Zoladex timing


My next Zoladex appointment falls on Good Friday so my GP is closed. I will talk to my BCN about this, but I just wondered whether anyone had had any experience of changing the timings on Zoladex - did you bring it forward, delay it, and if so by how many days? Would a week early be a problem in your experience?

I can see another nurse at the GP just one day earlier than my proper day, but to be honest I find the whole thing pretty stressful so that I would prefer to see the same person again if I can.


I’m on the 12 weekly version of Zoladex rather than the 4 weekly, so the timing is a bit less critical. According to my GP a few days either way on the 12 week one is OK, but presumably if you’re on the 4 weekly you should try to get it done within a couple of days either side of the 28 day mark. It’s another advantage of having the 12 weekly one, although I see it’s not officially licensed for BC, only for prostate cancer.

I’m on the 4 weekly version too and have been for 3.5 yrs. My onc is happy with me altering the timing by up to a week either way so it fits in with my life and takes into account times like bank hols etc. I have bone mets and my bc was 100% ER and PR+ so I can’t take chances. So far, so good!

Have you used Emla cream an hour beforehand? It’s an anaesthetic cream and you just put a blob on the skin where the jab will be and I never feel a thing. You should ask for some - no point in suffering when you don’t have to!!

Good luck,


I’m a complete wimp! I have a local anaesthetic injection before the Zoladex, so I don’t feel a thing. But I have to say in my defence that the 12 weekly implant is rather big.

This is interesting about the Zolodex timings. My practice tend not to allow me to have it even a few days early (I’m on the four weekly one), but prefer me to have it a day or two late.

I too think Emla cream is wonderful, and it makes an otherwise painful injection, pain-free.


Like Victoria I am not allowed to have it early but a day or two late is fine.
Please tell me more about emla cream. Do I need a prescription?

Being cynical, I wonder if the preference for having it a few days late rather than a few days early might be cost related?

Vercors - yep the cream is on prescription. Get some!!

At my gp surgery, the nurse that gives me the zoladex injection gives me a stack of emla cream and dressings without a prescription so worth asking next time you’re there. My last appointment was about 45 mins late as the usual nurse was off sick and I think the magic cream effect had worn off. Didn’t help that the nurse made a mess of the injection making it pour with blood and giving me a massive bruise. But normally the emla cream is great and I wouldn’t be without it!

In terms of applying Emla, the guidance I received (which seems to work) is to apply it (a couple of small squeezes from the tiny tube) about an hour before the appointment time. I’m lucky in that I attend a small GP nurse practice so usually get seen on time. Rub the cream lightly into the area of the proposed injection site then cover the Emla cream with a plaster - I’m given ones with a plastic window (not sure if the’se make any difference).

Interesting that your nurse Bob2 provides the cream, it’s only issued via prescription at my practice; I usually order a new tube at the time of my Zolodex prescription, every couple of times. The routine helps.

Regards timings, my nurse makes a decision around safety rather than cost. She said there’s some evidence that having the next dose before the 4 weeks are up can increase the chances of side effects. I’ve not pressed her on what the SEs are, but it doesn’t matter, because the GP would not authorise it early anyway.

I’ve found the Zolodex really increased my hot flushes. I tried Clonodine for a while, but it didn’t work. I’m now on Gabapentin which seems much more effective for me.

Personally I’m very grateful for being given the opportunity to take Zolodex as well as Tamoxifen as I’m in a higher risk group for reccurance, so want to take as many meds and as precautions as I can to reduce that risk.

Although I’ve been told that it’s usual to only be prescribed Zolodex for two years, my onc has said I should have it for five years. There’s some research, I think, which is looking into optimum treatment lengths. Have not yet had a chance to look for this, hope to when I have the time!


It does work well an hour before the injection, but nearly 2 hours was too long :frowning:

The first time I went, I didn’t have anything and it was sore, so the nurse opened up her cupboard which had a big stash of it. I’m in Scotland and prescriptions are free anyway, not sure if this is why, or if my surgery is just generous! I got offered a freeze spray thing as an alternative but happy with emla. I’ve not had to change timings yet, though my injections are on mondays so i’m sure it’ll land on a bank hol soon enough. Luckily my 3 week holiday in June doesn’t clash with any injections…

I hate the hot flushes too bright light, but the joint aches are my most annoying side effect.

Al x

Hi Claire,
I was on Zoladex for 6 months, and was told that up to a week late is fine. I did this on several occasions, and noticed no difference with SE’s. Good luck x