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Brand name: Aromasin

Chemical name: Exemestane

Class: Aromatase inhibitor hormonal therapy. Arimidex and Femara are other aromatase inhibitors.

How it works: Aromatase inhibitors lower the amount of estrogen in postmenopausal women.

Uses: Aromasin, used to treat postmenopausal women, typically is used to:

  • reduce the risk of early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer coming back after surgery and other treatments
  • treat advanced-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer

Aromasin has been shown to reduce the risk of first-time hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women at high risk. Aromasin isn’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this use, but doctors may consider it a good alternative to other hormonal therapy medicines. In 2013, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released new guidelines on using hormonal therapy medicines to reduce breast cancer risk in high-risk women who haven’t been diagnosed. These guidelines recommend that doctors talk to high-risk postmenopausal women about using Aromasin to reduce risk. ASCO is a national organization of oncologists and other cancer care providers. ASCO guidelines give doctors recommendations for treatments that are supported by much credible research and experience.

Aromasin may be taken for 2 to 5 years. Doctors may recommend that some women take it for a longer or shorter period of time.

How it's given: Aromasin is taken orally as a pill.

Additional information: Aromasin shouldn't be taken at the same time as tamoxifen.

Side effects:

Read more about Aromasin.

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