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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Anastrozole Dosage?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Anastrozole dosage remains fairly stable unless a patient does not respond well to the medication. The drug reduces estrogen production in the body to suppress or prevent the growth of breast cancer and is most commonly used in women after menopause. Standardized dosing is used and may be recommended for several years. It is important to keep taking the drug even after feeling better, because it can suppress tumor growth even when there is no obvious sign of cancer.

Patients usually take a single milligram tablet of anastrozole daily, at the same time each day. It is important to space the anastrozole dosage regularly to have the greatest effect, as this will keep concentrations of the drug level in the body. Therapy may last three years or more unless the cancer recurs, which indicates that the anastrozole is no longer effective. In these cases, other medications are available to treat the cancer. Periodic followups are recommended to see if the patient is responding and check for signs of complications that might indicate the drug is not safe.

One concern with anastrozole dosage is potential medication conflicts. Patients taking medications that contain estrogen, like hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy, may experience problems on anastrozole. A care provider may recommend stopping or changing these medications to address this potential conflict. Patients may also need periodic testing to assess their bone mineral density, as the medication can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a serious bone condition.

This medication is known to have harmful effects on a developing fetus. For women in menopause, this is not a concern with anastrozole dosage, but women who are still capable of bearing children need to be careful on this medication. Care providers may recommend using birth control to prevent pregnancy and can request a pregnancy test before starting treatment to confirm that the patient is not pregnant. Breastfeeding patients also shouldn’t take anastrozole because it may harm the baby. Formula or milk banking can be options for women who need to take the drug.

Side effects like numbness, tingling, shortness of breath, and skin reactions are a cause for concern. A care provider can discuss these problems with the patient if reactions are noticed after taking an anastrozole dosage. More generally, patients on the drug may become nauseous, weak, or dizzy. If these side effects become intolerable, care providers can discuss some options for dealing with them, including changing the dosing schedule or switching medications.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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