Goserelin (Subcutaneous)

Overview

Goserelin is a hormone that is similar to one that is normally released from the hypothalamus gland in the brain. It's used in the treatment of a variety of different medical problems that include:

  • Cancer of the breast in women if it develops around the time or before menopause

When given regularly as an implant, this drug works every day to decrease the amount of testosterone and estrogen levels in the blood.

By reducing the amount of estrogen in the body, you can help treat cancer of the breast and endometriosis and it can help thin the uterus lining before receiving surgery. Goserelin works by helping to prevent the growth of tissue associated with endometriosis in women who are adults, during treatment and for up to a six month period after the treatment has stopped.

By reducing the amount of testosterone in the body, you can treat prostate cancer.

Suppressing estrogen can slow the growth of bones or even thin them. This is specifically a problem for adult women whose bones don't grow, unlike children. This is why this drug is used only for up to six months in older women treated for endometriosis.

This medication is given under the supervision or by your doctor and is available in the dosage form of an implant.

Conditions treated

  • Puberty at an Earlier Age than would be expected

Type of medication

  • Implant

Side effects

Along with the intended effects of this medication in treating various medical problems, this drug can cause some unwanted side effects. Not all of these side effects may occur, but if they do, you may be required to seek medical attention.

Consult with your healthcare professional or doctor right away if you suffer from any of the following side effects whilst taking Goserelin:

  • For all adults
  • Less common side effects
  • Regular or fast heartbeat
  • Rare side effects
  • Muscle, joint or bone pain
  • For females only
  • Rare side effects
  • Anxiety
  • For males only
  • Rare side effects
  • Pain in the chest

Some side effects that occur with this drug usually don't require medical attention. You find that these side effects begin to disappear as your body start adjusting to the medication. If however, you are finding the side effects are bothersome, you should contact your local pharmacist or doctor for advice on ways to reduce or prevent these side effects. Seek advice from your doctor or healthcare professional if any of the following side effects continue or cause you bother.

  • For all adults
  • More common
  • Sudden sweating and hot flashes
  • Less common
  • Blurred vision
  • For females only
  • More common
  • Light, irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Less common
  • Dryness, burning, or itching of the vagina
  • For males only
  • Lesson common
  • Bone pain

You may suffer from other side effects that are not listed above. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional if you suffer from anything unusual. Report all side effects to the FDA on 1-800-FDA-1088.

Dosage

The final dose of any medication you receive will depend on a variety of individualized factors. These include your weight, age and height, any other medications you are currently taking, the specific reason you are being treated, other medical conditions you suffer from and your reaction to the first dose. Below are the dosage guidelines typically offered for treatment, however, your final dose may be different.

Typical Adult Dose for Prostate Cancer: 10.8 mg or 3.6 mg given once subcutaneously into the upper abdominal wall.

  • The 3.6 mg dose can be repeated every 28 days if necessary.

These doses are intended for long-term administration unless otherwise inappropriate.

Typical Adult Dose for Endometriosis

  • 3.6 mg given once subcutaneously into the upper abdominal wall.
  • The 3.6 mg dose can be repeated every 28 days.
  • The typical duration that is recommended for this therapy is six months.
  • Typical Adult Dose for Breast Cancer-Palliative: As above.
  • This dose is intended for long-term administration unless it is otherwise inappropriate.

Typical Adult Dose for Bleeding:

One or two of the 3.6 mg subcutaneous depot injections. When one depot is given, surgery should be performed at four weeks. When two depots are administered, surgery should be given within two to four weeks following the administration of the second depot.

Interactions

Interactions between drugs can cause severe side effects and reduce the effective nature of either drug. To avoid these interactions you should give your doctor or healthcare professional a full list of all the current and past medications you are taking. This should include all prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal products and vitamins. You should make your doctor aware of any other medical conditions you currently suffer from as these too can increase your risk of certain interactions.

The use of this medication is not recommended alongside any of the following medications. Your doctor may avoid treating you with this drug altogether or change some of the other medications you are taking.

  • Sparfloxacin

The use of this medication alongside any of the following medications is not typically recommended, however in some cases it may be necessary for your treatment. If you are prescribed both medications, your doctor may alter the use or dose you receive of each medication.

  • Granisetron

Let your doctor know if you are taking any of the following drugs. Your doctor may need to alter either medication to avoid severe interactions.

  • Apomorphine

Other medical conditions

If you suffer from other medical conditions, this could affect the use of this medication. You should make your doctor or healthcare professional aware of any other medical conditions you suffer from including:

  • Heart rhythm problems

Warnings

Allergies You should inform your doctor or healthcare professional about any allergic or unusual reactions you have suffered from with this medication, or similar medications. You should also make them aware of any other allergies you suffer from including to animals, preservatives, dyes, and food.

Pediatric population Appropriate studies have not been conducted on the relationship of age to the effects of goserelin in the younger population. Therefore efficacy and safety have not yet been established.

Geriatric population Appropriate studies conducted to date have not indicated a geriatric-specific problem that could limit the effectiveness of goserelin in elderly men. However, efficacy and safety have not been established in women.

Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding

This drug is under FDA pregnancy category X. The use of this medication can harm an unborn child and cause birth defects. However, it is something necessary for those pregnant women who are being treated for advanced breast cancer. Unless you are being treated for this condition, you should avoid taking this medication whilst pregnant. Discuss the implications with your doctor.

You may be required to show a negative pregnancy test before receiving the implant.

Use a barrier form of birth control (such as a diaphragm with spermicide or a condom).

Hormonal contraception (implants, birth control pills, injections, vaginal rings and skin patches) may not be enough to prevent pregnancy whilst taking this medication. You should continue to use birth control for at least twelve weeks after this implant has been removed.

It is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing infant. You should avoid breastfeeding whilst taking this medication.

Proper use

A trained healthcare professional or nurse will give you this medication. This drug is given via a shot under your skin near the stomach area. This medication can be given once every 28 days or once every three months depending on your individual requirements. To ensure you are on the right schedule with the medication, it's important you attend all necessary checkups.

It's extremely important that you continue to receive the medication, even once you begin to feel better.

For female patients

Whilst you are receiving this medication, your menstrual cycle may not be regular or you may not have a period at all. This is expected when being treated with this medication, so you should not be alarmed. If regular menstrual periods continue whilst you are taking this medication, or they do not reappear within two to three months once you've stopped treatment, you should seek advice from your doctor.

When you first begin using this medication for cancer treatment, some of your symptoms may worsen for a short period of time. You may even develop new symptoms such as back pain, bone pain, or trouble peeing. These symptoms usually begin to reduce after a few weeks, however, if they become worse, you should contact your doctor for advice

For male patients

This medication can affect blood sugar levels. If you are a type one or type two diabetic and notice a change in the results of your urine or blood sugar tests, seek advice from your doctor.

For male patients only

This medication can increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. You should consult with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms

This medication can cause a decrease in bone mineral density, which could lead to weak bones or osteoporosis. You should discuss with your doctor, your risk.

This medication can cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening condition and requires urgent medical attention. Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Itching or rash

You may experience an injury at the injection site after receiving this medication. Contact your doctor immediately if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • Stomach or minimal pain

Storage

This drug will be stored in a medical clinic as it is administrated via a medical professional.

Summary

When used correctly, goserelin is successful in the treatment of a variety of medical problems. Due to a large number of interactions possible, it's important that you give your doctor a complete list of all current medications you are taking. You should not use this drug whilst pregnant or breastfeeding. You should continue to use effective birth control for 12 weeks after you have finished receiving this medication. The safety and efficacy of this drug have not been established in children. Typically this medication will not need to be removed as the implant will naturally be absorbed by your body over a period of time. However, if you are experiencing serious side effects or a reaction, your doctor may remove the implant. You should let your doctor know if your condition becomes worse. Contact your doctor if you require any further information on the practical use of this drug or have any other questions.