Degarelix (Subcutaneous Route)

1 Degarelix (Subcutaneous Route): A Summary

Brand Name:

Firmagon

Degarelix is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist used in men for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. This drug works by lowering the amount of testosterone hormone in the blood. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before using

Before taking this drug, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. 

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. Studies in children regarding the relationship of age to the effects of degarelix have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established. 

Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of degarelix. Fetal abnormalities have been reported in studies of pregnant women and animals. This drug is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit. 

Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits before taking this drug while breastfeeding. Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. 

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription and nonprescription drugs. Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. 

Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as Congestive heart failure, Heart rhythm problems, Mineral imbalance, Kidney disease, or Liver disease.

3 Proper Usage

A trained healthcare professional will be the only to give you this drug. This drug is injected under your skin in the stomach area. This drug must be given on a fixed schedule. Contact your healthcare professional if you miss a dose.

4 Precautions to Take

Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests. This drug can cause QT prolongation which can change heart rhythm and can cause chest pain, dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath

Contact your healthcare professional immediately if you have any of these symptoms or any questions. Prolonged use of this drug may decrease bone mineral density which can cause weak bones or osteoporosis. Consult with your healthcare professional for any questions or concerns.

5 Potential Side effects

Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as: 

  • back pain
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • hard lump
  • headache
  • nervousness
  • pain
  • pounding in the ears
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • small lumps under the skin
  • swelling
  • unusually warm skin
  • bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • chills
  • decrease in testicle size
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty in moving
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased sweating
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain in the joints
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • fainting
  • irregular heartbeat
  • pounding heartbeat
  • shortness of breath

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the drug, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. 

If any of the following side effects persists, or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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