Exemestane belongs to the class of medications known as aromatase inhibitors and is prescribed to treat early breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have previously undergone treatment with tamoxifen for 2 to 3 years. This medication is also used in women who have experienced menopause and whose breast cancer has progressed while taking tamoxifen. Exemestane works by reducing the amount of estrogen produced by the body, thereby inhibiting the growth of certain types of breast tumors that require estrogen to grow.
Uses and Dosage
Take this medication orally, once daily with food, or as prescribed by your physician.
Dosage is determined by various factors, including your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications that you may be taking. Inform your doctor and pharmacist of all products you are using, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products.
For optimal benefits, use this medication consistently at the same time each day, and do not discontinue use without consulting with your doctor.
This medication can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, individuals who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or inhale the dust from the tablets.
Should your condition deteriorate, such as experiencing new breast lumps, notify your physician promptly.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- hot flashes
- increased sweating
- trouble sleeping
- back pain
- bone pain
- burning, tingling, or prickly sensations
- decreased sense of touch
- increased appetite
- joint pain
- loss of hair
- runny nose
- stomach upset
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- 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
- sore throat
- unexplained broken bones
Prior to initiating treatment with exemestane, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have a history of allergy to this medication or any other allergies. The product may comprise inactive constituents that could result in allergic reactions or other issues.
Prior to using this medication, disclose your medical history, particularly if you have experienced high blood fats (cholesterol), bone disorders, stroke, blood clots, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disorders, or liver disorders.
This drug has the potential to induce dizziness or tiredness. The use of alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate these side effects. Refrain from operating machinery or driving or engaging in activities that necessitate alertness until you can perform them safely.
Exemestane is contraindicated during pregnancy as it may pose a risk to the developing fetus.
This medication is primarily intended for use in postmenopausal women. If you are approaching menopause or have not yet experienced menopause and have been prescribed this medication, consult with your doctor regarding the need for reliable forms of contraception. If necessary, continue using contraception for one month after discontinuing treatment with this medication. Estrogen-containing birth control products should be avoided. Consult with your doctor for further information.
In the event of pregnancy or suspected pregnancy, notify your doctor promptly.
It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk. As it may pose a potential risk to the nursing infant, breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with this medication and for one month after discontinuation. Speak with your doctor prior to breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Aromasin is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long should I stay on Aromasin?
Most women take Aromasin for two to three years. Doctors may recommend some women take it for longer. Aromasin is usually given after two to three years of treatment with tamoxifen, for a total of five years of continuous hormonal treatment.
Does Aromasin shrink tumors?
It’s sometimes given before surgery to shrink a large breast cancer.