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Generic Name:

goserelin, Implant

All Brands

  • Zoladex
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for goserelin

Implant
1

Goserelin is an injectable medication used to treat breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometriosis, and endometrial thinning.

2

This drug is in the form of an implant that is injected under your skin only by a healthcare provider in a clinic or hospital. The implant dissolves and releases the drug slowly during the time between injections.

3

Common side effects include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, bladder inflammation, hot flashes, nausea, and more.

4

If you have breast or prostate cancer, starting this medication might cause a temporary rise in your estrogen or testosterone level. Your cancer symptoms may also get worse during the first few weeks of treatment. 

5

Goserelin may increase your blood sugar levels and raise the risk of developing diabetes in men. If you already have diabetes, it may make blood sugar control more difficult. It may also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in men. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Increased calcium levels

If you have breast or prostate cancer, this medication may cause increased levels of calcium in your body. This can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, confusion, and irregular heartbeat.

Irregular heart rate

This medication may cause the irregular heart rate QT prolongation. If you have a serious heart condition, your doctor may monitor your heart function closely while you take this drug.

Injection site reactions

This medication can cause severe reactions at the site where it’s injected. This can lead to pain, serious bleeding, and shock. Severe reactions are rare.

What is goserelin acetate?

This drug is a prescription drug. This drug is available as an implant that is injected only by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic. It comes in a prefilled syringe. It is injected just under your skin (subcutaneously). It gradually dissolves and releases the drug during the time between injections.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

This drug can be used in combination with another drug, flutamide, for the management a particular type of prostate cancer (Stage T2b-T4).

Why it's used

This drug is used to reduce or relieve symptoms of advanced breast cancer.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called GnRH analogs.

More Details

Why it's used

This drug is used to reduce or relieve symptoms of advanced breast cancer.

This drug can be used in combination with flutamide to treat prostate cancer (Stage T2b-T4).

This drug is used to reduce or relieve symptoms of advanced prostate cancer.

This drug is used to manage endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder that occurs in women. It happens when tissue that normally lines the inside your uterus grows outside of your uterus.  

This drug can also be used to thin the lining of the uterus (endometrium) before a procedure that destroys this lining (endometrial ablation). This is done to help extreme uterine bleeding.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called GnRH analogs. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Cancers often rely on hormones such as estrogen and testosterone to grow.  GnRH analogs stop estrogen and testosterone from being produced. 

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goserelin Side Effects

Implant

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with goserelin include:

  • diarrhea

  • rectal bleeding

  • bladder inflammation

  • hot flashes

  • nausea

  • bone pain or breast pain/tenderness

  •  sexual problems, such as:

    • decreased sex drive
    • difficulty getting or maintaining erections
  • vaginal dryness

  • headache

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • Bone thinning or weakness. Goserelin lowers estrogen in your body, which may cause your bones to become weak or thin. Symptoms include:

    • fractures
  • Liver problems. Goserelin may increase your liver enzymes.

  • Heart problems. Goserelin may increase your cholesterol levels.

  • Injection site reaction. Symptoms include:

    • pain
    • bleeding
    • shock
    • dizziness
    • loss of consciousness 
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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goserelin May Interact with Other Medications

Implant

This drug can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, or vitamins you’re taking.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
heart conditions
People with heart conditions

This medication may cause the irregular heart rate known as QT prolongation. If you have a serious heart condition, your doctor may monitor your heart function closely while you take this drug. This drug may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in men.

diabetes
People with diabetes

This drug may increase your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, it may make blood sugar control more difficult. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels, and may ask you to test your blood sugar at home.

liver problems
People with liver problems

This drug may increase your liver enzymes. Your doctor may monitor your liver enzymes while on this medication.

bone thinning
People with bone thinning or weakness

This drug lowers estrogen in your body, which may cause your bones to become weak or thin. This could increase your risk of fractures. Your doctor may do a bone mineral density test before you start and during treatment to check for bone changes. Your doctor will monitor you more closely if you already have bone thinning or osteoporosis.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

When used to treat breast cancer:

This drug is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. This drug should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to the fetus. This drug should be only used if the potential risk to the fetus is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.

When used to treat endometriosis:

This drug is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if this drug goes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take this drug or breastfeed.

call doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you have certain symptoms:

  • unexpected vaginal bleeding. Women on goserelin shouldn’t have a monthly period (menstruation). Call your doctor if you menstruate while on this drug. 
  • an injection site injury. Receiving this medication can cause an injection site injury. This could lead to pain, serious bleeding, and shock.  Call your doctor if you have these symptoms:
    • stomach pain
    • bloated stomach
    • shortness of breath
    • dizziness
    • low heart rate
    • going in and out of consciousness
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How to Take goserelin (Dosage)

Implant

Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all

If you stop receiving your injection, your symptoms of cancer or endometriosis may get worse.

If you skip or miss doses/appointments

Your injections need to be taken on schedule. Try to stick to the dosing schedule that your doctor has recommended.

If you miss an appointment, call your doctor right away to reschedule it.

If you take too much

Taking too much will increase your chance of side effects.

How to tell the drug is working

Your doctor will do tests and monitor you to check if goserelin is working for you.

This drug is a long-term drug treatment.

Your injections need to be taken on schedule

Try to stick to the dosing schedule that your doctor has recommended.

How long does it take?

This drug takes a few minutes to inject. Your appointment may take longer though. Your doctor may want to observe you after the injection for a short time to watch for any reactions.

Can I drive home after?

This medication isn’t sedating. You should be able to drive home after receiving your injection.

Travel

Talk to your doctor before you travel. If you’ll be away during an injection, ask your doctor to help you arrange to receive your injection at a medical facility near where you’ll be staying. It’s important to stick to your overall injection schedule as closely as possible.

Your doctor may do additional tests

Before starting and during treatment with this drug, you may need tests to check your:

  • bone density. This drug lowers estrogen in your body, which may cause your bones to become weak or thin. Your doctor may do a bone mineral density test to check for bone changes.
  • blood sugar levels. This drug may increase your blood sugar levels and the risk of developing diabetes in men. 
  • heart. This medication may cause the irregular heart rate QT prolongation. If you have a serious heart condition, your doctor may monitor your heart function closely.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do tests. Before starting and during treatment with this drug, your doctor may check your:

  • blood pressure
  • heart rate
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood sugar levels
  • calcium levels
  • bone mineral density

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for this drug.

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How Much Does goserelin Cost?

Implant

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for goserelin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on August 17, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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