Monday, May 3, 2010

FDA to review safety of prostate cancer drugs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (Cancer Digest) – The FDA announced today that it will review the safety of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) blockers. These are a common hormone blockade therapy drugs used to treat men with prostate cancer. Recent studies have linked them with a small increased risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and sudden death in men treated with one of the medications.
Based on initial findings, FDA advises:
  • Health care professionals should be aware of these potential risks and carefully weigh the benefits and risks of GnRH agonists when determining a treatment for patients with prostate cancer.
  • Patients receiving a GnRH agonist should be monitored for the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and increases in blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight should be managed according to current clinical practice.
  • Patients should not stop treatment with a GnRH agonist unless instructed to do so by a health care professional. 
Some of the brand names that belong to this class of drug include:
  • Eligard  (Sanofi-Aventis)
  • Lupron (Abbott Laboratories)
  • Synarel (Pfizer)
  • Trelstar  (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
  • Vantas (Endo Pharmaceuticals)
  • Viadur (Bayer Pharmaceuticals)
  • Zoladex  (AstraZeneca)

For more information, check the FDA announcement.

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