HOW DO ANTINEOPLASTIC HORMONES WORK?
Antineoplastic hormones are a class of drugs used to treat secondary amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance, advanced breast and endometrial cancer (cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus), and symptoms of menopause (end of menstrual cycles) such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and vaginal burning or irritation in females, and to treat low testosterone levels in men, delayed puberty in boys, hypogonadism (a condition that occurs when the sex glands produce little or no sex hormones), impotence, and prostate cancer.
Estrogens are responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. While in males, testosterone is responsible for many normal functions, including growth and development of the genitals, muscles, and bones.
Antineoplastic hormones work in the following ways:
- They belong to a class of medications called "progestins" that work by preventing abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus.
- They are a man-made version of the human hormone progesterone which helps in treating breast and endometrial cancer by affecting female hormones involved in the growth of cancer cells.
- They belong to a class of medications called "antimicrotubule agents" that work by stopping the growth and spread of cancerous cells.
- They are androgen and anabolic steroid medications similar to the natural testosterone produced by the body.
HOW ARE ANTINEOPLASTIC HORMONES USED?
Antineoplastic hormones are used to treat conditions such as:
- In females
- Inoperable breast cancer
- Postpartum breast pain and engorgement (after childbirth)
- Metastatic endometrial cancer (cancer that begins in the layer of cells that form the lining [endometrium] of the uterus)
- Secondary amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Endometrial hyperplasia reduction (a condition in which the endometrium [lining of the uterus] is abnormally thick)
- Endometriosis-associated pain (a disease in which the endometrium [the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus] is present outside of the uterus)
- Menopause (end of menstrual cycles)
- Atrophic vaginitis (thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls)
- Kraurosis vulvae (a rare disease characterized by intense itching and inflammation of the vulva)
- Hypogonadism (a condition that occurs when the sex glands produce little or no sex hormones)
- Primary ovarian failure (when the ovaries stop working before age 40 years)
- In males:
- Metastatic renal carcinoma
- AIDS-related cachexia (involuntary weight loss or wasting indicative of severe protein energy malnutrition)
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTINEOPLASTIC HORMONES?
Some of the common side effects include:
- Breast tenderness and enlargement
- Leg cramps
- Oily skin
- Hot flushes
Other rare side effects include:
- Hair loss
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chills, sore throat, fever, or cough
- Blurred vision
- Peripheral edema (swelling of lower legs or hands)
- Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Decreased sexual desire
- Growth of hair on the face
- Menstrual irregularities
- Priapism (persistent and painful erection of the penis)
- Gynecomastia (enlarged male breast tissue)
- Increased weight
- Amenorrhea (absence of menses)
- Melasma (a common pigmentation disorder that causes brown or gray patches to appear on the skin, primarily on the face)
Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
WHAT ARE NAMES OF ANTINEOPLASTIC HORMONES?
Generic and brand names of antineoplastic hormones include:
- Depo-subQ provera 104
- Estrogens esterified
- Estrogens, esterified
- Megace ES
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