Exemestane is a medication used to treat breast cancer in women. Breast cancer cells grow fast because of a hormone called estrogen in the body. Exemestane decreases the levels of estrogen to slow down the growth of the cancer cells. It is important to note that this drug is not for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. This medication is also not recommended to women who are still in their childbearing years.
Aromasin is the brand name of tablets that contain 25 mg of exemestane. Aromasin is used for the treatment of postmenopausal women who were diagnosed with estrogen-receptor-positive type of breast cancer. You can find out more about it when you click here.
How Does The Drug Work?
Exemestane works on the body by reducing the amount of estrogen hormone. This is because some cancer cells in the breast rapidly develop when they are stimulated with estrogen. The medical term given to these types of cells is ER+ breast cancer.
The drug exemestane belongs to a group called aromatase inhibitors. These groups include medications such as anastrozole and letrozole. Men who were diagnosed with breast cancer are given a different type of drug called tamoxifen.
Who Can Be Prescribed With This Medication?
Exemestane is used to treat women who have been through menopause and are diagnosed with breast cancer. Several tests conducted by a healthcare professional will determine whether the type of cancer is estrogen receptive or not.
Sometimes, the drug is given to women alongside another one called goserelin. This is for those who have not been through the menopausal period yet. If the cancer cells don’t grow through estrogen, then you might not receive any benefit at all. You can discover more about estrogen in this site here: https://www.livescience.com/38324-what-is-estrogen.html.
Are There Possible Side Effects?
Like any other medication, this drug can cause side effects depending on the user. Most people have different bodies, and they react differently to different pills that they are taking. However, some of the most common side effects can include depression, extreme tiredness, osteoporosis, insomnia, and pain in the muscles.
Other side effects can include a rise in cholesterol, vaginal bleeding, carpal tunnel syndrome, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, and nausea. Some people don’t experience any side effects at all, and there are those that can experience the side effects every day, which can disrupt their daily lives.
One can cope with the side effects by talking to their doctor and getting other types of medication if possible. There are specialists who recommend changing the drug to other forms of hormonal treatment.
When Should The Drug Be Given?
These kinds of medications are often given after surgeries to reduce the cancer cells from spreading. There are those who are undergoing radiotherapy or chemo that can start using exemestane afterward. Most GPs will recommend taking a pill of Aromasin before surgery to shrink a large cancer cell.
How Long Should You Take It?
The length of time depends on the situation. There are patients where the treatment duration can last up to 5 years or more. Some will take the exemestane to replace another drug called tamoxifen.
Stopping The Medication
When finishing the medication, this can be gradual instead of abrupt. Your GP will advise you on how and when you can quit. There are people who may worry about withdrawal symptoms or worry about the cancer cells coming back. But this should not be a problem as long as your doctor gives you the signal to stop.
It is not recommended to take other medications that contain estrogen such as HRT so that the effectiveness of the drug will not be affected. Talk to your doctor about any other herbal remedies that you are planning to take to see if they compliment your therapy.
Before You Take Exemestane
- Talk with your GP if you have allergies, or you are taking other medications for other illnesses.
- Tell your doctor about any other vitamins and supplements you are taking. Make sure to tell them if you are taking any of the following: Carbatrol, Tegretol, epitol; hormonal contraceptives such as patches, injections, rings, and birth control pills; rifampin such as rifamate, rifater, or rifadin; and phenobarbital.
- It would be best if you tell your GP whether you have experienced osteoporosis in the past or diseases in the kidney or liver.
- You should let your doctor know if you are planning to get pregnant in the next years. Take a pregnancy test and make sure that it shows negative within seven days before taking exemestane. If you discover that you are pregnant while taking, tell your medical provider since it can harm the developing fetus.
Storage And Disposal
You should keep the pills in an airtight container and keep it closed at all times. Store the container in a cool, dry place and away from excess moisture. If you have excess pills and you don’t have to take them, you need to dispose of them in a place where small children and pets will not access them. You can talk to your recycling department or pharmacies with giving back programs for more information.