As a hormone medication, Zoladex is used in the treatment of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and various gynecological conditions. This prescription medicine works by decreasing the production of testosterone in males and estrogen in females. It comes as an implant that is inserted just under the skin of the stomach every 4 to 12 weeks. Side effects include headaches, mood changes, and hot flushes.
Zoladex is manufactured by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP.
How Does Zoladex Work?
Zoladex belongs to a group of medicines called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. GnRH is a hormone found naturally in the body. It controls the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland (a tiny gland located beneath the brain). LH and FSH stimulate the production of testosterone in the testes and estrogen in the ovaries.
Zoladex acts like GnRH, stimulating the production of LH and FSH. However, after several weeks, the medication overstimulates the pituitary gland and it stops making these hormones. As a result, levels of testosterone and estrogen are decreased in the body. This decrease is responsible for Zoladex's beneficial effects.
Zoladex comes as a tiny implant that is injected beneath the skin of the abdomen (stomach). The implant slowly releases the medication as it dissolves over a period of 4 to 12 weeks (depending on the strength of the implant being used).
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National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed June 21, 2011.
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