Brand names: Zoladex
Zoladex relieves the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer in men and advanced breast cancer in premenopausal women. In combination with other forms of therapy, it is also prescribed during treatment of early prostate cancer.
In addition, it can be used in the treatment of endometriosis, a condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus invades the abdomen. If you are scheduled for surgical removal of the lining, the drug may be used to thin the lining prior to the operation.
Zoladex works by reducing levels of testosterone in men and estrogen in women. These hormones can encourage the growth of certain cancers.
Symptoms may actually get worse during the first few weeks of therapy. However, as hormone levels subside, you should begin to feel an improvement.
Doses are implanted under the skin of the upper abdomen every 4 or 12 weeks by your physician or a nurse.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Zoladex.
If Zoladex gives you an allergic reaction, it cannot be used. It should also be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and if you have unexplained abnormal vaginal bleeding. Women of childbearing age should use nonhormonal contraceptive measures while taking Zoladex.
Zoladex therapy can weaken the bones and cause bone pain. In men under treatment for prostate cancer, it has been known to cause osteoporosis and fractures. If you are a heavy drinker, smoke a lot, have family members with brittle bones, or take anticonvulsant drugs or steroids (such as prednisone), make sure your doctor is aware of the situation.
Men with a blockage in the tube from the kidney to the bladder (the ureter) or a case of spinal cord compression should get treatment for these conditions before beginning Zoladex therapy.
Severe allergic reactions, including hives and swelling of the lips and throat, have been reported with drugs similar to Zoladex. If these symptoms occur, call your doctor immediately.
When given with sex hormones, Zoladex may lead to overstimulation of the ovaries. It has also been known to cause ovarian cysts.
Women should remember that even though Zoladex stops menstruation, it is possible to become pregnant if you miss a dose. Since Zoladex could harm the developing baby, it's important to observe strict contraceptive precautions throughout Zoladex therapy.
If you are taking Zoladex to relieve endometriosis, your doctor may recommend hormone-replacement therapy to limit the effects of the reduced estrogen levels that result from Zoladex therapy.
No interactions have been reported.
Zoladex can harm developing babies and newborn infants. It must not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Typically, the doctor will implant a dose of 3.6 milligrams every 4 weeks. Treatment for endometriosis lasts no longer than 6 months. Cancer therapy generally continues for a longer term.
For prostate cancer, the doctor can administer a longer lasting implant of 10.8 milligrams every 12 weeks. When the drug is given with flutamide, the treatment is one 3.6-millgram implant followed by one 10.8-milligram implant 4 weeks later.
If the drug is being used in preparation for endometrial surgery, you'll receive 1 or 2 implants before the operation.
An overdose of Zoladex is highly unlikely, and if one were to occur, it would not cause any harm.