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Side Effects Of Exemestane

Side Effects Of Exemestane

How it works

Many breast cancers are stimulated to grow by the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. These breast cancers are called hormone sensitive or hormone receptor positive. Blocking the effects of these hormones can treat breast cancer.

In women who have had their menopause, oestrogen is mainly produced by changing androgens (sex hormones produced by the adrenal glands) into oestrogens. This process is called aromatisation and happens mainly in the fatty tissues, muscle and the skin. It needs a particular enzyme called aromatase.

How you have it

You have exemestane as tablets. Try to take it at the same time each day. Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. You should take it after food.

How is exemestane taken?

Exemestane is a tablet (25mg) that you take once a day. It is recommended that you take it after food.

It’s best to take it at the same time every day. If you miss a dose, you don’t need to take an extra dose the next day as the level of drug in your body will remain high enough from the previous day. If for any reason you want to stop taking exemestane talk to your specialist first. This is because not taking the drug for the recommended time means you may increase your risk of your breast cancer coming back.

Sometimes it may be possible to change to another hormone tablet.]

How long will I have to take exemestane?

If you are taking exemestane for primary breast cancer you will usually take tamoxifen for two or three years before taking exemestane for another two to three years (to complete a total of five years treatment with hormone therapy).

If you are taking exemestane for local recurrence, locally advanced breast cancer or for secondary breast cancer you will usually continue to take it for as long as it is keeping your cancer under control.

Common side effects of Aromasin include:

  • hot flashes,
  • headache,
  • hair loss,
  • joint/bone/muscle pain,
  • tiredness,
  • anxiety,
  • unusual or increased sweating,
  • nausea,
  • hot flashes,
  • headache,
  • hair loss,
  • joint/bone/muscle pain,
  • tiredness,
  • anxiety,
  • unusual or increased sweating,
  • nausea,
  • upset stomach,
  • diarrhea,
  • dizziness,
  • depression, and
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia).

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Aromasin including:

  • bone fractures,
  • mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety),
  • vaginal bleeding,
  • persistent nausea or vomiting,
  • unusual tiredness,
  • dark urine, or
  • yellowing eyes or skin.

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 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.

Precautions:

Before starting Exemestane treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).

Exemestane can cause decreased bone mineral density due to decreases in estrogen levels. Your doctor will monitor your bone mineral density and may prescribe calcium supplements, vitamin D supplements, or other medications to help prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor's approval while taking Exemestane.

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