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Goserelin (Zoladex, Novgos)

Find out what goserelin is, how you have it and other important information about taking goserelin for prostate cancer.

How it works

Prostate cancer depends on testosterone to grow. The aim of hormone therapy for prostate cancer is to reduce or stop the body making testosterone, which slows down the growth of cancer or shrinks it.

Goserelin stops the pituitary gland releasing luteinising hormone. In men, this stops the testicles producing the male sex hormone, testosterone.

How you have goserelin

You have goserelin implant injected just under the skin of your tummy (abdomen). The drug is absorbed slowly into your body over a period of time. 

When you have goserelin

You might have the injection every 4 weeks or every 12 weeks, depending on what brand you take.

You should make sure you have the injection on time. A few days won’t make a big difference but the aim is to stop you producing testosterone and the injections are made to last for either 4 or 12 weeks. If you are late having the injection you may start making testosterone again.


You have blood tests before and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or nurse straight away if you have pain in your lower back or problems passing urine.

Important information

Contraception and preventing pregnancy

Goserelin may have a harmful effect on a baby developing in the womb. You should not father a child while you are having treatment. Discuss effective contraception with your doctor before you start your treatment if this is a possibility.

Other medicines, foods and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

Treatment for other conditions

Always tell other doctors, nurses, pharmacists or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.

More information about this treatment

We haven't listed all the very rare side effects of this treatment. For further information see the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

You can report any side effect you have that isn’t listed here to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Information and help

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About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.