Goserelin Acetate

Other Names: Zoladex®

About this Drug

Goserelin acetate is used to treat cancer. This drug is given by a shot in the abdomen, just under the skin (SQ).

Possible side effects (male patients)

  • Hot flashes or sudden skin flushing may happen. You may also feel warm or red.
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Impotence (erectile dysfunction) 
  • Urinary tract infection. Symptoms may include:
    • Pain or burning when you pass urine.
    • Feeling like you have to pass urine often, but not much comes out when you do.
    • Tender or heavy feeling in your lower abdomen.
    • Cloudy urine and/or urine that smells bad.
    • Pain on one side of your back under your ribs. This is where your kidneys are.
    • Fever, chills, nausea and/or throwing up.

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 10% or greater of male patients treated with goserelin. Not all possible side effects are included above. 

Possible side effects (female patients)

  • Hot flashes or sudden skin flushing may happen. You may also feel warm or red.
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Increased sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Decrease in breast size
  • Acne, flaky skin
  • Vaginal inflammation, dryness
  • Menstrual bleeding may become irregular or stop while you are getting this drug. Do not assume that you cannot become pregnant if you do not have a menstrual period.
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater of female patients treated with goserelin. Not all possible side effects are included above. 

Warnings and Precautions

  • Tumor flare phenomenon. During the first few weeks, typical signs and symptoms of your cancer may worsen. You also may have an increase in bone pain. In men, obstruction of urine flow and compression of spinal cord can happen very rarely. Let your doctor know if you have any difficulties in urinating, moving your bowels, or numbness, tingling, or pain in your legs and feet.
  • Increased risk of heart attack in men
  • Abnormal heart beat/EKG
  • Increased risk of stroke in men. Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Blood sugar levels may changes. If you have diabetes, changes may need to be made to your diabetes medication.
  • Increased in your calcium level
  • Bone loss in women
  • Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis are rare but may happen in some patients. Signs of allergic reaction to this drug may be swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way. If this happens, do not take another dose of this drug. You should get urgent medical treatment.
  • Injection site reaction -you may get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin may get red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

Treating Side Effects

  • If you are feeling depressed, talk to your nurse or doctor about it.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
  • If you have diabetes, keep good control of your blood sugar level. Tell your nurse or your doctor if your glucose levels are higher or lower than normal.
  • Please tell your nurse right away if you get a rash, swelling or bruising on your skin gets red, warm, itchy, or painful at the site of your infusion or injection.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of goserelin acetate with food. This drug may interact with other medicines.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back or it can be constant. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911
  • Signs of allergic reaction: swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way. 
  • Pain or burning when you pass urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Feeling like you have to pass urine often, but not much comes out when you do
  • Tender or heavy feeling in your lower abdomen
  • Cloudy urine and/or urine that smells bad
  • Pain on one side of your back under your ribs. This is where your kidneys are
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in your legs and feet
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities 
  • Lost interest in your daily activities that you used to enjoy and feeling this way every day, and/or you feel hopelessness.
  • Abnormal blood sugar
  • Unusual thirst, passing urine often, headache, sweating, shakiness, irritability
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child bearing potential should use effective non-hormonal methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 3 months after treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant. 
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby. 
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking. 

Revised May 2018

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2018. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.