Generic Name: degarelix (deg-a-REL-ix)
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Antiandrogen
Pharmacologic Class: Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone Antagonist
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 29, 2020.
Uses for degarelix
Degarelix is used in men to treat advanced prostate cancer. Degarelix is a type of medicine called a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist. It helps treat prostate cancer by lowering the amount of testosterone hormone in the blood. In some patients, testosterone will cause prostate cancer to grow larger.
Degarelix is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using degarelix
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For degarelix, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to degarelix or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of degarelix in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of degarelix in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving degarelix, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using degarelix with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using degarelix with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of degarelix. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Congestive heart failure or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, prolonged QT interval) or
- Mineral imbalance (low calcium, magnesium, potassium, or sodium in the blood)—May increase risk for more serious side effects.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease, severe—Use with caution. The effects of degarelix may be increased because of slower removal from the body.
Proper use of degarelix
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you degarelix. Degarelix is given as a shot under your skin in the stomach area.
Degarelix comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions in the leaflet carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Degarelix needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Precautions while using degarelix
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that degarelix is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Women should not use degarelix, especially women who are pregnant or able to become pregnant. Degarelix can harm an unborn baby. It can also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using degarelix, tell your doctor right away.
Degarelix may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are receiving degarelix.
Degarelix can cause a change in heart rhythm called prolongation of the QT interval. This condition may change the way your heart beats (faster or slower) and can cause chest pain, dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath. Contact your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms or any questions.
Degarelix may decrease bone mineral density when used for a long time. A low bone mineral density can cause weak bones or osteoporosis. If you have any questions about this ask your doctor.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using degarelix. Degarelix may affect the results of certain tests.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Degarelix side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Back pain
- blurred vision
- flushing or redness of the skin
- hard lump
- pounding in the ears
- slow or fast heartbeat
- small lumps under the skin
- unusually warm skin
- Bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- decrease in testicle size
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty in moving
- frequent urge to urinate
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increased sweating
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- lower back or side pain
- muscle pain or stiffness
- pain in the joints
- Chest pain or discomfort
- irregular heartbeat
- pounding heartbeat
Incidence not known
- difficulty swallowing
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
- tightness in the chest
- trouble breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- feeling of warmth
- increased weight
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- sudden sweating
- lack or loss of strength
- night sweats
- swelling of the breasts or breast soreness
- trouble sleeping
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about degarelix
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 9 Reviews
- Drug class: gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists
Other brands: Firmagon