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Estramustine is a combination of two drugs, estradiol and mechlorethamine, that is used to slow growth and kill malignant cells in prostate cancer. It is also known by the brand names Emcyt and Estracyte.
Estramustine is used in the palliative treatment of metastatic or progressive cancer of the prostate. Palliative treatment helps to relieve symptoms, but does not cure the cancer.
Estramustine is classified as an antineoplastic drug. Estramustine is a combination of two drugs: estradiol, a potent female hormone (estrogen), and mechlorethamine, a nitrogen mustard. Its action is to decrease testosterone, increase estrogen level, and suppress cell growth. Estramustine
As with many cancer-fighting drugs, the dose of estramustine a patient receives is individualized and depends on the patient's body weight and general health, as well as what other chemotherapy drugs are being used. A standard dose of estramustine is 14 mg per kg of body weight per day, divided into three or four doses. This is equivalent to one 140 mg capsule for each 22 lbs (10 kg) of body weight. It takes one to three months for estramustine to start to work. The therapy is continued as long as the patient has a favorable response. Some patients have successfully taken this drug for as long as three years.
Estramustine must be taken more than one hour before or more than two hours after meals. It should not be taken with dairy products, calcium supplements, of any food that is high in calcium.
Patients taking estramustine should avoid having any vaccinations while taking the drug, and should consult their doctor immediately if exposed to chicken pox or measles, as this drug may make them more susceptible to these diseases.
Author Info: Tish Davidson A.M., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer, 2002
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