Goserelin functions as an agonist of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH or LHRH). GnRH is a hormone that governs the release of sex hormones. The drug is prescribed for the treatment of prostate cancer, breast cancer occurring prior to or during menopause, and endometriosis, a painful disorder caused by the growth of additional tissue inside or outside the uterus. Goserelin is also used to reduce the thickness of the uterine lining before surgery.
By acting as a substitute for LHRH, goserelin curbs hormone production by inducing “turning off” mechanisms. Consequently, the medication suppresses the production of testosterone and estrogen in the body.
Uses and Dosage
Goserelin is administered via a small implant inserted subcutaneously in the abdomen once every 28 days. The implantation procedure is carried out by a healthcare professional in a clinic or doctor’s office.
If you are concurrently undergoing chemotherapy, your dosing schedule may differ. Adhere to your physician’s instructions. Timely administration of the goserelin implant is crucial.
The implant is not palpable through the skin and should not cause any pain or discomfort. It gradually dissolves in the body over time.
During the initial weeks of treatment, you may observe new or exacerbated symptoms of your medical condition as your hormone levels regulate. If these symptoms persist, notify your physician.
In women of reproductive age, the goserelin implant typically causes cessation of menstrual periods. If menstruation continues, inform your doctor as missed doses can lead to breakthrough bleeding. Regular periods should return within 12 weeks of discontinuing goserelin.
It may be necessary to monitor blood sugar levels while using goserelin, regardless of diabetes status.
Goserelin can affect certain medical tests and yield atypical results. Inform any healthcare provider treating you about your use of goserelin.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- breast tenderness
- change in breast size
- decreased sexual interest
- hair loss
- “hot flashes” (sudden sweating and feeling of warmth)
- joint pain
- pain or redness at the place of injection
- sexual difficulties
- skin rash, redness, or itching
- stopping of menstrual periods
- tingling in fingers and toes
- trouble urinating
- vaginal burning, dryness, or itching
- weight gain
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- blood pressure changes
- bone pain
- bone thinning
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
- joint pain
- mood changes, including anxiety
- signs of depression
- breathing problems
- chest pain
- pain, redness, swelling, and feeling of warmth in the calf
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the eyes, mouth, or lips
Prior to commencing goserelin therapy, disclose to your doctor or pharmacist any allergies you may have, specifically to goserelin, LHRH or LHRH-like hormones, such as triptorelin, or any other allergies. Inactive ingredients in the product may cause allergic reactions or other complications.
Your medical history, including unexplained vaginal bleeding, diabetes, prolonged alcohol consumption, smoking, personal or family history of bone loss (osteoporosis), heart disease, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, stroke, urinary blockage in men, spinal cord problems in men, mental health problems like depression, should be relayed to your doctor or pharmacist prior to starting the medication.
For individuals with diabetes, goserelin may make it more challenging to control blood sugar levels. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels and sharing results with your doctor is necessary. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of high blood sugar. It may be necessary to adjust diabetes medication, exercise regimen, or diet.
Goserelin has the potential to cause QT prolongation, a condition that affects the heart rhythm. In rare cases, it may cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat and other symptoms that require prompt medical attention.
The risk of QT prolongation may be elevated if you have low potassium or magnesium levels, or if you use certain medications like diuretics or have conditions such as profuse sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Elderly individuals may be more susceptible to the side effects of goserelin, particularly QT prolongation.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, as goserelin use during pregnancy is not recommended, and reliable non-hormonal methods of birth control such as condoms or a diaphragm with spermicide must be employed during therapy and for 12 weeks after the final dose, or until menstruation resumes.
In case of pregnancy, consult with your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of continuing goserelin therapy.
It is unclear if goserelin passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended while using this medication. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Zoladex is available in the following forms and strengths:
Zoladex disposable syringe:
Is Zoladex a chemotherapy or hormone therapy?
Goserelin is not a chemo drug, it is a type of hormone therapy.
How often do you have to get Zoladex injections?
You have the injection every 4 weeks or every 12 weeks.