Generic Name: goserelin (GOE se REL in)
Brand Names: Zoladex
What is Zoladex?
Zoladex (goserelin) is a man-made form of a hormone that regulates many processes in the body. Zoladex overstimulates the body's own production of certain hormones, which causes that production to shut down temporarily.
Zoladex is used in men to treat symptoms of prostate cancer, and in women to treat breast cancer or endometriosis. It is also used in women to prepare the lining of the uterus for endometrial ablation (a surgery to correct abnormal uterine bleeding).
If you are receiving Zoladex to treat prostate cancer, use any other medications your doctor has prescribed to best treat your condition. Goserelin treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer but does not treat the cancer itself.
Zoladex may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Zoladex can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Unless you are being treated for advanced breast cancer, you should not use Zoladex during pregnancy. Use effective non-hormonal (barrier) birth control during treatment and for at least 12 weeks after treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. You should not breast-feed while you are using Zoladex.
You should not use Zoladex if you are allergic to goserelin or to similar hormone medications such as leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard, Viadur), nafarelin (Synarel), or ganirelix (Antagon).
Before you receive Zoladex, tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis, diabetes, urination problems, a condition affecting your spine, a history of heart attack or stroke, risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or being overweight), or if you have abnormal bleeding that your doctor has not checked.
Zoladex can decrease bone mineral density, which may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. This risk may be greater if you smoke, drink alcohol frequently, have a family history of osteoporosis, or use certain drugs such as seizure medications or steroids. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk of bone loss.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect while using Zoladex, such as severe numbness or tingling in your legs or feet, muscle weakness, problems with balance or coordination, loss of bladder or bowel control, urinating less than usual, pain or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine or stools, easy bruising, increased thirst or urination, fruity breath odor, trouble breathing, sudden numbness or weakness, sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision or speech, or chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder.
Before receiving Zoladex
You should not use Zoladex if you are allergic to goserelin or to similar hormone medications such as leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard, Viadur), nafarelin (Synarel), or ganirelix (Antagon). Do not use Zoladex if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
To make sure you can safely use Zoladex, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
osteoporosis or low bone density;
a history of heart attack or stroke;
risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or being overweight);
a condition affecting your spine; or
if you have abnormal bleeding that your doctor has not checked.
FDA pregnancy category X. Zoladex can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. However, Zoladex is sometimes given to pregnant women being treated for advanced breast cancer. Unless you are being treated for advanced breast cancer, you should not use Zoladex during pregnancy.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
Before receiving Zoladex, you may need a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication and for at least 12 weeks after your treatment ends.
If you are a premenopausal woman, Zoladex should cause your periods to stop during treatment. However, you must still use an effective barrier form of birth control (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide gel or inserts). Hormonal forms of contraception (such as birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings) may not be effective during your treatment with Zoladex. After you stop using Zoladex, you should begin having regular periods again. Call your doctor if your normal periods do not return within 12 weeks after your Zoladex treatment ends.
It is not known whether goserelin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Zoladex. This medication can decrease bone mineral density, which may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. This risk may be greater if you smoke, drink alcohol frequently, have a family history of osteoporosis, or use certain drugs such as seizure medications or steroids. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk of bone loss.
How is Zoladex given?
Zoladex is given in a tiny implant that is inserted through a needle injected under the skin of your upper stomach. You will receive this injection in a clinic or doctor's office.
You are not likely to be able to feel the implant through your skin, and it should not cause pain or discomfort. The implant will dissolve in your body over time.
A new Zoladex implant is usually injected every 28 days, but the timing of your dose may be different if you are also receiving chemotherapy. Follow your doctor's instructions. It is very important to receive your Zoladex injections on time each month.
If you are a premenopausal woman, you should stop having menstrual periods during treatment with Zoladex. Call your doctor if you still have regular periods. Missing a dose can cause breakthrough bleeding.
While your hormone levels are adjusting to Zoladex, you may notice increased symptoms or new symptoms of your condition. This should be only temporary during the first few weeks of treatment. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after several weeks of using Zoladex.
Your blood sugar may need to be checked while using Zoladex, even if you are not diabetic. You may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.
This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Zoladex.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Zoladex injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Since the Zoladex implant contains a specific amount of the medication, you are not likely to receive an overdose.
What should I avoid?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase your risk of bone loss while you are being treated with this medicine. Avoid smoking, which can increase your risk of bone loss, stroke, or heart problems.
Goserelin can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.
Zoladex side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Zoladex: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
back pain, severe numbness or tingling in your legs or feet;
muscle weakness, problems with balance or coordination;
loss of bladder or bowel control;
urinating less than usual or not at all;
pain or burning when you urinate;
blood in your urine or stools;
feeling like you might pass out;
pale skin, easy bruising;
nausea, loss of appetite, increased thirst, muscle weakness, confusion, and feeling tired or restless;
high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
sudden numbness or weakness, sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision or speech; or
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.
Less serious Zoladex side effects may include:
hot flashes, sweating, headache, dizziness;
mood changes, increased or decreased interest in sex;
vaginal dryness, itching, or discharge;
impotence, fewer erections than normal;
breast swelling or tenderness;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
acne, mild skin rash or itching.
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 Zoladex?
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Zoladex. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More about Zoladex (goserelin)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Zoladex.
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