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Fulvestrant (Faslodex®) 

Warning: Fulvestrant can cause serious or even fetal health problems in cancer patients who are suffering from bleeding disorders, liver disease, thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) or breastfeeding patients. If you have a history of any of these diseases it is very important to tell your oncologist before the treatment.

 

Indication:  Fulvestrant is a drug that is used to treat women’s breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive.  This type of breast cancer requires estrogen to grow.  It is also used for women who have gone through menopause, and have not had success with other cancer fighting anti estrogen medications.  Fluvestrant is considered an estrogen receptor antagonist; it helps to stop the growth of new tumors that are found in breast tissue.

The medication may also be recommended for other medical conditions; talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.  

Dosage: Fulvestrant is a liquid solution, which is intended for intramuscular injection into the buttocks muscle.  Only a qualified doctor or nurse is recommended to give this injection.  Consult your health care provider as to if you will get your dose once a month, or if it will be divided into two doses.  If by any chance you miss a dose, it is best to get the injection as soon as possible. 

Storage:  store Fulvestrant at room temperature (15-25 ° C), away from light, moisture and heat above 40 ° C. Fulvestrant and all other medications should not be used beyond the expiration date printed on the container. Keep the medication out of the reach of children.    

Overdose:  overdosing Fulvestrant is dangerous. In fact, even at normal dose, Fulvestrant can lead to a decrease in white blood cells or in platelets that can cause serious infections. If you take an overdose, contact your doctor or poison control center nearest you to reduce or prevent complications. All chemotherapy drugs can lead to death when they are overdosed.  

Missing dose: it is important to  take the medication as prescribed. The medication is taken once a month; chance of missing dose is very low. 

Contraindications:   There are several contraindications that Fulvestrant can cause, but the leading and most important one is allergy.  It is vital that you notify your prescribing doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to this medication.  It is very important to give a detailed health history to your physician including, all allergies to drugs, foods, and any seasonal allergies you may have.  As well as any liver diseases you have or have had or any bleeding disorders you have or have had in the past.  If you are taking a blood thinner, make sure you doctor is aware of this, the dose of Fulvestrant may need to be changed. 

 

It is extremely important that you know if you are pregnant while taking this medication.  This drug has been linked to fetal harm.  It is advised that all patients take a pregnancy test, even if they have gone through menopause, to make sure they are not pregnant.  It is also advised to not breast feed while taking this medication as well, because it can enter the breast milk.

 

If you experience any shortness of breath, chest pain, or swelling of the face while talking this medication, alert your doctor immediately. If there is an overdose, paramedics should be notified immediately. 

 

Keeping all of your appointments with your doctor is strongly advised while taking this medication.  Never just stop this medication because you feel better.  Speak with your doctor about any concerns you have while taking Fulvestrant.

 

Interactions:  There are no dietary restrictions with Fulvestrant.  Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can go on eating your normal diet. Howver, before starting the treatment tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, whether prescription or non prescription. Talk to your doctor before taking vitamins and nutritional supplements. Some drugs such as anticoagulants (blood thinners) and warfarin (Coumadin) can cause health problems when they are combined with Fulvestrant.  

 

Side effects:  Fulvestrant may cause these following side effects:

  • hair loss
  • headache ................................. 
  • mouth sores
  • nausea and vomitting
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • decreased appetite
  • insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • flushing
  • dizziness
  • impotence (erectile dysfunction)
  • swollen or tenderness of breasts
  • feeling of fullness in abdomen
  • dry mouth
  • Flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, headache, fatigue, and sore throat 

Although rare, this medication cancer patients can experience serious adverse reactions which require immediate medical care:

  • nervousness ........................................ 
  • confusion
  • severe depression symptoms
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • pain or tenderness in the stomach
  • severe dizziness or fainting
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • persistent hoarseness or cough
  • chest tightness or wheezing
  • stools containing blood or blackish stools
  • pain in lower back or side
  • skin rash
  • swelling of face, fingers, feet or lower legs
  • bluish lips, fingernails, or palms Hand
  • Bloody or dark urine 
  • numbness, tingling, pain or weakness in hands, arms, legs or feet