Canada-Approved Medicine

This monograph describes a medication approved for use in Canada by the Therapeutic Products Directorate, a division of Health Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch. The medication is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration; however, a similar formulation carrying a different generic or brand name might be available in the US.


Trade Name(s)

  • SuprefactCanadian Tradename

Ther. Class.

Pharm. Class.
luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues


  • Subcutaneous injection–Initial and maintenance palliative treatment of advanced hormone-dependent prostate cancer (usually given with an anti-androgen).
  • Nasal solution–Maintenance palliative treatment of advanced hormone-dependent prostate cancer (usually given with an anti-androgen).
  • Nasal solution–Non-surgical treatment of endometriosis (course of treatment 6–9 mo).


Acts as a synthetic analog of endogenous gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH/LHRH). Chronic use results in inhibited secretion of gonadotropin release and gonadal steroid production. The overall effect is due to down-regulation of pituitary LHRH receptors. In males, testosterone synthesis and release is decreased. In females, secretion of estrogen in decreased.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

  • Decreased spread of advanced prostate cancer.
  • Decreased sequelae of endometriosis (pain, dysmenorrhea).


Absorption: Subcut–70%; intranasal–1–3%; implant–drug is slowly absorbed over 2–3 mo.

Distribution: Accumulates in liver, kidneys and anterior pituitary lobe; enters breast milk in small amounts.

Metabolism and Excretion: Metabolized in liver, kidneys and by enzymes on membranes in the pituitary gland.

Half-life: Subcut–80 min; intranasal–1–2 hr; implant–20–30 days.


prostate cancer †7 days4 mosuntil discontinuation
endometriosis ‡(intranasal)unknownunknownduration of treatment
†↓ in testosterone levels.‡Symptom improvement.


Contraindicated in:

  • Hypersensitivity;
  • Non-hormonal-dependent prostate cancer or previous orchiectomy;
  • Females with undiagnosed vaginal bleeding;
  • OB: Pregnancy (avoid use);
  • Lactation: Avoid breast feeding (small amounts enter breast milk; injection contains benzyl alcohol).

Use Cautiously in:

  • Prostate cancer with urinary tract obstruction or spinal lesions;
  • Pedi: Safety and effectiveness not established (injection contains benzyl alcohol).

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

CNS: depression, dizziness

CV: hypertension

Endo: glucose intolerance

Hemat: anemia

Local: injection site reactions

MS: osteoporosis (long-term use

Misc: transient exacerbation of metastatic prostate cancer or endometriosis

Prostate cancer

CNS: headache (nasal solution)

EENT: nasal irritation (nasal spray)

GU: ↓ libido, impotence

Derm: hot flushes

Endo: gynecomastia, testosterone flair

MS: bone pain


CNS: headache, weakness, insomnia

CV: edema

GI: constipation, gastrointestinal disorders, nausea

GU: ↓ libido, vaginal dryness, menorrhagia

Derm: hot flushes, acne

Endo: supression of ovulation

MS: back pain

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.



Risk of serious arrhythmias may be↑ by concurrent amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide ibutilide, propafenone quinidine, sotalol, antipsychotics (including chlorpromazine) antidepressants (including amitrypline and nortriptyline), opioids (including methadone), macrolide anti-infectives (including azithromycin, erythromycin and clarithromycin), fluoroquinolones (including moxifloxacin), azole antifungals, 5-HT3 antagonists (including ondansetron), beta-2 receptor agonists (including salbutamol), pentamidine, and quinine.


Prostate cancer

SC: (Adults) Initial treatment–500 mcg every 8 hr for 7 days, Maintenance treatment–200 mcg daily.

Intranasal: (Adults) Maintenance treatment–400 mcg (200 mcg in each nostril) 3 times daily.

Subcut implant: (Adults) 6.3 mg every 2 mo or 9.45 mg every 3 mo.


Intranasal: (Adults) 400 mcg (200 mcg in each nostril) 3 times daily. Treatment is usually continued for 6 mo; not to exceed 9 mo.


Solution for subcutaneous injection (contains benzyl alcohol): 1000 mcg/mL

Intranasal Solution : 1000 mcg/mL (delivers 100 mcg per actuation)

Subcutaneous implant (depot): 6.3 mg (2–mo implant), 9.45 mg (3–mo implant)


  • Monitor patients with vertebral metastases for increased back pain and decreased sensory/motor function.
  • Monitor intake and output ratios and assess for bladder distention in patients with urinary tract obstruction during initiation of therapy.
  • Assess for signs and symptoms of endometriosis before and periodically during therapy. Amenorrhea usually occurs within 8 wk of initial administration and menses usually resume 8 wk after completion.

Lab Test Considerations: Monitor serum testosterone levels every 3 mo during treatment with male patients. When treatment begins, testosterone levels can temporarily markedly ↑ and patients may need another medication to ↓ levels.

  • Monitor blood glucose in patients with diabetes frequently; may affect blood glucose levels.
  • Verify negative pregnancy test before starting therapy for women.

Potential Diagnoses

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Disturbed body image


Prostate Cancer

  • SC: Only use syringes that come with kit for accurate dose. Inject into fatty tissue of abdomen, arm, or leg 3 times/day for 7 days; then daily during maintenance.
  • Intranasal: When used as maintenance, begin nasal spray in each nostril 3 times daily. If patient also receives decongestant nasal spray, wait 30 minutes to give buserelin spray before or after the decongestant.
  • Implant is inserted in subcut tissue of upper abdominal wall every 28 days. Local anesthesia may be used before injection.
    • If the implant needs to be removed for any reason, it can be located by ultrasound.


  • Intranasal: One spray in each nostril 3 times daily for 6–9 mo.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Inform male patients that they may experience breast swelling and tenderness, decreased libido, hot flashes and sweats, impotence and weight gain. Notify health care professional if these symptoms occur.
  • Inform female patients that they may experience decreased libido, constipation, painful sexual intercourse, menopausal symptoms, changes in hair growth. Notify health care professional if these symptoms occur.
  • Caution both male and female patients to use contraception while taking this drug. Advise female patient to inform health care professional if pregnancy is suspected. Buserelin can be harmful to a fetus.
  • SC: Instruct patient in proper technique for self-injection, care and disposal of equipment. Use only syringes included in kit. Instruct patients that syringes may only be used once, and then discarded.
  • Intranasal: Instruct patient on proper nasal spray technique. Prime pump before use.
  • Advise patients that the nasal spray can cause nose bleeds, and may change smell and taste senses.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decrease in the spread of prostate cancer.
  • Decrease in lesions and pain in endometriosis.
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