Exemestane

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Generic Name: Exemestane Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Exemestane used for?

Exemestane is commonly used to treat certain types of breast cancer (such as hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer) in women after menopause. Exemestane is also used to help prevent the cancer from returning. Some breast cancers are made to grow faster by a natural hormone called estrogen. Exemestane decreases the amount of estrogen the body makes and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.

Exemestane is usually not used in women of childbearing age.

How should I take Exemestane?

Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily with food (after a meal), or as directed by your doctor.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets. (See also Precautions section.)

Inform your doctor right away if your condition worsens (such as you get new breast lumps).

How do I store Exemestane?

Exemestane is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Exemestane in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Exemestane that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Exemestane down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Exemestane?

Before taking exemestane, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high blood fats (cholesterol), bone problems (such as osteopenia, osteoporosis), stroke or blood clots, heart disease (such as chest pain, heart attack, heart failure), high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems.

This drug may make you dizzy or tired. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Exemestane is used mainly in women after menopause. If you are near menopause or have not gone through menopause and your doctor has prescribed this for you, discuss with your doctor whether you need to use reliable forms of birth control. If you do, continue using birth control for 1 month after stopping treatment with this medication. Do not use birth control products containing estrogen. Consult your doctor for more details. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for 1 month after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Exemestane during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Exemestane. Exemestane is pregnancy risk category X according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Exemestane?

Hot flashes, hair loss, joint/bone/muscle pain, tiredness, unusual sweating, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: bone fractures, mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety), vaginal bleeding, persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

This medication (and cancer) may rarely cause serious problems from blood clots (such as heart attack or stroke). Get medical help right away if you experience: sudden shortness of breath, chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, coughing up blood, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, tingling/weakness/numbness in the arms/legs, slurred speech, swelling of arms/legs, weakness on one side of the body, vision changes, sudden/severe headache.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat/neck), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Exemestane?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: estrogens (such as ethinyl estradiol, conjugated estrogens), estrogen blockers (such as anastrozole, tamoxifen).

Exemestane may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Exemestane?

Exemestane may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Exemestane?

Exemestane may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Exemestane.

What is the dose of Exemestane for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer

25 mg orally once a day

Comment:

-This drug should be administered after a meal.

Uses:

-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.

Renal Dose Adjustments

No adjustment recommended

Liver Dose Adjustments

No adjustment recommended

Dose Adjustments

Patients taking exemestane with a potent CYP450 3A4 inducer such as rifampin or phenytoin: 50 mg once a day after a meal

Other Comments

Monitoring:

-Bone mineral density (BMD) in women with or at risk of developing osteoporosis

Patient advice:

-Exemestane may cause dizziness, asthenia, and somnolence. Patients should avoid driving or operating machinery if they experience these adverse effects.

What is the dose of Exemestane for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Exemestane available?

Exemestane is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral Tablet

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Exemestane, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 29, 2018 | Last Modified: January 29, 2018

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