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Generic Name: exemestane (ex e MES tane)
Brand Name: Aromasin
Physician reviewed exemestane patient information - includes exemestane description, dosage and directions.
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Drug Information:
Exemestane lowers estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the body. Exemestane is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after surgery, radiation, or other cancer medications have been tried without success. Exemestane may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. You should not use exemestane if you have not started menopause, or if you are pregnant or able to become pregnant. Learn more

Exemestane Side Effects

Exemestane Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to exemestane: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, exemestane may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking exemestane:

More common

  • Cough or hoarseness
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • mental depression
  • swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest

Less common

  • Chest pain
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • unexplained broken bones

Incidence not known

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • dark urine
  • decreased urine output
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with speaking
  • dilated neck veins
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • irregular breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • itching or rash
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • slow speech
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of exemestane may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Anxiety
  • constipation
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • hot flashes
  • increased sweating
  • pain
  • trouble sleeping

Less common

  • Back pain
  • bone pain
  • burning, tingling, or prickly sensations
  • decreased sense of touch
  • increased appetite
  • joint pain
  • loss of hair
  • runny nose
  • stomach upset
  • weakness, generalized

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to exemestane: oral tablet


Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia (28.8%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pain in limb, back pain, osteoarthritis, myalgia, pathological fracture, hypoesthesia, skeletal pain, osteoporosis, muscle cramp

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Osteoporotic fracture


The most commonly reported side effects were hot flushes, arthralgia, and fatigue.


Common (1% to 10%): Infection


Very Common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 18%), abdominal pain (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, dyspepsia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Gastric ulcers


Very common (10% or more): Increased sweating (17.8%), alopecia (15.1%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dermatitis

Postmarketing reports: Urticaria, pruritus, acute generalized exanthemos pustulosis


Very common (10% or more): Hot flushes (up to 32.9%), Hypertension (15.1%)

Common (1% to 10%): Lymphedema, chest pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Thromboembolism, myocardial infarction


Very common (10% or more): Elevation of liver function tests (including enzymes, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase)

Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis including cholestatic hepatitis


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (13.7%)

Common (1% to 10%): Depression, anxiety, confusion

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (13.6%), dizziness (10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Paresthesia, carpal tunnel syndrome

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Somnolence, neuropathy


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea

Common (1% to 10%): Coughing, bronchitis, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infection, pharyngitis, rhinitis


Common (1% to 101%): Visual disturbances


Common (1% to 10%): Other primary cancer


Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 22.2%), pain (13%)

Common (1% to 10%): Edema, influenza-like symptoms, fever, generalized weakness, pain at tumor sites, asthenia, peripheral edema


Common (1% to 10%): Increased appetite, anorexia, hypercholesterolemia


Very common (10% or more): Gynecological (10.5%)

Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection, vaginal hemorrhage

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Uterine polyp, uterine polydectomy

Rare (less than 0.1%): Endometrial hyperplasia


Very common (10% or more): Decrease in lymphocytes (20%)

Uncommon (0.1%to 1%): Thrombocytopenia, leucopenia

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Exemestane