Goserelin, or Zoladex

Goserelin, or Zoladex

This patient-friendly article is about chemotherapy drug, Goserelin (Zoladex) which is a GnRH analogue, meaning it is a synthetic equivalent. GnRH stands for gonadotrophin-releasing hormone.

Made in the brain, GnRH causes the pituitary gland to make more luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone, which are involved in reproduction. These decrease oestrogen levels and testosterone levels, in both women and men. This can stop the growth of certain cancer cells and uterine cells. (It is also used in some cases of endometriosis)

It is used to treat early breast cancer in pre-menopausal women. It is suitable for women who have oestrogen receptor positive tumours. It is also used to treat pre-menopausal women with secondary breast cancer. 

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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It is also used to stop testosterone (and oestrogen) production in men with prostate cancer. 

Zoladex is typically given by subcutaneous pellet (under the skin) once a month.

Side effects for women can include: hot flushes, decreased sex drive and vaginal dryness. Most women will start their periods again within six months of their last injection, but in some cases women will go through early menopause. According to Medical sites in the USA the drug can result in a worsening of conditions in women in the short-term.

Side effects for men can include: hot flushes, mood swings, impotence, breast tenderness, fatigue, weight gain, pain in muscles and joints, nausea, vomiting and mild diarrhoea.

There is a long-term risk for men and women of osteoporosis, although less of a risk for men as they have a higher base-line level. 

According to Wikipedia, memory loss may be severe and may not return to normal levels even after treatment is stopped. 

Go to:  10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

Go to: Return to the CANCERactive drug list



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