Patient and Healthcare Provider Resource

Patient and Healthcare Providers Resource

OralChemoEdSheets.com, Patient + Healthcare Providers Resource

OralChemoEdSheets.com, the Patient and Healthcare Providers Resource

Generic

Anastrozole

(an AS-troh-zole)

Brand

Arimidex®

(uh-RIH-mih-dex)

Anastrozole (Arimidex®) is used in postmenopausal women as:
• A first-step treatment for breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast itself and is either hormone-dependent or has an uknown hormone status
• Treatment for early-stage hormone-dependent breast cancer after surgery with or without radiation therapy
• Treatment for advanced stage breast cancer that has progressed after treatment with tamoxifen (Nolvadex®)

 
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Page 1 ANASTROZOLE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Name of your medication Generic name — anastrozole an AS-troh-zole Brand name — Arimidex® uh-RIH-mih-dex Approved uses Anastrozole is used in postmenopausal women as: A first-step treatment for breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast itself and is either hormone-dependent or has an uknown hormone status Treatment for early-stage hormone-dependent breast cancer after surgery with or without radiation therapy Treatment for advanced stage breast cancer that has progressed after treatment with tamoxifen Nolvadex® Dose and schedule Taking anastrozole as instructed is important to allow your treatment to be as effective as possible, so here are some key points to remember. Your dose may vary, but the usual dose of anastrozole is 1 milligram 1 mg to be taken by mouth at a scheduled time once a day. Anastrozole can be taken with or without food but at the same time each day. Anastrozole should be taken whole and not crushed, cut, or dissolved. If you are unable to swallow anastrozole, talk to your care provider or pharmacist for possible options. If you miss a dose of anastrozole, do not take an extra dose or two doses at one time. Simply take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Be sure to write down if you miss a dose and let your care provider know about any missed doses. Storage and handling Handle anastrozole with care. Just like when chemotherapy is given into the vein, this drug can be toxic, and exposure of the drug to others should be limited. Store anastrozole at room temperature 68°F–77°F in a dry location away from light. Keep anastrozole out of reach of children and pets. Leave anastrozole in the provided packaging until it is ready to be taken. Whenever possible, give anastrozole to yourself and follow the steps below. If a family member, friend, or caregiver needs to give anastrozole to you, they also need to follow these steps: 1. Wash hands with soap and water. 2. Put on gloves to avoid touching the medication. Gloves are not necessary if you give the drug to yourself. 3. Gently transfer the anastrozole from its package to a small medicine or other disposable cup. ANASTROZOLE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 2 4. Administer the medicine immediately by mouth with water. 5. Remove gloves and do not use them for anything else. 6. Throw gloves and medicine cup in household trash. 7. Wash hands with soap and water. If a daily pill box or pill reminder is used, a separate one should be used for anastrozole. Do not mix other medications into the box with anastrozole. The person filling the box or reminder should wear gloves. Gloves are not necessary if you are filling the box or reminder. When empty, the box or reminder should be washed with soap and water before refilling. Be sure to wash hands with soap and water after the task is complete, whether or not gloves are worn. If you have any unused anastrozole, do not throw it in the trash and do not flush it down the sink or toilet. Talk to your care provider or pharmacist about proper disposal of anastrozole. If you are traveling, put your anastrozole in a sealed plastic bag. Ask your pharmacist if any additional travel precautions are needed. Handling body fluids and waste Anastrozole remains in your body for several days after it is taken, so some of the drug may be present in urine, stool, sweat, or vomit. Once you have started to take anastrozole, it is important to follow the instructions below every day for as long as your treatment lasts. This will keep yourself, loved ones, and the environment as safe as possible. Pregnant women should avoid touching anything that may be soiled with body fluids from the patient. Toilet and septic systems You may use the same toilet, septic tank, and/or sewer that you usually use. If you have a low-flow toilet, close the lid and flush twice to ensure all waste has been discarded. If the toilet or toilet seat becomes soiled with urine, stool, or vomit, clean the surfaces before other people use the toilet. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet. If you need a bedpan, be sure your caregiver knows to wear gloves to assist with cleanup and to wash the bedpan with soap and water every day. If you do not have good control of bladder or bowels, use a disposable pad with a plastic back, a diaper, or a sheet to absorb body waste. Wash any skin that has been exposed to body waste or anastrozole with soap and water. Linens or clothing that are soiled with body fluids or body waste should be washed separately from other linens and clothing. If you do not have a washer, place the soiled linens in a plastic bag until they can be washed. Wash hands with soap and water after touching linens or clothing that may be soiled with body fluids. ANASTROZOLE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 3 Side Effects of Anastrozole The common side effects that have been known to happen in more than 30% of patients taking anastrozole are listed in the left side of this table. You MAY NOT experience these side effects. Options to help manage any side effects that do occur are included on the right side of this table. These should be discussed with your care provider. If you experience any side effect you cannot manage or that is not listed here, contact your care provider. Possible Side Effect Management Hot flashes sudden sweating and feelings of warmth If hot flashes are bothersome: Mild, regular exercise may help. Consult first with your care provider. Try staying in a cool environment. Wear layers so that if you experience a hot flash, the outer layers may be removed. Avoid or limit caffeine, spicy food, alcohol, and stress, which may cause hot flashes to worsen. Inform your care provider if this side effect is bothersome as there may be medications that can help with hot flashes. Muscle or joint pain or weakness Keep a diary of your pain, including a description of when and where the pain is occurring, what it feels like, and how long it lasts. Stay as active as possible, but know that it is okay to rest as needed, too. Tell your care provider if pain interferes with your activity. If the pain or weakness bothers you, ask your provider what you may use to help with this discomfort. Take only pain medication that has been prescribed or recommended by your care provider. Drug and food interactions Anastrozole has many drug interactions. Inform your care providers of all prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products that you are taking. Talk with your care provider or pharmacist before taking new medications or supplements, or receiving any vaccines. If you experience ANY uncontrolled side effect, call your physician or healthcare center immediately: INSTITUTIONAL CONTACT INFO Pregnancy, sexual activity, and contraception Women should not become pregnant and men should not get a partner pregnant while taking anastrozole. Men and women of childbearing age and potential should use effective contraception during therapy and for a minimum of one month after the last dose of anastrozole. Inform your care provider if you become pregnant. Do not breastfeed while taking anastrozole and for one month after the last dose of anastrozole. It is safe to hug and kiss. Special precautions may be needed for sexual activity while on anastrozole, and you are encouraged to ask your care provider. ANASTROZOLE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 4 Obtaining medication Talk with your care provider about how to obtain your anastrozole. PHARMACY OR SPECIALTY PHARMACY CONTACT INFO Additional resources Anastrozole drug information: www.arimidex.com Product prescribing information: www.arimidex.com/prescribing-information.html Product resources: www.arimidex.com/support-breast-cancer.html Updated – August 24, 2017 Additional instructions Important notice: The Association of Community Cancer Centers ACCC , Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association HOPA , National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, Inc. NCODA , and Oncology Nursing Society ONS have collaborated in gathering information for and developing this patient education guide. This guide represents a brief summary of the medication derived from information provided by the drug manufacturer and other resources. This guide does not cover all existing information related to the possible uses, directions, doses, precautions, warnings, interactions, adverse effects, or risks associated with this medication and should not substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Provision of this guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of this medication by ACCC, HOPA, NCODA, or ONS, who assume no liability for and cannot ensure the accuracy of the information presented. The collaborators are not making any representations with respect to the medications whatsoever, and any and all decisions, with respect to such medications, are at the sole risk of the individual consuming the medication. All decisions related to taking this medication should be made with the guidance and under the direction of a qualified healthcare professional. Permission: Oral Chemotherapy Education OCE sheets are provided as a free educational resource for patients with cancer in need of concise, easy-to-understand information about oral cancer drugs. Healthcare providers are permitted to copy and distribute the sheets to patients as well as direct patients to the OCE website for information. However, commercial reproduction or reuse, as well as rebranding or reposting of any type, are strictly prohibited without permission of the copyright holder. Please email permission requests and licensing inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Copyright © 2017 by Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. All rights reserved.

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