FDA Orders New Warnings on Prostate Cancer Drugs

The FDA issued a warning to several drug companies to add information to the warning labels on products classified as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH), commonly used to treat advanced stages of prostate cancer. The drugs suppress the production of testosterone, a hormone that stimulates the growth of prostate tumors, and work through androgen deprivation therapy; the drugs are also used to help manage pain caused by endometriosis in women. The FDA began evaluating GnRHs in May, 2010 to determine whether they increased the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in men. The studies reviewed by the FDA suggested that these risks are low, but significant enough that the government office felt it should issue a warning to doctors and healthcare professionals to evaluate patients carefully and to weigh the benefits and risks of GnRHs before prescribing the treatment to a patient. See the FDA drug safety annoucement.