Generic Name: exemestane (ex e MES tane)
Brand Name: Aromasin
Medically reviewed: August 30, 2016
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.
You should not use exemestane if you have not started menopause, or if you are pregnant or able to become pregnant.
Do not use exemestane if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
Before taking this medicine
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
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.
Although it is not likely that a postmenopausal woman would be pregnant, exemestane can cause birth defects. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.
If you are not past menopause, use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking exemestane and for at least 1 month after your last dose. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking exemestane.
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.
While using exemestane, you may need frequent blood tests.
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.
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 (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's 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.
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 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
Common side effects may include:
headache, tired feeling;
nausea, increased appetite;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
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:
25 mg orally once a day
-This drug should be administered after a meal.
-Adjuvant treatment of postmenopausal women with estrogen-receptor positive early breast cancer who have received two to three years of tamoxifen and are switched to exemestane for completion of a total of five consecutive years of adjuvant hormonal therapy.
-Treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women whose disease has progressed following tamoxifen therapy.
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.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.04.
More about exemestane
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- Drug class: aromatase inhibitors
Other brands: Aromasin