact your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Anastrozole may be associated with changes in your blood, urine or liver.
Your doctor may want to perform tests from time to time to check on your progress and detect any side effects.
Uncommon side effects can include, trigger finger which is a condition in which one of your fingers or your thumb catches in a bent position.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction to anastrozole, do not take any more of this medicine and tell your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include some or all of the following:
Keep your medicine in its original packaging until it is time to take it.
If you take your medicine out of its original packaging it may not keep well.
Keep your medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature will stay below 25°Celsius.
Do not store your medicine, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor or pharmacist tells you to stop taking this medicine or they have passed their expiry date, your pharmacist can dispose of the remaining medicine safely.
APO-Anastrozole 1 mg is a white, round biconvex coated tablet, engraved 'APO' on one side, 'AN' over '1' on the other side.
Each APO-Anastrozole tablet contains 1 mg of anastrozole as the active ingredient.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
This medicine is gluten-free, sucrose-free, tartrazine-free and free of other azo dyes.
APO-Anastrozole is available in blister packs of 30 tablets and bottles of 30, 100 and 500 tablets.
Not all strengths, pack sizes and/or pack types may be available
APO-Anastrozole 1 mg tablets (blister pack): AUST R 173897
APO-Anastrozole 1 mg tablets (bottle): AUST R 173892