Anastrozole – What You Wanted To Know About ItWhat Is Anastrozole?Anastrozole is a drug used specifically to lower the estrogen levels in the blood of postmenopausal women. This treatment is administered in cases where women are at high risk of developing cancer – especially breast cancer. This drug is effective and recommended when cancer has continued to progress in spite of taking tamoxifen (brand names Soltamox and Nolvadex).The main role of this drug is to reduce the production of estrogen in the body; this in turn shrinks the cancerous tumors in the body.How Is Anastrozole Taken?This drug is normally taken once a day with or without food – or as directed by the physician. Anastrozole should be taken regularly and at the same time of the day if you want it to work well. It is important that the dose is not increased or decreased without the specific instruction from your doctor. Contrary to common belief, more medication would not make the cancer go faster; it would rather cause more harmful side effects.PrecautionsBe careful when you handle Anastrozole for it can be absorbed through the skin. Pregnant women or women who are planning to become pregnant should not handle this medication at all.ContraindicationsSometimes this medication is prescribed for women who have not reached menopause. In such cases, you need to keep in mind that this drug should not be used during pregnancy or if you want to become pregnant. Use reliable contraception methods if you undergo treatment with Anastrozole.Do not use the drug while you are taking estrogen-related contraceptives.Anastrozole is known to cause dizziness. Do not drive immediately after you take the medication. Do not operate any machinery that requires top alertness or poses a risk.Inform your doctor if you have a medical history of high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease, blood clots, or osteoporosis.Side Effects To Watch Out For With AnastrozoleThere are a few side effects and your doctor will tell you about them when he prescribes the medication. However, you need to be on the lookout for the following symptoms:* Constipation, vomiting, diarrhea breast swelling, hot flushes, sleeping troubles, vaginal bleeding, hair falling, irritation of throat, body ache, etc.* You may also watch out for signs of depression, infection (such as sore throat, fever, chills, etc), mood changes, inability of focus, excessive thirst and so on.Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following very rare symptoms of serious side effects:* Swelling of throat, face and rashes – indicating allergy* Trouble in breathing* Acute dizziness
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