Degarelix

Generic Name: degarelix (DEG a REL ix)
Brand Names: Firmagon

What is degarelix?

Degarelix is a man-made form of a protein that reduces the amount of certain hormones in the body.

Degarelix is used to treat prostate cancer. It works by decreasing the amount of testosterone in the body, which the tumor needs to grow.

Degarelix may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to degarelix. Although degarelix is not for use by women, this medication should not be used by a woman who is pregnant or breast-feeding, or who may become pregnant.

Before you receive degarelix, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome," congestive heart failure, or an electrolyte imbalance, such as low or high levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially a heart rhythm medication.

Degarelix is usually given once every 28 days. Follow your doctor's instructions.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

Before receiving degarelix

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to degarelix.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use degarelix:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome";

  • heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder;

  • congestive heart failure; or

  • an electrolyte imbalance, such as low or high levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood.

Although degarelix is not for use by women, this medication can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy. Degarelix should not be used by a woman who is pregnant. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Degarelix should not be used by a woman who is breast-feeding a baby.

How is degarelix given?

Degarelix is injected under the skin around your stomach. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Degarelix is usually given once every 28 days. Follow your doctor's instructions.

The first time you receive degarelix, you will be given two injections. At your monthly follow-up visits you will receive only one injection.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your degarelix injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of a degarelix overdose are not known.

What should I avoid?

On the day of your injection, avoid wearing a belt, tight waistband, or tight clothing around your stomach where the injection will be given.

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Degarelix side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to degarelix: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;

  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious degarelix side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • chills or hot flashes;

  • weight gain;

  • tired feeling;

  • joint pain;

  • back pain;

  • constipation;

  • impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm; or

  • pain, swelling, redness, or a hard lump where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect degarelix?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially a heart rhythm medication such as:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);

  • bretylium (Bretylan, Tosylate);

  • disopyramide (Norpace);

  • dofetilide (Tikosyn);

  • flecaininde (Tambocor);

  • ibutilide (Corvert);

  • mexiletine (Mexitil);

  • morizicine (Ethmozine);

  • procainamide (Procan, Procanbid, Pronestyl);

  • propafenone (Rythmol);

  • quinidine (Quin-G); or

  • sotalol (Betapace).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with degarelix. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about degarelix.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision Date: 09/13/2010 9:01:53 PM.

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