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Men who have prostate cancer that has become worse or has spread to other areas of the body may benefit from estramustine. This prescription medicine works by disrupting the ability of cancer cells to grow and divide. Although this medication is not a cure, it can help minimize symptoms. Side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, and breast enlargement.

What Is Estramustine?

Estramustine phosphate (Emcyt®) is a prescription chemotherapy medication approved for the treatment of prostate cancer. It is used for palliative treatment when the prostate cancer has become worse or spread to other areas (metastasized). Palliative treatment is directed toward relieving symptoms rather than providing a cure.
(Click What Is Estramustine Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any chemotherapy medicine, estramustine can cause side effects, some of which can be significant and potentially serious. In fact, most people will experience some type of side effect during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
Common side effects of estramustine include but are not limited to:
  • Breast tenderness and enlargement
  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Edema (swelling in certain areas of the body due to excess fluid)
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea.
(Click Estramustine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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