WHAT ANASTROZOLE SANDOZ IS USED FOR
The name of your medicine is Anastrozole Sandoz. It contains the active ingredient anastrozole.
Anastrozole Sandoz is used to treat breast cancer in women who are postmenopausal (i.e. women who no longer have their menstrual periods).
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Anastrozole Sandoz was prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed Anastrozole Sandoz for another reason.
How Anastrozole Sandoz works
Anastrozole Sandoz belongs to a group of medicines called non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors.
Anastrozole Sandoz is a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor, which reduces the amount of oestrogen (female sex hormone) made by the body in postmenopausal women. In some types of breast cancer, oestrogen can help the cancer cells grow. By blocking oestrogen, Anastrozole Sandoz may slow or stop the growth of cancer.
Anastrozole Sandoz should only be taken by postmenopausal women.
Anastrozole Sandoz is not recommended for use in men, children or women who are not postmenopausal.
There is no evidence that Anastrozole Sandoz is addictive.
BEFORE YOU TAKE ANASTROZOLE SANDOZ
When you must not take it
Do not take Anastrozole Sandoz if:
you are allergic to the active ingredient or any of the inactive ingredients mentioned at the end of this leaflet under Product Description
you have an allergy to other anti-oestrogen medicines
it is past its expiry date or the packaging appears to have been tampered with
you are pregnant or breastfeeding
you are still having menstrual periods (i.e. you have not yet reached menopause)
you are a man.
Anastrozole is not recommended for use in children or in premenopausal women as safety and efficacy have not been established in these groups of patients.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to:
any other medicines, especially if they are in the same drug class as anastrozole
any other substances, including foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you plan on becoming pregnant or will be breastfeeding while you are using Anastrozole Sandoz.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following medical conditions:
osteoporosis, a family history of osteoporosis or risk factors for developing osteoporosis (such as smoking, a diet low in calcium, poor mobility, a slight build or treatment with steroid medicines).
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
In particular, tell your doctor if you take any of the following:
tamoxifen or any medicine that contains oestrogen (e.g. medicines used in Hormone Replacement Therapy - HRT). These medicines may reduce the effect of Anastrozole Sandoz
medicines from a class called Luteinising Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH) agonists, such as goserelin or leuprorelin.
These medicines may be affected by Anastrozole Sandoz, or may affect how well it works. You may need to use different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
HOW TO TAKE ANASTROZOLE SANDOZ
How much to take
The usual dose is one tablet every day.
When to take it
Take Anastrozole Sandoz at about the same time each day.
Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
Swallow Anastrozole Sandoz tablets whole, with a glass of water.
It does not matter if you take Anastrozole Sandoz before, with or after food.
How long to take it
Continue taking Anastrozole Sandoz for as long as your doctor or pharmacist tells you.
Anastrozole Sandoz helps to control your condition, but does not cure it. Therefore you must take Anastrozole Sandoz every day. Do not stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to - even if you feel better.
If you forget to take your dose
Take your dose as soon as you remember, and continue to take it as you would normally.
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone Australia 13 11 26 or New Zealand 0800 POISON or 0800 764766) or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else has taken too much Anastrozole Sandoz. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
WHILE YOU ARE TAKING ANASTROZOLE SANDOZ
Things you must do
Always follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Anastrozole Sandoz.
Be sure to keep all your appointments with your doctor so your progress can be checked.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Anastrozole Sandoz.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor, dentist or pharmacist that you are taking Anastrozole Sandoz.
If you go into hospital, please let the medical staff know that you are taking Anastrozole Sandoz.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking Anastrozole Sandoz without your doctor's permission.
Do not use Anastrozole Sandoz to treat any other complaint unless your doctor says so.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Anastrozole Sandoz affects you.
This medicine may occasionally cause some people to feel weak or sleepy.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Anastrozole Sandoz.
This medicine helps most postmenopausal women with breast cancer, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. Side effects may happen at the start of treatment or they may happen after you have been taking your medicine for some time. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
If you get any side effects do not stop taking this medicine without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
lack of energy
joint pain or stiffness
thinning of hair
mild skin rash
feeling sick (nausea)
These are the more common side effects of the medicine. Mostly, these are mild to moderate in nature.
Uncommon side effects can include vaginal bleeding, loss of appetite, vomiting, feeling sleepy and an increase in cholesterol levels or changes in blood tests of liver function. These side effects are generally mild to moderate and often resolve themselves over time.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
sudden signs of allergy such as shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty in breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or any other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin extremely severe skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) with lesions, ulcers or blisters liver pain or swelling and/or a general feeling of unwell with or without jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
AFTER USING ANASTROZOLE SANDOZ
Keep Anastrozole Sandoz in the original packaging until you need to take it.
Store below 30°C. Keep out of the reach of children.
Return any unused or out of date medicine to your pharmacist.
What Anastrozole Sandoz looks like
Anastrozole Sandoz 1mg: white, round, biconvex film coated tablet without breaking notch and embossment 'A1' on one side. Available in PVC/Al blisters of 30 tablets.
Each Anastrozole Sandoz 1mg tablet contains 1mg anastrozole.
Each Anastrozole Sandoz 1mg tablet also contains: lactose, cellulose - microcrystalline, sodium starch glycollate type A, magnesium stearate, silica - colloidal anhydrous, hydroxypropylcellulose and opadry II white [lactose, hypromellose, titanium dioxide and macrogol 4000].
MADE IN EU