​​Degarelix (Generic Name

Other Names: Firmagon®

About This Drug 

Degarelix is used to treat cancer. It is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Hot flashes or sudden skin flushing may happen. You may also feel warm or red.
  • Pain, redness or warmth at the injection site
  • Weight gain

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Tiredness
  • Electrolyte changes.  Your blood will be checked for electrolyte changes as needed.
  • Your heart tissue can be harmed. This may cause your heart to beat in a way that is not normal. Your doctor may order an EKG to check this.
  • Changes in your liver function. Your doctor will check your liver function as needed.

Allergic Reactions 

  • Allergic reactions to this drug are rare, but may happen in some patients.  Signs of allergic reactions to this drug may be a rash, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, trouble breathing, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way

Treating Side Effects

  •  Wearing clothes that are loose and layered can help decrease hot flashes
  • Damage to the heart is rare. Your doctor will check your heart function as needed. 

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of degarelix with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:
  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Seizures
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Rash or itching
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Confusion or agitation
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, mostly on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden, bad headache with no known cause.  If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911. 
  • Signs of liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Painful, red, or swollen areas on your hands or feet.
  • No bowel movement for 3 days or you feel uncomfortable
  • Extreme weakness that interferes with normal activities

Reproduction Concerns

  • Infertility warning: In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm.
  • Sexuality warning: This drug may decrease your sex drive and can cause erectile dysfunction. 
  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may cause very harmful effects on an unborn child. Degarelix should never be used by women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant while taking the drug. Even 1 dose taken by a pregnant woman can cause these very harmful effects. Your healthcare team will talk to you and give you written information about this risk.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.  For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

New drug sheets: September 2015

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