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Exemestane (Aromasin)  

 

Brand name: Aromasin

 

Generic name: Exemestane

Therapeutic Class: aromatase inhibitors

Manufacturer / Distributor: Pfizer

 
Availability:  Exemestane  is available by prescription only 

Indications: Exemestane  is used in the adjuvant treatment of postmenopausal women who have an early stage hormone-sensitive breast cancer, and who received two to three years of tamoxifen. Exemestane is recommended to be taken as an adjuvant hormonal therapy for five consecutive years.  

Exemestane can also be used to treat advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women for whom treatment with tamoxifen does not work effectively. 

Note: Exemestane can be used to treat other medical conditions in addition to breast cancer; talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.  

Dosage form: Exemestane comes in tablet form to be taken by mouth

Dosage:  1 tablet of Exemestane daily, at around the same time every day, is often prescribed. However, considering your weight, presence of other medical conditions and taking of other drugs, you doctor can recommend you a different dosage that is most appropriate to your condition. Take the medication after a meal. Even if you feel better, it is important to take Exemestane as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. Do not take less of it; this can reduce its healing power and curative properties.  

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

Missing dose: i  n case you forget to take a dose of Exemestane  , 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  : Exemestane is contraindicated for children and women who are:  

 

  • pregnant 
  • breastfeeding 
  • premenopausal  
  • being treated with estrogen   
  • Allergic to Exemestane or one of its constituents.   

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

  • Severe liver failure  
  • chronic kidney failure   
  • Glucose and galactose malabsorption.   

Mechanism of action (MOA):  Exemestane is an enzyme inhibitor that is used in the treatment of hormone-receptor-positive (or estrogen-responsive) breast cancer. It works by reducing the amount of estrogen produced by the body which cancer cells need to live.  

Interactions:  combination of Exemestane with carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, and Tegretol) and all treatments containing estrogens is not recommended. The following drugs can affect the healing action of Exemestane, or increase the risk of side effects. talk to your doctor before taking any of the following:  

  • phenobarbital   
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)  
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifater, in Rifamate)  
  • hormone replacement therapy   
  • Hormonal contraceptives: birth control pills, patches, rings, and injections.  

Also, talk to your doctor before consuming any of the following:  

  • caffeine  
  • alcohol   
  • nicotine   
  • decongestants   
  • cigarette   
  • vitamins supplements   
  • St John's wort.   

Side effects: in the combat against breast cancer cells, Exemestane 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 Exemestane 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.   

Exemestane 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.