|Type of medicine||Anti-oestrogen|
|Used for||Treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women|
Many breast cancers need the hormone oestrogen to grow. Some of these breast cancers are 'oestrogen-receptor-positive' which means the cancer cells contain oestrogen receptors. Fulvestrant works by preventing oestrogen from binding to these receptors, which in turn helps block the action of oestrogen on the cancer cells and the growth of the tumour.
Before using fulvestrant
Before using fulvestrant make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have not gone through the menopause.
- If you have a bleeding disorder or have problems with your blood clotting.
- If you have osteoporosis (loss of bone density).
- If you have problems with alcohol. (This is because fulvestrant injection contains alcohol).
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to use fulvestrant
- Before you begin this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Fulvestrant will be injected slowly into the muscles in your buttock by your doctor or nurse.
- Usually, your second dose will be given 2 weeks after the initial dose, and then doses are given once each month.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so you can be given this treatment and your progress can be monitored. Your doctor may also want to do tests to check your blood from time to time.
- Before having any kind of medical treatment, including dental or emergency treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are having fulvestrant treatment.
Can fulvestrant cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, speak with your doctor|
|Weakness or tiredness||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert|
|Hot flushes||Try keep cool and wear light, airy clothes|
|Feeling or being sick||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids|
|Pain or inflammation at the injection site, loss of appetite, urine infections, skin rash, or back pain||Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if these side-effects occur|
Important: if you experience an allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, mouth or throat, or if a leg or arm becomes swollen and painful, contact your doctor straight away.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store fulvestrant
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store at 2 - 8°C (in a refrigerator).
- Store in the original packaging to protect from light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Faslodex® 250 mg solution for injection; Manufacturer's PIL, Faslodex® 250 mg solution for injection, AstraZeneca UK Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 18/11/2010||Document ID: 3883 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.