Zoladex

Zoladex treats prostate cancer, endometriosis, and breast cancer. May cause hot flashes. If a dose is missed, women may experience breakthrough menstrual bleeding.

Zoladex Overview

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Zoladex is a prescription hormonal implant medication used to treat prostate cancer, endometriosis, and breast cancer. Zoladex belongs to a group of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. These work to treat various medical conditions by decreasing steroid hormone production in the testes and ovaries.

This medication is available in an injectable implant form to be inserted directly under the skin of the stomach, typically every 4 weeks or every 12 weeks, depending on what is being treated. The implant will be inserted by a healthcare professional. 

Common side effects of Zoladex include hot flashes, sexual dysfunction, and headaches.

Zoladex can also cause dizziness and/or drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Zoladex affects you.

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Zoladex Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Zoladex

Zoladex is a prescription hormonal implant medication used:

  • with flutamide to treat locally confined prostate cancer
  • to treat advanced prostate cancer
  • to manage endometriosis
  • as an endometrial-thinning agent prior to endometrial ablation for dysfunctional uterine bleeding
  • to treat advanced breast cancer

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Zoladex Drug Class

Zoladex is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Zoladex

Serious side effects have been reported with Zoladex. See the “Zoladex Precautions” section.

Common side effects of Zoladex include the following:

  • hot flashes
  • headaches
  • depression
  • acne
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • insomnia

This is not a complete list of Zoladex side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Zoladex Interactions

No formal drug interactions have been performed by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Zoladex Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Zoladex including the following:

Tumor flare phenomenon. Temporary worsening of tumor symptoms may occur during the first few weeks of treatment with Zoladex, which may include difficulty urinating and spinal cord compression. Consult with your physician about your level of risk for developing tumor flare phenomenon.

Severe allergic reactions. Severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions have been reported with the Zoladex. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

  •  sudden difficulty breathing
  •  sudden abnormal swelling of the face, lips, and/or throat
  •  sudden onset of a red blister-like skin rash
  •  sudden drop in blood pressure

High blood sugar and diabetes. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and an increased risk of developing diabetes have been reported in men receiving medications similar to Zoladex. Consult with your physician about your level of risk for developing hyperglycemia or diabetes during treatment with Zoladex.

Heart disease. Increased risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and stroke has been reported in association with use of medications similar to Zoladex. Your physician will perform a comprehensive medical assessment of your risk for developing cardiovascular diseases during treatment with Zoladex.

High levels of calcium. Elevated levels of calcium in the blood have been reported in certain patients receiving Zoladex. Your physician will monitor your levels of blood calcium during your course of treatment.

Injection site injury. Injection site injury and blood vessel injury including pain, hematoma, bleeding, and severe bleeding requiring blood transfusions and surgical intervention has been reported in patients using Zoladex. Consult with your physician about your level of risk for developing these complications during administration of Zoladex.

Prolonged QT/QTc Interval. Your doctor will monitor you your heart.  

Zoladex can also cause dizziness and/or drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Zoladex affects you.

Do not receive Zoladex if you:

  • are allergic to Zoladex or to any of its ingredients 
  • are pregnant, unless you have received specific instructions from your physician to take Zoladex while you are pregnant

Zoladex Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Zoladex there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Zoladex.

Inform MD

Before receiving Zoladex, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Zoladex or to any of its ingredients
  • have diabetes
  • have heart disease
  • have hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in your blood)
  • have abnormal heart rhythms
  • have osteoporosis
  • have depression
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Zoladex and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Zoladex falls into category X. It has been shown that women taking Zoladex during pregnancy may have babies born with problems. There are no situations where the benefits of the medication for the mother outweigh the risks of harm to the baby. These medicines should never be used by pregnant women.

Zoladex and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if Zoladex crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Nursing mothers should not breastfeed while using Zoladex. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Zoladex.

Zoladex Usage

Use Zoladex exactly as prescribed.

  • Zoladex comes in an injectable implant form to be inserted directly under the skin of the stomach, typically every 4 weeks or every 12 weeks depending on what is being treated.
  • Zoladex will be typically administered by a healthcare professional in a clinic or doctor's office.
  • You are not likely to be able to feel the implant through your skin, and it should not cause pain or discomfort. The implant will dissolve in your body over time.
  • If you are a premenopausal woman, you should stop having menstrual periods during treatment with Zoladex. Call your doctor if you still have regular periods. Missing a dose can cause breakthrough bleeding.
  • While your hormone levels are adjusting to Zoladex, you may notice increased symptoms or new symptoms of your condition. This should be only temporary during the first few weeks of treatment. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after several weeks of using Zoladex.
  • Your blood sugar may need to be checked while using Zoladex, even if you are not diabetic. You may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.
  • This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Zoladex.
  • Keep all appointments with your doctor. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood sugar, hormone levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. 
  • If you miss an appointment to receive your next dose, reschedule the appointment as soon as you remember. In women, sudden/unusual vaginal bleeding (breakthrough bleeding) may occur if a dose is missed.
 

Zoladex Dosage

Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your age
  • your gender

Zoladex 10.8 mg Implant

The recommended dose of Zoladex for the treatment of prostate cancer is 10.8 mg administered every 12 weeks. 

Zoladex 3.6 mg Implant

The recommended dose of Zoladex for the treatment of prostate cancer, endometriosis, breast cancer, and as an endometrial-thinning, agent  is 3.6 mg administered every 4 weeks (28 days).

 

Zoladex Overdose

If Zoladex is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.