Prostate Cancer Drugs Under Safety Review

WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday it is reviewing the safety of several commonly used prostate cancer drugs.

The FDA said a preliminary review suggests an increase in the risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases in men treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists.

“GnRH agonists are drugs that suppress the production of testosterone, a hormone that is involved in the growth of prostate cancer,” the FDA said. “This type of treatment is called androgen deprivation therapy. Suppressing testosterone has been shown to shrink or slow the growth of prostate cancer.”

The drugs under review are Lupron, Trelstar, Eligard, Synarel, Vantas, Viadur and Zoladex.

Officials said the medications have been associated with a small increased risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and sudden death in men.

Based on those initial findings, the FDA said it believes healthcare professionals should be aware of the potential risks and carefully weigh the benefits and risks of GnRH agonists when determining a treatment for patients with prostate cancer.

However, the FDA said patients should not stop treatment unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional.

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