Faslodex is licensed for the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The medication works by binding to and blocking estrogen receptors. By reducing the amount of estrogen available, the medication can decrease the cancer's growth. It is only available in one dose, regardless of the severity of your cancer, age, or weight. Side effects can include nausea, weakness, and hot flashes.
What Is Faslodex?
Faslodex® (fulvestrant) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Specifically, the drug has been licensed to treat postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer that has worsened while taking another breast cancer hormone treatment.
Faslodex is a hormone treatment for breast cancer. It works in two ways. First, it works by binding to and blocking estrogen receptors. When Faslodex binds to an estrogen receptor, it blocks estrogen hormones from binding to that receptor. Essentially, the drug competes with the body's natural estrogen. However, unlike estrogen, Faslodex does not encourage breast cancer growth. Secondly, the medication decreases the amount of estrogen receptors on the cells, which also reduces the effect of estrogen on breast cancer.
Many breast cancers are sensitive to the estrogen hormone, meaning that the tumor grows with the help of estrogen. When a tumor is sensitive to estrogen, it has receptors on the outer surface of its cells, into which estrogen fits like a key opening a lock. When this connection is made, the cancer grows. Breast cancers that have estrogen (and/or progesterone) receptors are known as hormone receptor-positive tumors.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Faslodex [package insert]. Wilmington, DE: AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP;2011 May.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Drugs to be discontinued (11/2/2009). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/ucm050794.htm. Accessed November 6, 2009.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 16, 2007.
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