Degarelix is used to treat advanced prostate cancer in men. It is not a cure. Most types of prostate cancer need the male hormone testosterone to grow and spread. Degarelix works by reducing the amount of testosterone that the body makes. This helps slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using degarelix and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously) in the abdominal area by a health care professional. It is usually given once a month or as directed by your doctor.
The first dose is given as two injections. The following monthly doses are given as one injection. Make sure your injection site is free of any pressure from belts, waistbands, or other types of clothing. The injection site should not be close to the ribs and should be changed each time to lessen discomfort after the injection.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to schedule the next dose.
Pain/redness/swelling at the injection site, hot flashes (flushing), increased sweating, night sweats, back/joint pain, chills, weight changes, tiredness, fever, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Infrequently, shrinking of the testicles, breast tenderness/swelling, and reduced sexual interest/ability may also occur as a result of lowered testosterone levels. Talk to your doctor if these effects occur.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using degarelix, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, liver problems.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Long term use of degarelix may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using degarelix, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using degarelix safely.
Degarelix may weaken your bones and increase your risk for bone loss (osteoporosis) if used for a long time. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
This medication is not usually used in women and must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
It is unknown if degarelix passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Many drugs besides degarelix may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), among others.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including pituitary gonadal function), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood testosterone level, PSA blood test) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
Information last revised November 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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