Brand Name: Aromasin®
Exemestane is used to treat estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in women who have gone through menopause.
Exemestane is a type of aromatase inhibitor. It works by decreasing the amount of estrogen in the body. Some breast tumors require estrogen to grow. Decreasing the supply of this hormone in the body can slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.
This medication is given as a tablet that is taken by mouth. Usually, exemestane is taken once daily after a meal. It is best to take exemestane at the same time each day. This drug is often given on a long-term basis, sometimes for several years or longer. Your doctor will recommend the treatment program that is best for you. It’s important that you don’t stop taking exemestane before speaking with your doctor, even if you feel well.
Exemestane side effects
To prevent problematic interactions between exemestane and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had a liver tumor, liver disease, or kidney disease, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.
Possible side effects may include:
- Hot flashes
- Muscle or joint pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hair loss
- Red, itchy skin
- Vision changes
Some of exemestane’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
It’s also important to be aware that exemestane can decrease bone strength, which could heighten your risk for osteoporosis. Your doctor can discuss this risk with you, and can recommend ways to help lower this risk.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of exemestane with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment plan.
Exemestane for cancer treatment
Exemestane is approved by the FDA for the following cancer treatments:
- As an adjuvant (after surgery) treatment for breast cancer that is estrogen receptor-positive in postmenopausal women who have already been treated with tamoxifen for 2 to 3 years and are switched to exemestane for completion of a total of 5 consecutive years of adjuvant hormonal therapy
- Advanced-stage breast cancer that is estrogen receptor-positive in women who have experienced menopause and whose disease has worsened while taking tamoxifen
At CTCA, our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.