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What Is Goserelin?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Goserelin is an implantable hormonal medication that is used to treat some forms of cancer. This medication may also be used in women to treat a non-cancerous medical condition known as endometriosis. Some of the potential side effects of goserelin include headaches, fatigue, and depression. Additional side effects of this medication may include insomnia, weight gain, or allergic reactions. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of goserelin in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

The implantation of goserelin is normally performed in a doctor's office and does not require the use of anesthesia, although a topical anesthetic may be applied to the skin prior to receiving the implant. A needle is used to inject the implant just underneath the skin, usually in the lower abdominal area. Goserelin slowly releases hormones into the body and completely dissolves over a period of several weeks. Depending on the exact needs of the patient, a new implant is usually placed every four or 12 weeks.

Used primarily to treat different types of reproductive cancer in both males and females, goserelin may also be used to treat a female medical condition known as endometriosis. The dosage may need to be adjusted in order to meet the specific needs of each individual patient. As this medication dissolves on its own, it is not usually removed unless severe side effects occur. It should be noted that there may be a temporary increase in symptoms, such as pain, as the body adjusts to the drug.

Side effects of goserelin can vary greatly and may range from mild to severe in nature. Any persistent or bothersome symptoms should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. Skin irritation at the site of the injection is considered normal, but excessive pain, redness, or swelling should be evaluated by a member of the medical staff. Depression and changes in mood or behavior may occur in some people using this medication. Headaches and muscle or joint pain are also relatively common.

Occasionally, a patient may experience allergic symptoms after using goserelin. A mild reaction may consist of itching and the development of a mild rash. A potentially fatal type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may cause facial swelling, chest pain, or difficulty breathing. Any suspected allergic reactions should be treated as a medical emergency, as an anaphylactic episode can cause death within a matter of minutes.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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