IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
EXEMESTANE – ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Aromasin
USES: This medication is 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 TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using exemestane and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. 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 and response to treatment. 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 immediately if your condition worsens (such as you get new breast lumps).
SIDE EFFECTS: 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 immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: bone fractures, mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety), vaginal bleeding. This medication (and cancer) may rarely cause serious problems from blood clots (such as heart attack or stroke). Seek immediate medical attention 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. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat/neck), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: 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 and tired. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. 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. 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 immediately. (See also How to Use section.) It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring. To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor’s approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: estrogens (such as ethinyl estradiol, conjugated estrogens), estrogen blockers (such as anastrozole, tamoxifen), raloxifene. Other medications can increase the removal of exemestane from your body, which may affect how well exemestane works. Examples include drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin), rifamycins (such as rifabutin), St. John’s wort, among others. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as bone density tests, cholesterol levels, liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. This medication can increase the risk of bone loss (osteoporosis). Talk with your doctor about your risk, and about available treatments for osteoporosis. Lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of bone loss include doing weight-bearing exercise, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store exemestane tablets at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.