Treats prostate cancer and breast cancer. In women, also used to treat endometriosis and to make the lining of the uterus thin before surgery.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin near your stomach. This medicine may be given once every 28 days or once every 3 months. Your schedule depends on the reason you are using this medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other hormone medicines (such as Pregnyl®, Profasi®), a steroid medicine (such as cortisone, prednisone, or Medrol®), or medicine for seizures (such as phenytoin, Depakote®, or Dilantin®).
- Birth control pills, implants, patches, or shots may not work while you are using Zoladex®. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control together with your pills. Other forms include condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- For women: Using this medicine while you are pregnant may harm your unborn baby. Your birth control pills may not work as well while you are receiving this medicine. Use a nonhormonal form of birth control together with your pills to keep from getting pregnant while you are receiving this medicine and for at least 12 weeks after treatment. Nonhormonal birth control includes vaginal spermicides, condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or have bone cancer, diabetes, spinal cord (back) problems, trouble urinating, blood pressure problems, or pituitary gland problems.
- For women: You will stop having menstrual periods while you are using this medicine. This is not an effective form of birth control. If you keep having normal periods while using this medicine, tell your doctor. If your periods do not return to normal after you stop using this medicine, tell your doctor.
- For male patients: This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, check with your doctor.
- When you first start using this medicine for cancer treatment, some of your symptoms might get worse for a short time. You might also have new symptoms. You might have bone pain, back pain, or trouble urinating. These symptoms should improve within a few weeks. Tell your doctor if you have any new symptoms or your symptoms get worse.
- This medicine might cause you to lose some bone density. Tell your doctor if you have risk factors for osteoporosis (thin or brittle bones). Some risk factors are alcohol abuse, tobacco cigarette smoking, a family history of osteoporosis, or using other medicines that might cause bone density loss, such as steroids or medicine for seizures.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
- Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
- Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Black, tarry stools.
- Bloody or cloudy urine, or painful urination.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Swelling in your hands or feet.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Back pain.
- Dryness or itching in your vagina.
- Headache, mood changes, mild depression, or unusual tiredness.
- Hot flashes, sweating, or change in breast size.
- Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or stomach pain.
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot was given.
- Skin rash.
- Trouble having sex or loss of interest in sex.
- Trouble with sleeping.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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