Generic Name: exemestane, Oral tablet

Generic Name:

exemestane, Oral tablet

Aromasin

All Brands

  • Aromasin
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for exemestane

Oral tablet
1

Exemestane is an oral drug used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

2

It’s used to treat both early breast cancer (cancer that hasn’t spread outside of the breast) and advanced breast cancer (cancer that’s spread to other parts of the body).

3

The recommended dose is one 25-mg tablet once daily after a meal.

4

Common side effects include hot flashes, fatigue, sweating, joint pain, and insomnia.

5

You shouldn’t use exemestane if you haven’t gone through menopause yet (premenopausal), or if you’re taking any drugs that contain estrogen.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Don't use before menopause

Exemestane hasn’t been well studied in women who have menstrual periods. You shouldn’t use this drug if you still get menstrual periods or are pregnant. Taking exemestane during pregnancy may cause birth defects or miscarriage.

Don't use with estrogen

Don’t take any products that contain estrogen while you’re on exemestane. Drugs or products that contain estrogen can interfere and affect how well exemestane works.

Risk of weak bones and breaks

Exemestane can lower the amount of estrogen in your body. This can result in decreased bone mineral density (BMD) over time, and a greater risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Drug features

Exemestane is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Exemestane is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why it's used

Exemestane is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women:

  • early breast cancer (cancer that hasn’t spread outside the breast). Exemestane lowers the risk of the breast cancer coming back. It’s used in women who meet all of these criteria:
    • have cancer that needs estrogen (female hormone) to grow
    • had surgery for breast cancer and possibly other treatments for breast cancer (such as chemotherapy or radiation)
    • have taken tamoxifen for 2–3 years
    • are switching to exemestane to finish 5 years of total hormone treatment
  • advanced breast cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body). Exemestane treats cancer that came back (reoccurred) after treatment with tamoxifen.

How it works

Exemestane belongs to a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Certain breast cancers need estrogen (a female hormone) to grow. This type of cancer is known as estrogen receptor-positive cancer.

Exemestane works by reducing the amount of estrogen circulating in your body. It doesn’t affect other hormones in your body that are necessary for your body to function normally. In this way, it works selectively to stop the cancer cells in postmenopausal women who have estrogen hormone-dependent breast cancer.

SECTION 2 of 5

exemestane Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with exemestane include:

  • early breast cancer:

    • hot flashes
    • fatigue
    • pain in your joints
    • headache
    • trouble sleeping
    • increased sweating
  • advanced breast cancer:

    • hot flashes
    • general tiredness
    • nausea
    • increased sweating

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • weak bones and bone fractures

  • heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. Symptoms include:

    • chest pain
    • changes in speech or vision
    • severe headaches
    • swelling (edema) in your legs and feet
    • weight gain from retaining fluid
    • fast or irregular heart rate
    • tiredness and weakness
    • severe shortness of breath
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Exemestane doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

exemestane May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Exemestane may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Antibiotics (rifamycins)
  • rifampin (Rifadin)

This drug may decrease the amount of exemestane in your body. Your doctor will need to increase your exemestane dose if you’re taking this medication.

Seizure drugs
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • phenobarbital

These drugs may decrease the amount of exemestane in your body. Your doctor will need to increase your exemestane dose if you’re taking these medications.

Herbal supplements
  • St. John’s wort

This drug may decrease the amount of exemestane in your body. Your doctor will need to increase your exemestane dose if you’re taking this medication.

Estrogen-containing drugs

Examples are:

  • hormone therapy drugs
  • birth control pills or patches

Drugs or products that contain estrogen can interfere and affect how well exemestane works. You shouldn’t take products that contain estrogen while taking exemestane.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with liver disease

Exemestane is processed by your liver. If your liver isn’t working well, more of the drug may stay in your body, putting you at risk for side effects. If you have liver disease, your doctor may monitor you more closely.

People with kidney disease

Exemestane is cleared from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working well, the drug may stay in your body longer, putting you at risk for side effects. If you have kidney disease, your doctor may monitor you more closely.

Pregnant women

Exemestane is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy. 

Exemestane can cause birth defects in your unborn baby or a miscarriage if you take it while you’re pregnant.

This drug should only be used by postmenopausal women.

For children

The safety and effectiveness of exemestane haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years.

Allergies

Exemestane can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take exemestane (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Breast cancer

Brand: Aromasin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 25 mg

Generic: exemestane

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 25 mg
Adult dosage (postmenopausal women)

The recommended dose is one 25-mg tablet taken by mouth once per day after a meal.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Children should not use this drug. This drug should only be used by women who are postmenopausal.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Exemestane comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If You Miss a Dose

If you forget to take your dose, take your next dose as soon you remember. If it’s close to the time of your next dose, just take one dose at your regular time.

Don’t take two doses at one time to try to make up for the missed dose. Doing so could cause toxic side effects.

If You Don't Take It At All or Stop Taking It

Exemestane may not work as well. This can make your condition worse. Your risk of getting breast cancer again may increase.

If You Take Too Much

If you take too much, you may increase your risk of side effects. If you think that you’ve taken too much exemestane, call your doctor or seek emergency medical help right away. Your doctor will monitor you closely and treat whatever symptoms you may be experiencing.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

This medication slows or stops the growth of your breast cancer and decreases your risk of getting breast cancer again. Your doctor will do tests to see how your breast cancer is responding to exemestane.

Exemestane is a long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking exemestane
take with food Take exemestane once per day after a meal
timing Take this medication at the same time each day
do not crush or cut Don’t crush or cut the tablet
storage Store exemestane at room temperature See Details
refillable Prescription is refillable
travel Travel See Details
clinical monitoring Clinical monitoring See Details
not usually stocked Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
prior authorization Insurance See Details

Store exemestane at room temperature

Keep it from 59–86°F (15–30°C) in its original container.

Don’t freeze exemestane.

Keep it away from light and high temperature.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

Always carry your medication with you. Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication. You may need to show your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling with your medication.

Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do blood tests. Your doctor may do them before you start taking the drug and during treatment. These tests check your:

  • liver and kidney function. Your doctor may do regular blood tests to make sure that your liver and kidneys are working well.
  • vitamin D levels. Women with early breast cancer tend to have low Vitamin D levels. If your levels are low, your doctor may prescribe Vitamin D supplements for you.
  • bone mineral density (BMD). Exemestane can lower the amount of estrogen in your body, putting you at risk for weak bones and bone fractures. Your doctor will do a BMD test to make sure that you’re not at risk for bone fractures or osteoporosis.  
  • blood cell counts. This drug may cause a decrease in white blood cells, which are necessary for your body to fight off infections.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for exemestane.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does exemestane Cost?

Oral tablet
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

Compare prices and save money on your next refill!

Lowest price for exemestane

CVS Pharmacy $210.30
Safeway $216.99
Publix $217.01
These represent the lowest cash prices for exemestane and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of exemestane near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for exemestane and may be lower than your insurance.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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