Buserelin (Suprefact)

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Your doctor has recommended a medication called Suprefact as treatment for your cancer. This page provides extra information about your medicine, summarises possible side effects and methods to alleviate them.

What is Suprefact? Buserelin in a subcutaneous injection every day for the first seven days then intranasally (strayed up each nostril) 6 times each day. Buserelin belongs to group of medicines called testosterone antagonists . They are used to treat male patients with prostate cancer and sometimes patients with cancer of the pancreas.

How do they work? Some tumours such as prostate cancer are stimulated by the bodies own male hormone (Testosterone). Stopping the bodies testosterone reaching the tumour can cause the cancer cells to stop growing and in some cases shrivel up and die completely (self destruct - apoptosis).  Suprefact stops testosterone stimulating a cancer cell by stopping  the cancer cells ability to read the testosterone in the blood stream. Cancer cells have receptors in the same way as a TV needs an aerial. If the aerial is damaged the TV can't show a clear picture. In the same way if the receptor on the cell is blocked it can't be influences by the bodies hormones, despite often normal levels in the blood stream. In this case the receptors is called androgen receptors and is blocked by casodex. This is way suprafact is sometimes referred to as a receptor antagonists.

How will I & the doctor know they are working? In most cases there is something the doctor can measure. This may be how you feel, a symptom related to your cancer, something which can be felt on examination (e.g. a lump or size of prostate),   something seen on a scan or xray. or a blood test called PSA, (the level of which will get lower if you are responding).

Are there any side effects? All medications have side effects. These can effect some people more than others. It its hard to predict the level and type of side effect for each individual. Suprafact is generally well tolerated but listed below are an overview of the more common side effects you may encounter, however, you may experience none, all, or only a few of these. You may also have a rare side effect not listed here - If you become aware of any other side effects, please report them to your clinic.

but if side effects are severe, you may have to stop taking the drug and a different hormonal drug may be prescribed.

Other issues There is no interaction between suprafact and moderate amounts of alcohol.  Suprafact does not usually affect your ability to drive.       

Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. Cancernet.co.uk has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the cancer journey.

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