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Zoladex 10.8 mg

Side Effects



Rarely, hypersensitivity reactions (including urticaria and anaphylaxis) have been reported in patients receiving ZOLADEX.

As with other endocrine therapies, hypercalcemia (increased calcium) has rarely been reported in cancer patients with bone metastases following initiation of treatment with ZOLADEX or other LHRH agonists.

ZOLADEX has been found to be generally well tolerated in clinical trials. Adverse reactions reported in these trials were rarely severe enough to result in the patients' withdrawal from ZOLADEX treatment. As seen with other hormonal therapies, the most commonly observed adverse events during ZOLADEX therapy were due to the expected physiological effects from decreased testosterone levels. These included hot flashes, sexual dysfunction and decreased erections.

Initially, ZOLADEX, like other LHRH agonists, causes transient increases in serum levels of testosterone. A small percentage of patients experienced a temporary worsening of signs and symptoms (see WARNINGS section), usually manifested by an increase in cancer-related pain which was managed symptomatically. Isolated cases of exacerbation of disease symptoms, either ureteral obstruction or spinal cord compression, occurred at similar rates in controlled clinical trials with both ZOLADEX and orchiectomy. The relationship of these events to therapy is uncertain.

There have been post-marketing reports of osteoporosis, decreased bone mineral density and bony fracture in men treated with ZOLADEX for prostate cancer.

Changes in blood pressure, manifest as hypotension or hypertension, have been occasionally observed in patients administered ZOLADEX. The changes are usually transient, resolving either during continued therapy or after cessation of therapy with ZOLADEX. Rarely, such changes have been sufficient to require medical intervention including withdrawal of treatment from ZOLADEX.

Prostatic Carcinoma

Two controlled clinical trials using ZOLADEX 10.8 mg (goserelin acetate implant) versus ZOLADEX 3.6 mg were conducted. During a comparative phase, patients were randomized to receive either a single 10.8 mg implant or three consecutive 3.6 mg implants every 4 weeks over weeks 0-12. During this phase, the only adverse event reported in greater than 5% of patients was hot flashes, with an incidence of 47% in the ZOLADEX 10.8 mg (goserelin acetate implant) group and 48% in the ZOLADEX 3.6 mg group.

From weeks 12-48 all patients were treated with a 10.8 mg implant every 12 weeks. During this noncomparative phase, the following adverse events were reported in greater than 5% of patients:

Adverse Event ZOLADEX 10.8 mg (n = 157 ) %
Hot Flashes 64
Pain (General) 14
Gynecomastia 8
Pelvic Pain 6
Bone Pain 6
Asthenia 5

The following adverse events were reported in greater than 1%, but less than 5% of patients treated with ZOLADEX 10.8 mg (goserelin acetate implant) implant every 12 weeks. Some of these are commonly reported in elderly patients.

WHOLE BODY - Abdominal pain, Back pain, Flu syndrome, Headache, Sepsis, Aggravation reaction

CARDIOVASCULAR - Angina pectoris, Cerebral ischemia, Cerebrovascular accident, Heart failure, Pulmonary embolus, Varicose veins

DIGESTIVE - Diarrhea, Hematemesis

ENDOCRINE - Diabetes mellitus


METABOLIC - Peripheral edema

NERVOUS SYSTEM - Dizziness, Paresthesia, Urinary retention

RESPIRATORY - Cough increased, Dyspnea, Pneumonia SKIN - Herpes simplex, Pruritus

UROGENITAL - Bladder neoplasm, Breast pain, Hematuria, Impotence, Urinary frequency, Urinary incontinence, Urinary tract disorder, Urinary tract infection, Urination impaired.

The following adverse events not already listed above were reported in patients receiving ZOLADEX 3.6 mg in other clinical trials. Inclusion does not necessarily represent a causal relationship to ZOLADEX 10.8 mg (goserelin acetate implant) .

WHOLE BODY - Allergic reaction, Chills, Fever, Infection, Injection site reaction, Lethargy, Malaise

CARDIOVASCULAR - Arrhythmia, Chest pain, Hemorrhage, Hypertension, Migraine, Myocardial infarction, Palpitations, Peripheral vascular disorder, Tachycardia

DIGESTIVE - Anorexia, Constipation, Dry mouth, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Increased appetite, Nausea, Ulcer, Vomiting

HEMATOLOGIC - Ecchymosis

METABOLIC - Edema, Gout, Hyperglycemia, Weight increase

MUSCULOSKELETAL - Arthralgia, Hypertonia, Joint disorder, Leg cramps, Myalgia, Osteoporosis

NERVOUS SYSTEM - Anxiety, Depression, Emotional lability, Headache, Insomnia, Nervousness, Somnolence, Thinking abnormal

RESPIRATORY - Bronchitis, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Epistaxis, Rhinitis, Sinusitis, Upper respiratory infection, Voice alterations

SKIN - Acne, Alopecia, Dry skin, Hair disorders, Rash, Seborrhea, Skin discoloration, Sweating

SPECIAL SENSES - Amblyopia, Dry eyes

UROGENITAL - Breast tenderness, Decreased erections, Renal insufficiency, Sexual dysfunction, Urinary obstruction

Stage B2-C Prostatic Carcinoma

Treatment with ZOLADEX and flutamide did not add substantially to the toxicity of radiation treatment alone. The following adverse experiences were reported during a multicenter clinical trial comparing ZOLADEX + flutamide + radiation versus radiation alone. The most frequently reported (greater than 5%) adverse experiences are listed below:

ADVERSE EVENTS DURING ACUTE RADIATION THERAPY (within first 90 days of radiation therapy)

flutamide +
% All
Radiation Only
% All
Rectum/Large Bowel 80 76
Bladder 58 60
Skin 37 37

ADVERSE EVENTS DURING LATE RADIATION PHASE (after 90 days of radiation therapy)

flutamide +
% All
Radiation Only
% All
Diarrhea 36 40
Cystitis 16 16
Rectal Bleeding 14 20
Proctitis 8 8
Hematuria 7 12

Additional adverse event data was collected for the combination therapy with radiation group over both the hormonal treatment and hormonal treatment plus radiation phases of the study. Adverse experiences occurring in more than 5% of patients in this group, over both parts of the study, were hot flashes (46%), diarrhea (40%), nausea (9%), and skin rash (8%).

Changes in Laboratory Values During Treatment

Plasma Enzymes

Elevation of liver enzymes (AST, ALT) have been reported in female patients exposed to ZOLADEX 3.6 mg (representing less than 1% of all patients). There was no other evidence of abnormal liver function. Causality between these changes and ZOLADEX have not been established.


In a controlled trial in females, ZOLADEX 3.6 mg implant therapy resulted in a minor, but statistically significant effect on serum lipids (ie, increases in LDL cholesterol of 21.3 mg/dL; increases in HDL cholesterol of 2.7 mg/dL; and triglycerides increased by 8.0 mg/dL).


Pituitary Apoplexy

During post-marketing surveillance, rare cases of pituitary apoplexy (a clinical syndrome secondary to infarction of the pituitary gland) have been reported after the administration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. In a majority of these cases, a pituitary adenoma was diagnosed. Most of the pituitary apoplexy cases occurred within 2 weeks of the first dose, and some occurred within the first hour. In these cases, pituitary apoplexy has presented as sudden headache, vomiting, visual changes, ophthalmoplegia, altered mental status, and sometimes cardiovascular collapse. Immediate medical attention has been required.

Reduction in glucose tolerance, manifesting as diabetes or a loss of glycemic control in those with pre-existing diabetes, has been reported during treatment with LHRH agonists, including ZOLADEX. The following adverse reactions have occurred very rarely in post-marketing experience with ZOLADEX: psychotic disorders and pituitary tumors.

Read the Zoladex 10.8 mg (goserelin acetate implant) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


No drug interaction studies with other drugs have been conducted with ZOLADEX. No confirmed interactions have been reported between ZOLADEX and other drugs.

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Administration of ZOLADEX in therapeutic doses results in suppression of the pituitary-gonadal system. Because of this suppression, diagnostic tests of pituitary-gonadotropic and gonadal functions conducted during treatment may show results which are misleading.

Read the Zoladex 10.8 mg Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/5/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Side Effects

Zoladex 10.8 mg - User Reviews

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