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Emcyt Side Effects

Generic name: estramustine

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 8, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about estramustine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Emcyt.

For the Consumer

Applies to estramustine: oral capsule

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, estramustine (the active ingredient contained in Emcyt) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking estramustine:


  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • headaches (severe or sudden)
  • loss of coordination (sudden)
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pains in chest, groin, or leg (especially calf of leg)
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • shortness of breath (sudden, for no apparent reason)
  • slurred speech (sudden)
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • vision changes (sudden)
  • weakness or numbness in arm or leg

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking estramustine:

More common

  • Swelling of feet or lower legs


  • Skin rash or fever
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of estramustine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • decreased interest in sex
  • diarrhea
  • nausea

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to estramustine: oral capsule


Very common (10% or more): Breast tenderness (66%), breast enlargement (60%), gynecomastia

Frequency not reported: Erectile dysfunction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Abnormal LDH and/or AST (31%), abnormal hepatic function

Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal bilirubin[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Edema (19%)

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain

Frequency not reported: Injection site thrombosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (15%), diarrhea (12%), minor gastrointestinal upset (11%), vomiting

Common (1% to 10%): Flatulence, gastrointestinal bleeding[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pulmonary emboli, upper respiratory discharge, hoarseness, burning throat

Frequency not reported: Larynx edema[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Congestive heart failure

Common (1% to 10%): Myocardial infarction, thrombophlebitis

Frequency not reported: Myocardial ischemia, hypertension[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anemia, leukopenia

Common (1% to 10%): Thrombocytopenia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fluid retention

Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia, thirst[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, dry skin, rash, easy bruising, flushing, peeling skin on fingertip, thinning hair[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Leg cramps

Frequency not reported: Muscular weakness[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Lethargy, cerebrovascular accident, headache[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Tearing of eyes[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, emotional lability, anxiety

Frequency not reported: Confusional state, depression[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity reactions, allergic reactions, angioedema, allergic dermatitis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Emcyt (estramustine)." Pharmacia and Upjohn (2001):

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.