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Zoladex vs. Firmagon

Reviewed on 9/11/2019

Are Zoladex and Firmagon the Same Thing?

Zoladex 10.8 (goserelin acetate implant) and Firmagon (degarelix) are forms of hormones used in men to treat symptoms of prostate cancer.

Zoladex 10.8 treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer but does not treat the cancer itself while Firmagon is used to treat advanced prostate cancer.

Zoladex is also used in women to treat breast cancer or endometriosis, and to prepare the lining of the uterus for endometrial ablation (a surgery to correct abnormal uterine bleeding).

Side effects of Zoladex and Firmagon that are similar include hot flashes, flushing, dizziness, headache, increased sweating, sleep problems (insomnia), nausea, injection site reactions (pain, bruising, bleeding, redness, a hard lump, or swelling), and constipation.

Side effects of Zoladex that are different from Firmagon include increased or decreased sexual interest, impotence, fewer erections than usual, changes in breast size, breast swelling or tenderness, vaginal dryness/itching/discharge, hair loss, mental/mood changes (such as depression, mood swings, hallucinations), bone pain, diarrhea, acne, and skin rash or itching.

Side effects of Firmagon that are different from Zoladex include weight gain, night sweats, back or joint pain, chills, tiredness, fatigue, fever, weakness, low blood pressure, and urinary tract infection (UTI).

Zoladex may interact with alcohol, antibiotics, antidepressants, heart rhythm medicine, antipsychotic medicines, cancer medicines, drugs to treat malaria, and HIV/AIDS medications.

Firmagon may interact with other drugs.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zoladex?

Side effects of Zoladex include:

  • hot flashes (flushing)
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • increased or decreased sexual interest
  • impotence
  • fewer erections than usual
  • trouble sleeping
  • nausea
  • change in breast size
  • breast swelling or tenderness
  • vaginal dryness/itching/discharge
  • hair loss, mental/mood changes (such as depression, mood swings, hallucinations)
  • injection site reactions (pain, bruising, bleeding, redness, or swelling)
  • bone pain
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • acne, or
  • skin rash or itching

What Are Possible Side Effects of Firmagon?

Common side effects of Firmagon include:

  • injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling, and a hard lump),
  • hot flashes (flushing),
  • weight gain,
  • increased sweating,
  • night sweats,
  • back or joint pain,
  • chills,
  • tiredness,
  • fatigue,
  • fever,
  • dizziness,
  • weakness,
  • nausea,
  • headache,
  • insomnia,
  • low blood pressure,
  • urinary tract infection, and
  • constipation.

What Is Zoladex?

Zoladex 10.8 (goserelin acetate implant) is a man-made form of a hormone used in men to treat symptoms of prostate cancer, and in women to treat breast cancer or endometriosis. Zoladex 10.8 is also used in women to prepare the lining of the uterus for endometrial ablation (a surgery to correct abnormal uterine bleeding). Zoladex 10.8 treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer but does not treat the cancer itself.

What Is Firmagon?

Firmagon (degarelix) is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist used to treat advanced prostate cancer.

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What Drugs Interact With Zoladex?

There may be other drugs that can interact with Zoladex. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Zoladex is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Women of child-bearing age must not be pregnant when starting this medication. Consult your doctor to discuss use of birth control. For women, this medication should stop the release of an egg (ovulation) and your periods, but this should not be used as a reliable method of birth control. It is recommended that men and women using this medication use 2 forms of non-hormonal birth control (e.g., condoms and diaphragm with spermicide) while taking this medication. Continue using birth control until the return of the woman's period or for at least 12 weeks after stopping this medication. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding while using this medication is not recommended.

What Drugs Interact With Firmagon?

Tell your doctor all medications you use. Firmagon is not for use in women, therefore, women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant, or who are nursing should not take Firmagon.

How Should Zoladex Be Taken?

Zoladex, at a dose of 10.8 mg, is administered subcutaneously every 12 weeks under the supervision of a physician. For female patients the 3.6 mg implant is used.

How Should Firmagon Be Taken?

The initial dose of Firmagon is 240 mg given as two subcutaneous injections of 120 mg each. Maintenance dose is a single 80 mg injection given every 28 days. Other drugs may interact with Firmagon.

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References
FDA. Zoladex Product Monograph.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/019726s059,020578s037lbl.pdf

Ferring B.V Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Firmagon Product Information.

https://firmagon.com

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