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Why is this medication prescribed?
Exemestane is prescribed to women who have had menopause (also known as “change of life” or the cessation of monthly menstrual periods) and who have already received treatment with the drug tamoxifen (Nolvadex) for two to three years. Moreover, this drug is used to treat breast cancer in menopausal women whose condition deteriorated while receiving tamoxifen. Exemestane belongs to the class of drugs known as aromatase inhibitors. It functions by reducing the body’s production of oestrogen. Certain breast cancers that require oestrogen to grow can have their growth slowed or stopped by this.
How should this medicine be used?
Exemestane is available as an oral tablet. After a meal, it is typically taken once daily. Take exemestane every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Use exemestane precisely as instructed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Exemestane may be required for several years or even longer. Exemestane should be taken even if you feel fine. Without first seeing your doctor, do not discontinue taking exemestane.
Other uses for this medicine
Exemestane may also be administered to women who have not yet reached menopause in order to treat a specific subtype of breast cancer. The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking exemestane,
- If you have an allergy to exemestane or any other drug, let your doctor and chemist know right away.
- Inform your doctor and chemist about any other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements you are now taking or intend to take. Incorporate any of the following: hormone replacement therapy and hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, and injections) are examples of drugs that contain oestrogen. Other examples include phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), and rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifater, in Rifamate). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Please let your doctor know if you are taking any herbal supplements, especially St. John’s wort.
- Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had liver, renal, or osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones are weak and shatter easily).
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Before starting to take exemestane, you must have a negative pregnancy test within 7 days. Use birth control to prevent conception while using exemestane and for one month following your last dosage. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking exemestane. The foetus could suffer from exemestane.
- Inform your doctor if you are nursing a child. While taking exemestane and for one month following your last dose, you shouldn’t breastfeed.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Exemestane could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Hot flushes
- Joint or muscle ache
- Having apprehension or fear
- Having trouble falling or staying asleep
- Higher appetite
- Hair fall
- Itchy, rosy skin
- Alterations to vision
- Arms, hands, foot, ankles, or lower legs swelling
Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur to you:
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest ache
While taking exemestane, your bone mineral density (BMD, a gauge of bone strength), could decline. You might become more likely to develop osteoporosis as a result of this (condition in which the bones are fragile and break easily). Inquire with your doctor about the dangers of exemestane use.
Further negative effects of exemestane could exist. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how your body is responding to exemestane, your doctor may request specific lab tests.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.