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Exemestane Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to exemestane: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, exemestane may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking exemestane:

More common
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • mental depression
  • swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest
Less common
  • Chest pain
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • unexplained broken bones
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • dark urine
  • decreased urine output
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with speaking
  • dilated neck veins
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • irregular breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • itching or rash
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • slow speech
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of exemestane may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Anxiety
  • constipation
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • hot flashes
  • increased sweating
  • pain
  • trouble sleeping
Less common
  • Back pain
  • bone pain
  • burning, tingling, or prickly sensations
  • decreased sense of touch
  • increased appetite
  • joint pain
  • loss of hair
  • runny nose
  • stomach upset
  • weakness, generalized

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to exemestane: oral tablet


Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia (28.8%)
Common (1% to 10%): Pain in limb, back pain, osteoarthritis, myalgia, pathological fracture, hypoesthesia, skeletal pain, osteoporosis, muscle cramp
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Osteoporotic fracture[Ref]


The most commonly reported side effects were hot flushes, arthralgia, and fatigue.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Infection[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 18%), abdominal pain (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, dyspepsia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Gastric ulcers[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased sweating (17.8%), alopecia (15.1%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dermatitis
Postmarketing reports: Urticaria, pruritus, acute generalized exanthemos pustulosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hot flushes (up to 32.9%), Hypertension (15.1%)
Common (1% to 10%): Lymphedema, chest pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Thromboembolism, myocardial infarction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Elevation of liver function tests (including enzymes, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase)
Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis including cholestatic hepatitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (13.7%)
Common (1% to 10%): Depression, anxiety, confusion[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (13.6%), dizziness (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Paresthesia, carpal tunnel syndrome
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Somnolence, neuropathy[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea
Common (1% to 10%): Coughing, bronchitis, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infection, pharyngitis, rhinitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 101%): Visual disturbances[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Other primary cancer[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 22.2%), pain (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Edema, influenza-like symptoms, fever, generalized weakness, pain at tumor sites, asthenia, peripheral edema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased appetite, anorexia, hypercholesterolemia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Gynecological (10.5%)
Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection, vaginal hemorrhage
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Uterine polyp, uterine polydectomy
Rare (less than 0.1%): Endometrial hyperplasia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Decrease in lymphocytes (20%)
Uncommon (0.1%to 1%): Thrombocytopenia, leucopenia[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Aromasin (exemestane)" Pharmacia & Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Some side effects of exemestane may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.