Generic Name: exemestane (ex e MES tane)Brand Names: Aromasin
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 taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox) for 2 to 3 years.
Exemestane may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You may need to take a pregnancy test before using exemestane, to make sure you are not pregnant.You also should not use this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby, or if you are allergic to exemestane.
Before using exemestane, tell your doctor if you have severe liver or kidney disease, or if you have not yet completed menopause. If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take exemestane.
You may need to keep taking exemestane for up to 5 years. Follow your doctor's instructions.Exemestane may not work as well if you take it together with hormone replacement medication, or while using birth control pills or patches.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:
kidney disease; or
not yet completed menopause.
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. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Exemestane is usually taken once per day. You may need to keep taking take this medication for up to 5 years. Follow your doctor's instructions.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.Store exemestane at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Exemestane dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or blood in your stools.
a bone fracture;
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.
Less serious side effects may include:
joint pain or stiffness;
weakness, headache, tired feeling;
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.
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.
Before you start taking exemestane, tell your doctor if you use any of the following drugs:
rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
St. John's wort; or
seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), or phenytoin (Dilantin).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with exemestane. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.