Goserelin Acetate (Generic Name)

Other Names: Zoladex®

 

About this drug

Goserelin acetate is used to treat cancer. This drug is given by a shot in the abdomen, just under the skin (SQ).

 
Possible side effects (more common)

  • Hot flashes
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • In men, this drug may cause impotence or decreased erection, breast tissue enlargement, and breast tenderness.
  • In women, this drug may cause vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse, slight vaginal spotting or breakthrough bleeding, and breast tenderness.
  • Headache
  • Acne
  • Mood swings
  • Depression

Possible side effects (less common)

  • Mild nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours after your treatment and may last up to several days. Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.
  • Bone pain. This usually happens during the first week of treatment.
  • Feeling tired
  • Generalized weakness and discomfort (aches or pains)
  • Bone weakness (decrease in bone density)
  • Pain or rash at the injection site
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger). This side effect is rare.
  • High blood sugar
  • Heart attack or stroke (very rare).  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 or it can be constant. 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.

Treating side effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen nausea and throwing up.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body due to losing too much fluid).
  • If you get a rash, do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.  Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.
  • Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sex.

Food and drug interactions

There are no known interactions of goserelin acetate 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:

  • Uncontrolled nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
  • 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 or it can be constant. 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. 

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

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Increase in bone pain
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Sexual problems
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Pain at the injection site that is not relieved by prescribed medicine

Sexual problems and reproduction concerns

  • Infertility warning: Sexual problems and reproduction concerns may happen.  In men, this drug may cause impotence or decreased erection, breast tissue enlargement, and breast tenderness. In both men and women, this drug may affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your treatment. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.  Ask for information on sperm or egg banking. 
    • In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm, but it should not change your ability to have sexual relations. 
    • In women, menstrual bleeding may become irregular or stop while you are getting this drug. Do not assume that you cannot become pregnant if you do not have a menstrual period.
    • Women may go through signs of menopause (change of life) like vaginal dryness or itching. Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations. 
    • Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
  • 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.

 

Revised July 2014

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