Anastrozole (Arimidex) for Males (The James)

Taking Your Treatment Home

What you need to know about your Anti-Cancer Medicine

 

Anastrozole (Arimidex) for Males

Here is important information on how to use, handle, and store your medicine, what side effects to look for and how to manage them. If you have questions about this medicine, call your doctor.

 

How to handle and store:

  • It is safe to handle Anastrozole as a whole tablet.
  • Store in a closed container in a dry place such as a cabinet away from light, heat, and moisture.
  • Do not store in your bathroom or refrigerator.
  • Keep this medicine away from children and do not share it with anyone.

 

How to take:

  • Do not take more tablets than prescribed.
  • Take the tablet once a day (morning or evening) at the same time everyday. Do not stop taking Anastrozole until your doctor tells you to quit.
  • Anastrozole can be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose by more than 6 hours, wait until it is time for your next dose, and skip the missed dose. Do not double up on doses.
  • Keep track of what days you take Anastrozole by using a calendar or keeping a diary.

 

Disposal:

• Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to get rid of prescription medicines safely.

 

Precautions:

  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of high cholesterol or heart disease.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal products.

 

Possible Side Effects

You can find more information on side effects in the Patient Education booklet, Treatment with Chemotherapy and Anti-Cancer Medicines.

 

Hot Flashes

What this means: You may experience episodes of warmth, sweating and flushing (“hot flash”), sometimes followed by a cold chill.

What to do:

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water or noncaffeinated fluid each day.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Wear all-natural fiber clothes in layers.
  • Avoid triggers such as warm rooms, spicy foods, smoking or beverages with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Talk to your doctor about treatment options if hot flashes interfere with your daily activities.

 

Sexual Changes

What this means: You may experience sexual changes on this medicine. Changes for men may include:

  • Not being able to reach climax
  • Erectile dysfunction (not being able to get or keep an erection)
  • Being too tired to have sex or not being interested in having sex
  • Feeling too worried, stressed, or depressed to have sex

What to do:

  • Talk openly with your doctor if you have any of these changes.

 

Headache, Joint or Muscle Pains

What to do:

• Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter pain medicine.

 

Osteoporosis

What this means: Men who are taking Anastrozole may have a decrease in their bone mineral density(bone thinning), also called “Osteoporosis”. Bones may become brittle and more prone to fracture.

What to do:

  • Talk to your doctor about ordering bone density tests.
  • Include weight-bearing exercises in your daily routine.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to help strengthen bones.
  • Avoid dangerous activities and try to prevent falls.
  • Stop smoking.

 

Other Side Effects

Call your doctor if you experience a rash, nausea, vomiting, vision changes, chest pain or sudden shortness of breath.

 

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Tell your doctor if you have these or any other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine. Your JamesCare team will give you further help to manage side effects.

 

 

© 11/16/2017. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.

For more health information, call the Patient and Family Resource Center at 614-366-0602 or visit cancer.osu.edu/PFRC