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Aromasin (Exemestane)

by Mathew Marshall
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Brand name: Aromasin  


Generic name: Exemestane    

Warning: Before beginning to take Aromasin, you should tell your doctor if you are allergic to this medication or any of its components.  Discuss any medication allergies you have experienced in the past, since Aromasin may contain inactive ingredients you might be allergic to.  You should also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is istockphoto-1063768054-612x612-1.jpg Aromasin is intended only for women who have experience menopause and can’t become pregnant.  Because Aromasin can harm a developing fetus, this drug should not be taken by a pregnant woman; also, tell your doctor if you are breast feeding.

Indications: Aromasin (also known by its generic name exemestane) is a medication used to treat the early stages of breast cancer in women who have already experienced menopause (the halt of monthly menstrual periods).  When treating early breast cancer, Aromasin is prescribed after a patient has been on the medication tamoxifin (brand name Nolvadex) for two or three years.  Aromasin is also used to treat breast cancer that has become worse while taking tamoxifin.  This medication works by decreasing the amount of estrogen your body produces.  For this reason, Aromasin belongs to the drug class aromatase inhibitors.

Dosage: Aromasin will be given to you in the form of a tablet.  You should take this tablet orally and swallow it with a glass of water.  As with all tablets, you should not chew, crush, or split your Aromasin tablet.  Aromasin is usually taken once a day after a meal.  However, your doctor may direct you differently.  For more detailed instructions regarding how to take Aromasin, you can refer to the drug information packet provided to you with your prescription.

Overdose: all chemotherapy drugs including Aromasin can cause serious health problems when overdosed. Contact your doctor or a local poison control center near you immediately if you experience symptoms indicating Aromasin overdose.   Do not neglect to see your physician; an overdose of Aromasin can lead to death.

Missing dose: In case you forget to take a dose of Aromasin, take the missed one as soon as you remember if it is not almost times for the following dose; do not double the next dose to recover the missed one; it can be dangerous. You can contact your doctor or wait to go back to your regular schedule.

Contraindications: Taking Aromasin is contraindicated by hypersensitivity or allergy to this drug or its inactive ingredients.  Tell your doctor if you have experience an allergic reaction to Aromasin in the past, as well as any other medication allergies you have.  Aromastin is also contraindicated in women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.

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Because of the potential for damage to the developing fetus, women who are pregnant while taking Aromasin or who become pregnant during their treatment should receive medical counseling from their doctor.

Before beginning a breast cancer treatment with Aromasin, tell your doctor if you have any of these health problems:

Severe liver failure

  • chronic kidney failure
  • Glucose and galactose malabsorption.

Interactions: The prescription products that may interact with Aromasin include estrogen (such as conjugated estrogens and ethinyl estradiol) and estrogen blockers (such as tamoxifen and anastrozole), and raloxifene.  Drugs that remove exemestane from your body may also interact with Aromastin.  Some of these drugs include medications used to manage seizures (such as carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifamycins (such as rifabutin), and others.  You should also tell your doctor if you are taking any herbal remedies, especially St. John’s wort.

Side effects: in the combat against breast cancer cells, Aromasin can bring good results; however, by attacking cancer, the drug also affect healthy cells that multiply rapidly, which can cause adverse effects in most patients. The most common Aromasin side effects include:

  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • red, itchy skin
  • hot flushes
  • sweating
  • muscle or joint pain
  • headache and dizziness
  • vision problems
  • nervousness and depression
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Aromasin can cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing.
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