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Abarelix Injection

What is Abarelix injection?

ABARELIX (Plenaxis™) was used to treat advanced prostate cancer when other treatments could not be used or were refused. Abarelix was available only from health care providers who participated in a special prescribing program. This drug is no longer available in the US. If you are currently taking abarelix, contact your prescriber for instructions. Your prescriber will provide you with information about which available drug treatment may be best for you.

NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • heart problems or heart disease (such as prolonged QT syndrome or irregular heart beat)

  • hemophilia

  • liver disease

  • osteoporosis

  • an unusual reaction to Abarelix, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should this medicine be used?

Abarelix is for injection into a muscle. Abarelix is only given to you by a health care professional.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss a dose. Call your prescriber or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What drug(s) may interact with Abarelix?

  • arsenic trioxide

  • astemizole

  • bepridil

  • certain antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, gemifloxacin, grepafloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, troleandomycin)

  • certain medicines to control the heart rhythm (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, ibutilide, quinidine, procainamide, propafenone, sotalol)

  • certain medicines for depression or mental problems (such as amoxapine, haloperidol, maprotiline, risperidone, sertindole, tricyclic antidepressants, ziprasidone)

  • cisapride

  • cyclobenzaprine

  • dolasetron

  • droperidol

  • halofantrine

  • herbal or dietary supplements, like DHEA

  • female hormones, like estrogen

  • levomethadyl

  • male hormones, like testosterone

  • palonosetron

  • pentamidine

  • phenothiazines

  • pimozide

  • probucol

  • terfenadine

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking Abarelix?

You will wait in your doctor's office for 30 minutes after getting each injection of abarelix. Your doctor will do blood tests every 2 months to check the amount of testosterone in your blood. Your doctor may also do blood tests to check your liver function. Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

Your health care professional will review a Medication Guide and a Patient-Physician Agreement with you prior to prescribing abarelix. You need to read and understand these materials. Tell your provider if you have any questions. If you are unable or unwilling to understand and comply with the Agreement and Medication Guide, you should not take abarelix. Read the Medication Guide before you first receive abarelix.

What side effects may I notice from receiving Abarelix?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • chest pain

  • difficulty breathing

  • dizziness

  • fever, sore throat, or any symptoms of an infection

  • rapid heart beat or racing heart

  • rash, hives, itching, or redness of your skin

  • severe or persistent stomach pain

  • swelling of your face, eyelids, tongue, throat, feet or legs

  • vomiting

  • yellowing of your skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • breast swelling or tenderness

  • decreased sexual desire or ability (impotence)

  • diarrhea or constipation

  • headache

  • hot flashes (sudden feelings of warmth or sweating)

  • insomnia or sleep problems

  • loss of appetite

  • muscle and joint, or bone pains

  • nausea

  • redness or irritation at the injection site

Where can I keep my medicine?

This does not apply. This medicine is given by a health care professional in a clinic or office setting. You will not need to take this medicine at home.