Buserelin (brand name Suprefact®) is a hormone treatment for men with prostate cancer who have not had surgery to remove the testicles.
Each time you collect your prescription for buserelin, check to make sure the brand name is Suprefact®. This is because there is another brand of buserelin nasal spray available, which is not suitable for you.
Use one spray into each nostril six times each day.
About buserelin for men
|Type of medicine||A gonadorelin analogue|
|Used for||Prostate cancer|
|Available as||Injection and nasal spray|
Although in many cases prostate cancer is slow-growing, in some men it can be more aggressive and spread to other parts of the body. When this happens, there can be a benefit from using a hormone treatment, such as buserelin, which slows the progress of the cancer.
Prostate cancer cells need the male hormone testosterone to grow. Buserelin works by reducing the production of testosterone and this helps to stop the growth of the cancer cells.
Buserelin is also used in some disorders which affect women. There is a separate medicine leaflet called Buserelin for women which gives more information about this.
Before using buserelin
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using buserelin it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have low moods or are depressed.
- If you have high blood pressure (hypertension).
- If you have sugar diabetes (diabetes mellitus).
- If you have a bone disease such as osteoporosis.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to use buserelin
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about buserelin and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience.
- When you start buserelin, you will be given injections every eight hours for the first seven days. For convenience, these injections are likely to be given to you while you are in hospital. On the next day, you will be given a nasal spray to use. You must follow the instructions given to you by your doctor for using the spray, but it is usually recommended that you use one spray into each nostril six times each day as follows:
- 1st dose before your breakfast.
- 2nd dose after your breakfast.
- 3rd dose before your midday meal.
- 4th dose after your midday meal.
- 5th dose before your evening meal.
- 6th dose after your evening meal.
- Each time you open a new bottle, you will need to attach the nebuliser to the bottle of solution and then 'prime' the spray. You do this by pumping the spray about six or seven times until you see a fine spray produced. Priming fills the nebuliser and tests that the spray is working correctly.
- It is important that you use this medicine regularly and space the doses out evenly through the day. If you forget to take a dose at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose when you remember then skip the missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- About 1 in 10 men notice that their symptoms (usually pain) become worse for a short while when they first start treatment with buserelin. Your doctor is likely to give you some tablets to take during the first few weeks to help prevent this. If you do experience any increase in pain, this will settle again after a couple of weeks.
- Please keep your appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be monitored. Your doctor will want you to have regular blood tests to check your hormone levels.
- Even if you get a cold or your nose feels blocked, you should continue to use the spray as it will still work. If you are using any other nasal sprays (such as decongestants), you should use buserelin spray first, then wait at least 30 minutes after using buserelin before using the other nasal spray.
- Buserelin can affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently. Your doctor will advise you about this.
Can buserelin cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with buserelin. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common buserelin side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 men)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy, tired, or sleepy||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines while affected|
|Feeling or being sick, stomach or tummy (abdominal) pain||Stick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Constipation||Eat a well-balanced diet and drink several glasses of water each day|
|Headache, muscle pain and stiffness||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Irritation of your nose or throat, nosebleeds, changes in the way things smell and taste, changes in your weight, feeling nervous or depressed, disturbed sleep, being aware of a fast heartbeat, dry skin, acne, changes in the thickness of your hair||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you get a red skin rash or if you develop any difficulties with your breathing, you should contact your doctor for advice straightaway. These are rare but possibly serious symptoms, as they can be signs of an allergic reaction.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to buserelin, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store buserelin
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Each bottle of nasal spray contains one week of treatment. Even if there is some solution left after using the spray for a week, please do not use it. Instead, open a fresh bottle.
Important information about all medicines
If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer’s PIL, Suprefact® Nasal Spray; Sanofi, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2014.
- British National Formulary; 69th Edition (Mar 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr John Cox