Zoladex: what it is, what it is for and how to apply

With the advancement of medicine, many diseases that were not previously known, today can be diagnosed and treated.

New techniques and new medicines are discovered every day, among them is Zoladex.


What is Zoladex?

Zoladex is an injectable medication that inhibits the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), causing a reduction in the amount of testosterone (in men) and estradiol (in women) from the 21st day after application. It is mainly used to treat tumors and fibroids that form in the human body.

It acts on the pituitary gland that ends up releasing a smaller amount of hormones into the bloodstream.

Its use is subcutaneous injectable, that is, just below the skin. The number of times this medication will need to be taken depends on the clinical condition of each patient.

What is the medicine Zoladex for?

Zoladex is indicated for the treatment of some types of cancer (breast and prostate), endometriosis and uterine leiomyoma (benign tumor in the uterus), according to the prescribed dosage. It can also be indicated to treat infertility or increase the chances of successful assisted reproduction.

Several complications can be treated with this medication, including:


Fibroids are benign tumors that when formed in the uterus are called leiomyoma.

Zoladex is used by women who already have tumors. Thus, it acts on the female reproductive system, preventing the progression of the disease or the appearance of new tumors.

Endometrial polyp

Endometrial polyp are benign tumors located in the uterus or uterine tubes. This condition is usually linked to other diseases such as endometriosis or cervical cancer.

Treatment is done with medications like Zoladex. In more severe cases, removal of the uterus ( hysterectomy ) may be necessary .

Is it generic?

No, Zoladex is a reference medicine.

This means that it was the first remedy with this efficiency to be registered in Brazil and, as long as the patent is valid, it is prohibited to manufacture similar or generic drugs.

How to apply?

Ideally, this medication should be applied by qualified health professionals (pharmacist, nurse or doctor).

The application site is usually on the side of the lower abdomen (below the navel and above the groin).

The application is unique and, like other injections, can cause pain, swelling and bruising on the spot.

If this is the case, you can make hot or cold compresses over the painful area. However, do not take anesthetics or other medications without medical advice.

What are the side effects of Zoladex injection?

Since Zoladex is a hormone control medication, it can have different side effects and reactions for each sex.

Adverse effects in women

Among women, the following adverse effects may occur very commonly:

  • Decreased libido;
  • Hot flushes (heat waves);
  • Hyperhidrosis (abnormally increased sweating);
  • Acne;
  • Vaginal dryness;
  • Increased breast size;
  • Injection site reactions;

The package insert lists the following common reactions:

  • Changes in mood;
  • Depression;
  • Paresthesia (feeling of numbness, localized tingling);
  • Headache;
  • Altered blood pressure;
  • Rash (skin lesions with redness);
  • Alopecia (hair loss);
  • Arthralgia (joint pain);
  • Transient worsening of symptoms related to the disease due to a transient hormonal increase (called tumor “flare”);
  • Tumor pain;
  • Decreased bone mineral density;
  • Weight gain.

Adverse effects in men

In men, very common adverse symptoms include:

  • Decreased libido;
  • Hot flushes;
  • Hyperhidrosis;
  • Erectile dysfunction.

Common reactions are:

  • Decreased glucose tolerance;
  • Changes in mood;
  • Paresthesia (feeling of numbness, localized tingling);
  • Compression of the spinal cord;
  • Cardiac insufficiency;
  • Myocardial infarction;
  • Altered blood pressure;
  • Rash (skin lesions with redness);
  • Bone pain;
  • Gynecomastia (abnormal breast growth);
  • Injection site reactions;
  • Decreased bone mineral density;
  • Weight gain.


Zoladex is contraindicated for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.

People who have allergies to one or more components present in the remedy’s formula should also not use it.

If in doubt, talk to the doctor (o) who accompanies the treatment.

Is Zoladex chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a type of treatment done with chemicals that help to destroy diseased cells (tumors). It is considered a systemic therapy because it affects the whole organism.

Among the drugs used as antineoplastic chemotherapy is Zoladex, that is, in cancer treatments that sought to apply the highest possible dose of drugs to prevent tumor growth.

Therefore, the ideal is to use Zoladex only under the supervision of a (a) oncologist or pharmacist (s) with specialization in chemotherapy.

Price and where to find?

This medicine has two forms of presentation: Zoladex and Zoladex LA .

The difference between the two, in addition to the price, is that Zoladex LA ( Long Action ) has a prolonged action, that is, the medicine acts on the body for a longer time.

Zoladex can be purchased from R $ 536. The Zoladex LA costs about R $ 1,354.00.

The drug should be applied every 28 days. On the other hand, the LA presentation can be injected every 84 days (or 12 weeks).

They can be found in drugstore chains, usually in large centers or with a request to the pharmacy.

It is also possible to have access to medication by opening a lawsuit to receive it free of charge. In such cases, patients can count on the budget service for high-cost drugs. Just access the link and fill out the form.

Does SUS provide?

The Unified Health System offered this medication free of charge until mid-2019.

But in July, the Public Ministry together with the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) broke off the partnership with the laboratories producing Zoladex and 18 other medicines.

The Association of Official Pharmaceutical Laboratories of Brazil (ALFOB) estimates that 30 million people are harmed because of this cut.

Zoladex is a remedy indicated, above all, for the treatment of breast and prostate cancer. It can have several side effects and is contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women.

This medicine should only be taken under medical guidance and supervision. Avoid self-medication and read the package leaflet.

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