exemestane

Pronunciation

Generic Name: exemestane (ex e MES tane)
Brand Name: Aromasin

What is exemestane?

Exemestane lowers estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the body.

Exemestane is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after surgery, radiation, or other cancer medications have been tried without success.

Exemestane may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about exemestane?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to exemestane, if you have not started menopause, or if you are pregnant or able to become pregnant.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Do not use exemestane if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking exemestane?

You should not use exemestane if you are allergic to it, or:

  • if you are pregnant or able to become pregnant; or

  • if you have not yet completed menopause, and are still having menstrual periods.

To make sure exemestane is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease; or

  • kidney disease.

Exemestane can decrease bone mineral density, which may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk of bone loss.

FDA pregnancy category X. Exemestane is not for use in women of child-bearing age. Do not use exemestane if you are pregnant. This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

You may need to take a pregnancy test before using exemestane, to make sure you are not pregnant.

It is not known whether exemestane passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take exemestane?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Exemestane is usually taken once per day, after a meal. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day.

Use exemestane regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. You may need to keep taking take this medication for up to 5 years.

While using exemestane, you may need frequent blood tests.

Store in the original container at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking exemestane?

This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Exemestane side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or unusual bone pain;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion; or

  • chest pain, sudden numbness or weakness, sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance.

Common side effects may include:

  • hot flashes;

  • headache, tired feeling;

  • joint pain;

  • nausea, increased appetite;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • increased sweating.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Exemestane dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:

For early and advanced breast cancer:

Recommended dose: 25 mg orally once daily after a meal.

In postmenopausal women with early breast cancer who have been treated with two to three years of tamoxifen, treatment with exemestane should continue in the absence of recurrence or contralateral breast cancer until completion of five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy.

For patients with advanced breast cancer, treatment with exemestane should continue until tumor progression is evident.

What other drugs will affect exemestane?

Other drugs may interact with exemestane, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about exemestane.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.02. Revision Date: 2013-07-03, 2:46:28 PM.

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