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.
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, 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 immediately if your condition worsens (such as you get new breast lumps).
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.
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.
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 may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
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.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
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.
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.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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