Firmagon is a prescription medicine licensed to treat advanced prostate cancer. It comes as an injection that is given just under the skin of the abdomen (stomach) every four weeks. This medication works by lowering testosterone levels, which helps slow down the growth of testosterone-dependent prostate cancer cells. Side effects may include fatigue, weight gain, and hot flushes.
What Is Firmagon?
Firmagon® (degarelix) is a hormone therapy medication approved for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. It belongs to a group of medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists or blockers.
Firmagon is manufactured by Rentschler Biotechnologie for Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does Firmagon Work?
Firmagon works by binding to and blocking GnRH receptors in the pituitary gland (a tiny gland located beneath the brain). GnRH controls the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which increases the production of testosterone in the testes. By blocking GnRH receptors, Firmagon reduces the production and secretion of LH and FSH, resulting in decreased testosterone levels.
Testosterone stimulates the growth of prostate cancer cells. By reducing testosterone levels, Firmagon slows down the growth of prostate cancer.
Firmagon is a depot injection. This means that, after being injected, the medication forms a small mass (or depot), under the skin. Firmagon is slowly released from this mass into the bloodstream over the course of a month.
Firmagon Web site. Available at: http://www.firmagon.us/us/us-homep/pcl-homep/accessser/0/225/0/patients-area.html. Accessed July 15, 2011.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 15, 2011.
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 July 15, 2011.
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