Brand name: Emcyt
Drug class: Antineoplastic Agents
VA class: AN900
Chemical name: 3-[bis(2-chloroethyl)carbamate] 17-(dihydrogen phosphate)-estra-1,3,5(10)-triene-3,17-diol (17β) disodium salt
Molecular formula: C23H30Cl2NNa2O6P
CAS number: 2998-57-4
Antimicrotubule antineoplastic agent; a complex of 17 β-estradiol and nornitrogen mustard.
Uses for Estramustine
Palliative treatment of metastatic and/or progressive prostate cancer.
Considered by many clinicians to be an alternative to conventional measures (e.g., orchiectomy, hormonal therapy); generally used in treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
Combination therapy with etoposide, paclitaxel, or vinblastine may result in higher objective response rates and greater improvements in subjective parameters (e.g., pain) for treatment of hormone-refractory disease.
Estramustine Dosage and Administration
Consult specialized references for procedures for proper handling and disposal of antineoplastics.
Administer orally 3 or 4 times daily.
Food or calcium-containing products may decrease absorption. Administer orally 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals with water; avoid concomitant administration with calcium-containing foods or beverages (e.g., milk, milk products) or drugs (e.g., calcium-containing antacids).
Available as estramustine phosphate sodium; dosage expressed in terms of estramustine phosphate.
14 mg/kg (i.e., one 140-mg capsule for each 10 kg or 22 lb of body weight) daily in 3 or 4 divided doses. In clinical studies in the US, most patients received dosages of 10–16 mg/kg daily.
Administer 30–90 days before assessing potential benefits of continuing. Continue therapy as long as response is satisfactory; some patients have received >3 years.
Cautions for Estramustine
Known hypersensitivity to estramustine, estradiol (or other estrogens), nitrogen mustard, or any ingredient in the formulation.
Active thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders, except when such conditions are caused by the tumor mass, and clinician judges that anticipated benefits outweigh potential risks.
Risk of adverse effects from estrogenic metabolites; consider cautions, precautions, and contraindications associated with estrogens.
Risk of breast tenderness and mild or moderate breast enlargement. Gynecomastia and impotence are known estrogenic effects.
Risk of thrombotic and thromboembolic disorders, including thrombophlebitis, AMI, pulmonary embolism, cerebrovascular accident, and leg cramps. Use with caution in patients with history of thrombophlebitis, thrombosis, or thromboembolic disorders (especially if associated with estrogen use); caution in patients with cerebrovascular or coronary artery disease.
Hypertension may occur; monitor BP periodically.
Endocrine and Metabolic Effects
Risk of decreased glucose tolerance; patients with diabetes mellitus should be carefully monitored.
Risk of angioedema, rash, and pruritus.
Risk of exacerbation of preexisting or incipient peripheral edema or CHF. Use with caution in patients with conditions that might be aggravated by fluid retention (e.g., CHF, epilepsy, migraine, renal dysfunction), and carefully monitor such patients.
Risk of elevated AST (SGOT), LDH, and/or bilirubin concentrations. Monitor liver function during and for 2 months following discontinuance.
Risk of nausea, diarrhea, and minor GI upset.
Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality
Estramustine was not mutagenic in the Ames test; however, estradiol and nitrogen mustard are known mutagens. Avoid pregnancy during therapy.
Potential influence on metabolism of calcium and phosphorus; use with caution in patients with metabolic bone diseases associated with hypercalcemia or in patients with renal impairment. Risk of hypocalcemia in patients with prostate cancer and osteoblastic metastases; closely monitor calcium concentrations.
Category X. (See Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality under Cautions.) Not intended for use in women.
Not intended for use in women.
Safety and efficacy not established; use not recommended in pediatric patients.
Safety and efficacy not specifically studied to date. Careful monitoring for toxicity recommended.
Decreased metabolism in patients with hepatic impairment; use with caution.
May influence metabolism of calcium and phosphorus; use with caution.
Common Adverse Effects
Nausea, diarrhea, minor GI upset, breast tenderness, breast enlargement, edema, elevated AST [SGOT] and/or LDH concentrations, dyspnea.
Interactions for Estramustine
Calcium-containing Foods or Drugs
Potential decreased absorption when administered concomitantly with calcium-containing foods or beverages (e.g., milk, milk products) or drugs (e.g., calcium-containing antacids). (See Oral Administration under Dosage and Administration.)
After oral administration, approximately 75% of estramustine phosphate absorbed into GI tract tissues and rapidly dephosphorylated to cytotoxic estramustine, most of which is subsequently oxidized to an active cytotoxic metabolite, estromustine. Relative bioavailability of estromustine is approximately 44%.
Peak plasma concentrations of estromustine usually are attained within 2–4 hours. Estramustine phosphate not detected in plasma after oral administration.
Calcium-containing foods or beverages (e.g., milk, milk products) may decrease absorption.
Estramustine and estromustine are distributed into prostatic carcinoma tissues and plasma; the tumor to plasma concentration ratio of estramustine or estromustine is approximately 6 or 1, respectively.
Approximately 10–20% of estramustine or estromustine is metabolized to estradiol or estrone, respectively. Markedly elevated estradiol concentrations detected as early as 1 week of estramustine phosphate initiation; may persist for 7–12 weeks after discontinuance.
Estramustine, estromustine, and their metabolites excreted principally in bile; <1% of conjugated estradiol and estrone excreted in urine.
After oral administration, mean elimination half-life of estromustine was approximately 10.3 hours.
Decreased metabolism in patients with hepatic impairment.
Estramustine and estromustine bind to tubulin and/or microtubule-associated proteins, resulting in depolymerization of microtubules and, subsequently, cellular metaphase arrest.
May damage cell membrane, promote DNA breakage, interfere with DNA replication, and induce cellular apoptosis in other cell lines (e.g., glioma cells, colon cancer cells).
Advice to Patients
Importance of using effective contraception method during therapy; if pregnancy occurs in the partner of a patient, advise patient and partner of risk to the fetus.
Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs and dietary or herbal supplements, as well as any concomitant illnesses.
Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information. (See Cautions.)
Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.
Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.
140 mg (of estramustine phosphate)
AHFS DI Essentials™. © Copyright 2023, Selected Revisions May 1, 2004. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.
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