What is exemestane?
Exemestane is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Exemestane is sometimes given after you have taken tamoxifen for 2 or 3 years, or if tamoxifen did not work or has stopped working.
Exemestane may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
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
- you have not yet completed menopause, and are still having menstrual periods.
Some drugs should not be used together with exemestane. Your doctor may change your treatment plan if you also use medicines that contain estrogen, such as:
- birth control pills, patches, injections, or implants; or
- hormone replacement therapy.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver or kidney disease; or
- if you are still having menstrual periods.
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.
exemestane is for use only in women who can no longer get pregnant. Exemestane can harm an unborn baby. 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.
This medicine may affect fertility (your ability to have children). However, if you are not past menopause you should still use birth control to prevent pregnancy because exemestane can harm an unborn baby.
You should not breastfeed while using this medicine and for 1 month after your last dose.
How should I take exemestane?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Exemestane is usually taken once per day, after a meal. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day.
You will need frequent medical tests.
Your doctor may have you take extra vitamin D while you are taking exemestane. Take only the amount of vitamin D that your doctor has prescribed.
Use exemestane regularly to get the most benefit. 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 medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
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?
Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
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:
- chest pain or pressure;
- new or unusual bone pain;
- swelling in your hands or feet;
- feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion; or
- signs of a blood clot–sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision or speech, swelling or redness in an arm or leg.
Common side effects may include:
- hot flashes;
- headache, feeling tired;
- joint pain;
- 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.
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.
Detailed Exemestane dosage information
What other drugs will affect exemestane?
When you start or stop taking exemestane, your doctor may need to adjust the doses of any other medicines you take on a regular basis.
Many drugs can affect exemestane, and some drugs should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.
Exemestane drug interactions (more detail)