What is Zoladex?


Zoladex is a brand-name prescription drug that’s FDA-approved to treat the following:

  • Prostate cancer that’s locally confined.

    Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland, which is located between the penis and bladder. “Locally confined” means that cancer hasn’t spread past the prostate. Zoladex is used with another drug called flutamide to treat this type of prostate cancer before and during radiation therapy.

  • Advanced prostate cancer.

    “Advanced” means that cancer has spread from the prostate gland to other parts of the body. Zoladex is used as a palliative treatment to help ease symptoms such as bone pain and trouble urinating. The medication also works to improve the quality of life for people with advanced prostate cancer. Zoladex isn’t a cure for the disease.

  • Endometriosis.

    With this condition, tissue grows abnormally outside the uterus (womb).

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding.

    With this condition, you menstruate (bleed) at times other than during your normal menstrual cycle (period). We Use Zoladex to thin the lining of your uterus before endometrial ablation. This is a procedure in which the lining of your uterus is removed.

  • Advanced breast cancer.

    This kind of cancer begins in the breast and then spreads to other parts of the body. We use Zoladex for treatment to ease symptoms such as bone pain. The drug also works to improve the quality of life for women with advanced breast cancer who are premenopausal (haven’t gone through menopause) or perimenopausal (the stage right before menopause). Zoladex isn’t a cure for advanced breast cancer.

Zoladex contains the drug goserelin, which belongs to a class of medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. (A medication class is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.) Zol adex is a type of hormone therapy that works to lower levels of sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.

Zoladex comes as an implant that we insert directly under the skin (subcutaneous), usually around your belly button. You’ll go to a doctor’s office or a clinic where a healthcare provider will perform the procedure. One Zoladex implant will last for 28 days. After that, your doctor may want you to have another implant inserted to continue treatment.


A clinical study looked at people with advanced breast cancer to see how well Zoladex helped slow tumour growth. The tumour responded, meaning that it shrank or stopped growing, in 22% of people who received Zoladex. In comparison, the tumour responded in only 12% of people who had an oophorectomy.

For more about the effectiveness of Zoladex in treating other conditions, see the “Zoladex uses” section below.

Zoladex generic

Zoladex is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics also tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

It contains one active drug ingredient: goserelin. This means goserelin is the ingredient that makes Zoladex work.

Zoladex side effects

Zoladex can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Zoladex. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Zoladex, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks the side effects of drugs they have approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Zoladex, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects when used to treat prostate cancer

Mild side effects of Zoladex that are more common when the drug is used to treat prostate cancer can include:

hot flashes (also called hot flushes)

impotence (not being able to have and keep an erection)

trouble urinating

Mild side effects of Zoladex that are less common when the drug is used to treat prostate cancer can include:

bloating and fluid retention (buildup)

infections, such as the common cold

lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

fatigue (lack of energy)



insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep)

loss of appetite




occurred in more than 10% of people in clinical studies

occurred in less than 10% of people

in clinical studies

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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