Compare Aromasin vs. Nolvadex

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Aromasin (exemestane)

Prescription only

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen)

Prescription only
Treats breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Aromasin (exemestane) treats advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women and helps lower their chances of the cancer coming back or spreading to the other breast. However, the overall survival rates for women who take Aromasin (exemestane) is the same as another treatment option, specifically Novaldex.

Lowers risk of and treats breast cancer.

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) is an effective, first-line option for certain types of breast cancers, but it has many severe side effects and needs a lot of monitoring.

Upsides
  • Unlike other chemotherapies, Aromasin (exemestane) comes as a pill.
  • Can be used safely and effectively by those with kidney or liver problems.
  • It is available as a generic pill.
  • Financial assistance is available if you have trouble affording this medication.
  • Aromasin (exemestane) works a little differently from other hormone therapies. If you are having difficulty with other hormone therapies, your doctor may suggest Aromasin (exemestane).
  • In studies, postmenopausal women who were at high risk for breast cancer took Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) for 5 years and lowered their risk by about 50%.
  • Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) is the only medicine approved to lower risk of breast cancer regardless of menopausal status. Other medicines are approved only for postmenopausal women.
  • Effective in treating metastatic breast cancer in men and women.
  • Available in both tablets and a sugar-free solution.
Downsides
  • Aromasin (exemestane) can cause serious allergic reactions.
  • Some people may not be able to tolerate the bone pain and body aches from Aromasin (exemestane).
  • Aromasin (exemestane) reduces the amount of estrogen in your body which can lead to weaker bones and other symptoms typically only seen in postmenopausal women.
  • Although Aromasin (exemestane) is available as a generic, it can be more expensive than similar hormone therapies.
  • Aromasin (exemestane) is only approved for use after tamoxifen therapy.
  • If you're taking Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) to lower your risk for breast cancer, it can raise your risk of having a stroke or getting a blood clot, especially if you have a history of blood clots or you're currently taking a blood thinner, like warfarin. Tell your doctor about any health conditions before you start taking Nolvadex (Tamoxifen).
  • Can raise the risk of fractures in premenopausal women.
  • There are many drug interactions, including antidepressants and other chemotherapy (anti-cancer) medicines. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before making any changes.
  • Requires regular blood tests and doctor exams to monitor for side effects.
  • Not the best choice if you have eye or liver problems.
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Used for
  • Hormone receptor positive breast cancer
  • Reduction of risk for breast cancer
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
13possible side effects
  • Hot flashes
    21%
  • Fatigue
    16%
  • Joint pain
    15%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    12%
  • Increased sweating
    12%
  • Dizziness
    10%
  • High blood pressure
    10%
  • Nausea
    9%
  • Pain in limbs
    9%
  • Back pain
    9%
  • Depression
    6%
  • Vision changes
    5%
See more detailed side effects
21possible side effects
  • Hot Flashes
    65%
  • Flush
    33%
  • Fluid Retention
    32%
  • Vaginal Discharge
    30%
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Irregular Menses
    25%
  • Weight Loss (>5%)
    23%
  • Skin Changes
    19%
  • Amenorrhea
    16%
  • Altered Menses
    13%
  • Oligomenorrhea
    9%
  • Bone Pain
    6%
  • Menstrual Disorder
    6%
  • Thrombocytopenia
    5%
  • Cough/Coughing
    4%
  • Edema
    4%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Muscoloskeletal Pain
    3%
  • Pain
    3%
  • Ovarian Cyst(s)
    3%
  • Depression
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Decreased bone density
  • Lab abnormalities
  • Drug-drug interactions
  • Embryo-fetal toxicity
    • Pregnant females
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious and life-threatening events
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Increased risk of vision changes
  • Worsening liver function
    • Current liver problems
  • Blood disorders
See more detailed risks and warnings