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What Is Estramustine Used For?

How Does This Medicine Work?

Technically, estramustine belongs to a group of drugs known as alkylating agents. However, it works differently than other alkylating agents.
Estramustine is made up of a combination of estradiol (a form of estrogen) that has been chemically linked to nornitrogen mustard, a chemotherapy medicine. It works in two ways to stop the growth of cancer cells.
The chemotherapy portion works like an antimicrotubule agent. Antimicrotubule agents interfere with the action of microtubules, structures in the cell that help move chromosomes during cell division. By interfering with the action of microtubules, estramustine helps stop cancer cells from dividing.
When estramustine is broken down in the body, estradiol is released. Estradiol is a hormone therapy that stops the body from producing male hormones (androgens), such as testosterone. Because prostate cancer cells need male hormones to grow, hormone therapy such as estradiol can slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Can Children Use It?

Estramustine has not been adequately studied in children, and is not approved for use in individuals younger than 18 years of age. This is usually not a problem, however, as prostate cancer is extremely rare in children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medicine in children.

Is It Safe for Older Adults to Use Estramustine?

Yes -- older adults can use this medication. In fact, estramustine is typically used in older men, as they are more likely than younger men to develop prostate cancer. However, there is currently not enough information about estramustine use in older adults to determine if they will respond any differently to the medication than younger age groups.
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Estramustine Drug Information

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