AROMASIN

Other Name: Exemestanearomasin

Drug Type

Aromasin tablets have the active ingredient  exemestane, a form of drug referred as an aromatose inhibitor. It is available without any brand name or a generic name.

Indication

AROMASIN®  is a prescription medicine for:

  • Early stage of breast cancer: used for an adjuvant treatment (added treatment is given following the primary or main treatment) of postmenopausal women with estrogen-receptor positive (ER positive) of early stage of breast cancer. AROMASIN treatment should start 2 to 3 years following tamoxifen, and by that time tamoxifen must be stopped. AROMASIN treatment must continue for 2 to 3 years until 5 years of total adjuvant treatment of AROMASIN and tamoxifen have been finished.
  • Advanced stage of breast cancer: treatment of advanced stage of breast cancer in postmenopausal women whose condition has progressed following tamoxifen therapy.

Administration

  • Read the Patient Information Leaflet given by the pharmacist before using exemestane and every time you receive a refill. Consult a physician if there are questions
  • This is an oral medication, taken once a day with food (or after meals), or as directed by the doctor.
  • The dosage is according to the response to treatment,  medical condition and other drugs being taken. Make sure to tell the  pharmacist and doctor of all the products you are using, such as herbal products, prescription drugs and nonprescription drugs.

Common Side Effects

    • Hot flashes
    • Hair loss
    • Joint, muscle, bone pain
    • Tiredness
    • Unusual sweating
    •  Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Dizziness
    • Trouble sleeping 

If any of the above  effects worsen or persist, notify the doctor promptly.

Adverse Effects

Notify your doctor immediately for the following serious side effects:

  • Bone fractures
  • Mood or mental changes like anxiety or depression
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Persistent vomiting or nausea
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes

This medication can rarely cause serious problems resulting from blood clots like  stroke or heart attack. Get medical assistance immediately if any of these is experienced:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Left arm, chest and jaw pain
  • Confusion
  • Coughing up of blood
  • Sudden fainting and dizziness
  • Warmth, pain or swelling in the calf and groin
  • Numbness, tingling and weakness  in the legs and arms
  • Slurred speech
  • Swelling of legs and arms
  • Weakness on either side of your body
  • Changes in vision 
  • Severe or sudden headache

Serious allergic reaction  is rare. Seek medical assistance immediately if any of these symptoms of serious allergic reaction is noticed:

  • Rash AROMASIN
  • Itching or swelling, particularly  in the neck, throat, face or tongue
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing

There can be other possible side effects. When other side effects are noticed other than those listed above, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Precautions

  • Before taking exemestane, inform the doctor if allergic to it or of any other allergies. The product may have inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
  • Before using the medication, inform the doctor about your medical history, particularly  of
    • High blood fats (cholesterol)
    • Bone problems (like osteopenia, osteoporosis),
    • Stroke or blood clots
    • Heart disease (like heart failure, chest pain, heart attack, ),
    • High blood pressure
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
  • The drug may bring dizziness and a feeling of being tired. Avoid driving, use of machinery, or  any activity which requires alertness. Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Before surgery, inform your dentist or doctor about the products being used (such as herbal products, prescription drugs and nonprescription drugs).
  • This should when pregnant. It may be harmful to an unborn child. Never use birth control items with estrogen. Inform your doctor to know more details. When you become pregnant immediately tell your doctor.
  • Breastfeeding while taking this drug is never recommended. Ask your doctor prior breastfeeding.
  • Interactions with other drugs may change the way the medications may work or increase the risk for some serious side effects. Make a list of the products you are  using, including herbal products, prescription or nonprescription drugs and discuss it with a doctor or a pharmacist. Do not begin, stop, or modify the dose of any drugs without asking the doctor's approval.
  • Never share the medication with others.
  • Laboratory or medical examinations, including bone density and liver function exams and cholesterol levels must be done periodically to check the progress or monitor for possible side effects. Ask your doctor for additional details.
  • The medication may increase the risk of bone loss or osteoporosis. Discuss with a doctor about the risk, including the available osteoporosis treatments. Lifestyle modifications that lessens any risk of bone loss are:
    • Weight-bearing exercise
    • Get enough Vitamin D and calcium
    • Stop smoking
    • Limit alcohol intake
  • As for a missed dose, take one once you remember. If it is close to the next schedule of the dose, skip a missed dosage, then resume the regular dosing time. Never double the dosage.

Mechanism of Work

This drug works through avoiding the activity of the aromatase enzyme. The enzyme is part of the production of female sex hormone, the oestrogen who went passed through menopause. It converts sex hormones testosterone and androstenedione into oestrogen. The drug also avoids the conversion through blocking of the activity of aromatose enzyme. This result in the reduction of oestrogen levels. Through reduction of the levels of oestrogen, exemestane blocks the breast cancer cells from growing. However, exemestane will only be useful in the treatment of breast cancers which are sensitive to oestrogen or the oestrogen receptor positive cancers. Exemestane is also effective in breast cancer treatment for women in postmenopausal stage, naturally or as the result of any medical treatment. It may also be used for the treatment of early invasive cancers, following the completion of 2 to 3 years of tamoxifen treatment. Advanced cancers may also be treated where cancer continued to grow even after the use of other anti-oestrogen drugs.

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