GnRH Agonists: Safety Review of Drug Class Used to Treat Prostate Cancer
(sold under the brand names Lupron, Zoladex, Trelstar, Viadur, Vantas, Eligard, Synarel, and generics)
Audience: Urology, Oncology healthcare professionals, patients
[Posted 05/03/2010] FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients of FDA's preliminary and ongoing review which suggests an increase in the risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases in men treated with GnRH agonists, drugs that suppress the production of testosterone, a hormone that is involved in the growth of prostate cancer.
Most of the studies reviewed by FDA reported small, but statistically significant increased risks of diabetes and/or cardiovascular events in patients receiving GnRH agonists. FDA's review is ongoing and the agency has not made any conclusions about GnRH agonists and whether they increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in patients receiving these medications for prostate cancer.
Healthcare professionals and patients should be aware of these potential safety issues and carefully weigh the benefits and risks of GnRH agonists when determining treatment choices. FDA recommends that patients receiving GnRH agonists should be monitored for development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Patients should not stop their treatment with GnRH agonists unless told to do so by their healthcare professional.
Some GnRH agonists are also used in women and in children for other indications than those above. There are no known comparable studies that have evaluated the risk of diabetes and heart disease in women and children taking GnRH agonists.