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Firmagon continued...new blog from Medcomglen

Medcomglen's picture
Medcomglen
Posts: 95
Joined: Jun 2009

Sorry I haven't been on this board since May '11 due to a technical difficulty (long story) so I'm going to try to start a newer "Firmagon continued" thread since I now have insomnia again from Firmagon. Hope Wayne is still with us!

Yes, I'm still kicking and had a great run since my last 80mg. Firmagon injection in May 2011. My PSA dropped to 1.8 and rose (remember I'm stage 4) to 7.7 last month so I had my fourth 80mg. Firmagon injection January 20th. I'd forgotten all about the injection site pain and what Bull's must feel like after they leave the chute. I can tell from my sudden loss of libido that my testosterone dropped and I will post my PSA reading in about one month to see that Firmagon is still working. I will be receiving Medicare in April so I'm curious if any one can share their experience with their approved drugs and if Lupron or Firmagon is paid for. In the meantime I hope all the old posters are still with us and I look forward to hearing from you if you discover this post. Zzzzz, Zzzzz, Zzzzz

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1552
Joined: Nov 2010

Medcomglen

You do not need to apologize for your “hibernation”. Some comrades go to sleep and do not get-up again.
I am glad to know about the long vacations off Firmagon. I wonder what’s your Gleason and if you had any other treatment previous HT.

Wishing you a continuous success in the control of the beast.

VGama

jogger
Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Medcom,

I was very smart to wait to be diagnosed with prostate cancer until I was of an age where Medicare picked up the tab for Firmagon.:-) Let's hope there will be no change under forthcoming changes in healthcare regulations.

Jack

wayne2's picture
wayne2
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2010

I also had some problems accessing the site and then got Lazy. I'v been checking to see if you are back . Great to see you writing again !!!!

I haven't had a shot of firmagon since July, 2011. My psa has been holding at 0.1 for a year now.........another test soon, but it was still down last month:-))I feel very blessed.

....and medicare has paid for all the shots. I hope bammycare doesn't change that. The reviews on firmagon are getting better and better. Hope you find a "cure" for the insomnia.....ZZZZZZZ.

BEST REGARDS..............WAYNE

wardyboy
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Guys,been off this forum for a while now and im glad to see this thread is updated. Im doing great and hope you are too!! I will be checking in and updating shortly. Take care, Wardy

jogger
Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Guys,

I'm glad to be back to this forum. It's good to see familiar names. I have a question about re-starting Firmagon after a 'vacation' from it, which was necessary because of a rise in PSA during the vacation. My urologist had me take the double injection, as if I had not taken it before. Has anybody had that experience?

Jack

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1552
Joined: Nov 2010

Jack (Jogger) my friend

It is nice to read another of your posts.
Regarding the need of the double injection to initiate the treatment is just for precaution of an explosion of cancer activity. Antagonists (Firmagon) and agonist (Lupron, Eligard, etc) cause a surge in testosterone levels when initially taken known as “flare”. This is like a feeding frenzy for the cancer and that causes cancer spread and elevated PSA.
Antagonists are quicker in stopping the testosterone factory (about 4 days) but LHRH-agonist take longer (about 8 to 15 days) which requires to take previously an antiandrogen (such as Casodex) for two weeks to avoid the increased testosterone from being taken by the cells.

Flare is problematic in patients with skeleton metastases because the sudden surge in cancer activity may cause bone compression with a result in nasty pain or still worse with a compression of the locomotion nerves.

My doctor also indicated that my restart of HT in future would require me to take two weeks of antiandrogens before the agonist shot. I am hopeful of defeating his comment if the cancer allows me to keep the “vacations” forever.

What is your present PSA level?
Any symptom?

Regards.
VGama

jogger
Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Vasco,

I had to start the Degarelix after my PSA went from its starting level of 800, to its low point and back up to 32 during the 'vacation' period. Your question about symptoms refers, I suppose, to the side effects, which include hardening (induration) and redness (erythema)at the injections sites. It takes two weeks for this to subside. I did not get the 24-hour flu-like symptoms this time, possibly because I took Benadryl and 8-hour Tylenol. There is no other symptom, such as fatigue, muscle ache, etc., but the belly expands and I still have enlarged breasts from the first cycle. I have to exercise as much as I can to ward off possible after-effects such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.BTW, I think it's more correct to say the testosterone count comes down quickly, 'without' any flare, as with the agonists.
Thanks for your continued contribution to this forum.

Jack

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1552
Joined: Nov 2010

Jack

You are right. Degarelix do not cause flare. My mind was already at the sprinting tracks of the London Olympics, (probably) thinking of you.
I recall a past post to RadHop were I addressed the same subject. Firmagon is administered to the same intent in stopping testosterone production as an inhibitor of the (GnRH) receptor at pituitary, acting immediately and achieving conclusive results on the 3rd day . The GnRH agonist (inducers) will take time to “flood” the pituitary and consequently the “switch-off” of testosterone production will take longer (8 to 15 days) to be achieved.

It seems that the dose model for Degarelix administration originated in the following study;
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2000597/?tool=pmcentrez

In the study, several models were used to verify the most practical dose and they found a concentration of 40mg/ml as the best dose to achieve continuous suppression of LH. In regards to time of suppression it was found that a starting dose of 200 mg was better.

Two models were finally recommended for the treatment of prostate cancer (maybe commercial purposes); 120 mg of 40 mg/ml and 80 mg of 20 mg/ml.
In conclusion; 2 times 120 plus maintenance dose of monthly 80mg (20mg/ml) would assure a continuous castration status.

I wonder what has been your protocol. 120 or 80 mg as monthly maintenance?

Thanks for correcting me and I appreciate your description of symptoms.

I want to copy/try your fitness aerobic exercise with sand bags described by you in another thread.

Wishing you continuous control of cancer and a healthy jogging.

Best regards
VGama

jogger
Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Vasco,

It seems that the dose model for Degarelix administration originated in the following study;
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2000597/?tool=pmcentrez

My goodness, you really dig deep to get the facts!

I wonder what has been your protocol. 120 or 80 mg as monthly maintenance? 80 mg.

I want to copy/try your fitness aerobic AND RESISTANCE exercise with sand bags described by you in another thread. :-)

Ciao for now

Jack

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