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Related to exemestane: letrozole, Fulvestrant


an aromatase inactivator structurally related to androstenedione; used as an antineoplastic in the treatment of advanced breast carcinoma in postmenpausal women, administered orally.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.



Pharmacologic class: Aromatase inhibitor

Therapeutic class: Hormonal antineoplastic

Pregnancy risk category D


Inhibits conversion of androgens to estrogen, which reduces estrogen concentrations and limits cancer cell growth in estrogen-dependent breast tumors


Tablets: 25 mg

Indications and dosages

Advanced breast cancer

Adults: 25 mg P.O. once daily after a meal


• Hypersensitivity to drug or its components

• Premenopausal women, including pregnant women


Use cautiously in:

• moderate to severe hepatic insufficiency or renal impairment

• concurrent use of estrogencontaining drugs

• breastfeeding patients

• children (safety and efficacy not established).


• Administer after meals with a full glass of water.

• Know that drug shouldn't be taken by premenopausal women or by patients receiving drugs that contain estrogen.

Adverse reactions

CNS: headache, dizziness, confusion, asthenia, fatigue, weakness, hypoesthesia, paresthesia, pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression

CV: hypertension, chest pain

EENT: sinusitis

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, anorexia

GU: urinary tract infection

Musculoskeletal: pathologic fractures, arthritis, back pain, skeletal pain

Respiratory: dyspnea, cough, bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infection

Skin: rash, itching, alopecia, diaphoresis

Other: increased appetite, fever, hot flashes, infection, flulike symptoms, edema, lymphedema


Drug-drug. CYP3A4 inducers: decreased exemestane blood level

Patient monitoring

• Monitor vital signs, especially blood pressure.

• Check for adverse GI reactions. Give antiemetics, as prescribed, for nausea and vomiting.

• Assess bowel elimination pattern. Increase fluids and administer stool softeners, as needed, to ease constipation.

• Monitor pain level. Administer analgesics, as prescribed, to relieve pain.

• Monitor liver function tests, CBC, and blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and electrolyte levels.

Patient teaching

• Advise patient to take with full glass of water after a meal.

• Tell patient to report depression, insomnia, or excessive anxiety.

• Instruct patient to wear cotton clothing to let skin breathe if drug causes increased sweating or hot flashes.

• As appropriate, review all other significant adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


An irreversible, steroidal aromatase-inactivating anti-oestrogen used in postmenopausal women with oestrogen-dependent/oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer.
Adverse effects
Hot flushes, nausea, fatigue, increased sweating.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


A third-generation aromatase inhibitor drug capable of extending disease-free survival times in women who have been treated for oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancer with tamoxifen for two to three years.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Exemestane is considered an aromatase inhibitor, part of the same class of drugs as letrozole.
After 1 year, researchers found that there were no significant differences in cognition between women who received adjuvant exemestane (Aromasin) and healthy controls after adjustment for baseline neurocognitive test scores and other covariates.
[3.] Coombes RC, Hall E, Gibson LJ et al.; for the Intergroup Exemestane Study.
The ATAC investigators warned that their safety findings should not be extrapolated to letrozole and exemestane, the other two aromatase inhibitors in large clinical trials as adjuvant treatments for early-stage hormone-sensitive breast cancer.
Postmenopausal breast cancer patients who were treated with exemestane and had vitamin D deficiency lost bone mineral density (BMD) at a higher rate than all other patients in a Norwegian trial, according to Dr.
M2 PHARMA-May 7, 2013-ESMO reports positive Phase III data for everolimus plus exemestane in advanced breast cancer(C)2013 M2 COMMUNICATIONS
San Antonio -- Breast cancer patients who have a high prediagnosis level of physical activity and are able to maintain it afterward experience markedly better quality of life and fewer treatment-related symptoms, according to data from the Tamoxifen and Exemestane Adjuvant Multicenter trial.
The pooled trials compared continued tamoxifen use to initial tamoxifen followed by aminoglutethimide, exemestane, or anastrozole (J.
Several recent clinical trials have shown that adjuvant endocrine therapy with the aromatase inhibitors anastrozole (Arimidex), letrozole (Femara), and exemestane (Aromasin) can significantly improve disease-free survival in postmenopausal women, compared with tamoxifen as a single agent.
8 December 2011 - The latest data from a Phase III trial of Afinitor (everolimus) tablets plus hormonal drug exemestane showed that everolimus extended the time women with advanced breast cancer lived without tumour growth.