Buserelin is a prescription nasal spray or injection available in the United Kingdom and Canada with the brand names Suprecur and Suprefact. Suprecur acts upon the pituitary gland to increase levels of sex hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle in women and is used to treat both endometriosis and infertility. Suprefact lowers testosterone levels in men and is used to as a treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Despite its effectiveness, buserelin is not for everyone as it presents several risks for side effects and complications in some patients.
General Side Effects of Buserelin
There are a number of side effects that occur with both buserelin drugs. Patients who use buserelin nasal spray report nasal irritation, nosebleeds, hoarseness and changes in smell. Because buserelin affects the pituitary gland, both drugs have the potential to cause changes in the pituitary gland's control over the body. This sometimes results in hot flushes, dry skin or eyes, loss of scalp or body hair and changes in weight. Gastrointestinal side effects are also possible and include diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Neurological, psychological and sensory side effects of buserelin include decreased sex drive, dizziness, headaches, anxiety, nervousness, sleep disturbances and blurred vision. Patients taking either Suprecur or Suprefact also report fluid retention, swelling of the face or extremities and tiredness.
Suprecur Side Effects
There are some side effects of buserelin that are unique to women who take Suprecur. Some women report tenderness, lactation and an increase in breast size while using the drug. While using Suprecur, it is possible to experience vaginal dryness, increased sweating and splitting nails. Suprecur sometimes causes a decrease in bone density. This can be serious in older women as it increases the risk for developing osteoporosis, a disease where the bones become porous and brittle. Additionally, some women experience heart palpitations while taking Suprecur.
Suprefact Side Effects
Some side effects of buserelin occur only in men who are taking Suprefact. Some men experience a thickening of scalp hair or an increase in body hair rather than hair loss while taking the drug. Others report symptoms of depression or a difficulty concentrating or remembering while using Suprefact. A potentially embarrassing side effect of the drug is gynaecomastia, a condition where a man's breasts swell and resemble a woman's. Additional side effects of Suprefact include bone pain, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, weakness of the legs, difficulty urinating, impotence and temporary or permanent sterility.
There are some medications which produce unwanted side effects when used in conjunction with both forms of buserelin. In order to minimise nasal irritation, you should wait for 30 minutes after taking buserelin before administering any other type of nasal spray. Buserelin often decreases the effectiveness of antidiabetic medications or insulin. In addition, buserelin sometimes decreases the effectiveness of antihypertensive or blood pressure drugs. Women who take Suprecur should not utilise oral contraceptives while taking buserelin.
Post-menopausal women should not take Suprecur as well as women with a history of breast cancer, osteoporosis or vaginal bleeding with an unknown cause due to the risk of side effects. Additionally, Suprecur is not prescribed for pregnant or nursing women due to the potential for harm to the baby or foetus. Doctors do not prescribe Suprefact for men who have had their testicles removed and use the drug only with caution for those with difficulty passing urine or whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate. Because both types of buserelin cause dizziness and blurred vision, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how the drug affects you.