Degarelix, sold under the name Firmagon among others, is also a hormonal therapy in utilization in the treatment of prostatic adenocarcinoma. Testosterone is a male hormone that promotes the growth of many prostate tumours and therefore reducing circulating testosterone to very low (castration) levels is often the treatment goal in the management of advanced prostate cancer. Degarelix has an instantaneous onset of action, binding to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors within the pituitary and blocking their interaction with GnRH. This in fact, induces a fast and profound reduction in luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and in turn, testosterone suppression. Also the GnRH antagonist degarelix, through its ability to scale back serum testosterone, is employed to treat hormone-sensitive prostatic adenocarcinoma.
In fact, in December 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved degarelix for the treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer in the United States. It was subsequently approved by the ECU Commission at the advice of the ECU Medicines Agency (EMA) in February 2009, to be used in adult males with advanced, hormone-dependent prostatic adenocarcinoma. However, Ferring Pharmaceuticals markets the drug under the name Firmagon.
Furthermore, Degarelix injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected under the skin within the stomach area, far away from the ribs and waistline. Doctors usually inject it once every 28 days by a doctor or nurse during a medical facility. However, after you receive a dose of degarelix injection, make certain that your belt or waistband doesn’t put pressure on the place where the medication was injected.
- pain, redness, swelling, hardness, or itching within the place where the medication was injected
- hot flashes
- excessive sweating or night sweats
- weight gain or loss
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- enlargement of the breasts
- decreased sexual desire or ability
- back or joint pain
Some side effects can be serious. In fact, if you experience any of those symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- A fluttering feeling in the chest
- painful, frequent, or difficult urination
- fever or chills
Before receiving degarelix injection-
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you’re allergic to degarelix injection, the other medications, or any of the ingredients in degarelix injection. Also ask your pharmacist or check the patient information for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and also the herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had long QT syndrome (a rare heart problem that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death); high or low levels of calcium, potassium, magnesium, or sodium in your blood; or heart, liver, or a renal disorder.
- women who are or who may become pregnant shouldn’t receive degarelix injection. Degarelix injection may harm the fetus. If you receive a degarelix injection while you are pregnant, call your doctor immediately. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before you receive a degarelix injection.