Estramustine

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About This Drug

Estramustine is used to treat cancer. It is given orally (by mouth).

Possible Side Effects

  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Breast pain and swelling
  • Electrolyte changes
  • Changes in your liver function
  • Impotence (erectile dysfunction) 

Note: Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Risk of blood clots and events such as stroke and heart attack, which can be life-threatening. A blood clot in your leg may cause your leg to swell, appear red and warm, and/or cause pain. A blood clot in your lungs may cause trouble breathing, pain when breathing, and/or chest pain.
  • Congestive heart failure. You may be short of breath. Your arms, hands, legs and feet may swell.
  • Blood sugar levels may change. If you have diabetes, changes may need to be made to your diabetes medication.
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis are rare but may happen in some patients. Signs of allergic reaction to this drug may be swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way. If this happens, do not take another dose of this drug. You should get urgent medical treatment.

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

Important Information

  • This drug may be present in the saliva, tears, sweat, urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal secretions. Talk to your doctor and/or your nurse about the necessary precautions to take during this time.

How to Take Your Medication

  • Swallow the medicine with water, at least 1 hour before you eat or 2 hours after you eat
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose, do not take the missed dose and do not double up on the next dose. Instead, continue with your regular dosing schedule and contact your physician.
  • If you vomit a dose, take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Handling: Wash your hands after handling your medicine, your caretakers should not handle your medicine with bare hands and should wear latex gloves.
  • This drug may be present in the saliva, tears, sweat, urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal secretions. Talk to your doctor and/or your nurse about the necessary precautions to take during this time.
  • Storage: Store this medicine in the original container in the refrigerator at 36° to 46° F (2° to 8°C).
  • Disposal of unused medicine: Do not flush any expired and/or unused medicine down the toilet or drain unless you are specifically instructed to do so on the medication label. Some facilities have unused medication take-back programs and/or other options. If you do not have a take-back program in your area, then please discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.

Treating Side Effects

  • If you have diabetes, keep good control of your blood sugar level. Tell your nurse or your doctor if your glucose levels are higher or lower than normal.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • Avoid taking milk, milk products and calcium-rich foods or drugs while taking estramustine as this may lower the levels of the drug in your body, which can make it less effective.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with estramustine. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions.
  • The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Do not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • A headache that does not go away
  • Blurry vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back or it can be constant. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Signs of possible liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
  • Wheezing and/or trouble breathing
  • Your leg or arm is swollen, red, warm and/or painful
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • Abnormal blood sugar
  • Unusual thirst, passing urine often, headache, sweating, shakiness, irritability
  • Signs of an allergic reaction: swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way
  • If you think you may have impregnated your partner

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Estramustine should not be used by women. Men with female partners of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment. Do not assume you cannot impregnate your partner if you have been impotent in the past as reports of men regaining potency while on treatment have been reported. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may have impregnated your partner.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Estramustine should not be used by women.
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.

Revised August 2018

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2018. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.