|Type of medicine||Gonadotrophin inhibitor|
Danazol works by altering the levels of some of your body's hormones. It is used to treat endometriosis and to relieve severe pain and tenderness associated with non-malignant breast cysts (lumps). Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus (womb) is found elsewhere in your body, often in the pelvic area or abdomen. By altering the levels of your hormones, danazol will help relieve your symptoms.
If you are taking danazol for another reason (such as hereditary angio-oedema), ask your doctor if you need information or advice.
Before taking danazol
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking danazol it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have heart disease, or liver or kidney problems.
- If you have any vaginal bleeding other than your regular period.
- If you have ever had thrombosis (a blood clot), or stroke.
- If you have any of the following: epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, migraine, high cholesterol or any other lipid (fat) disorder.
- If you have polycythaemia or porphyria (these are blood disorders).
- If you have a type of cancer which is affected by hormones.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take danazol
Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about danazol and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how many capsules to take and when to take them. As a guide, danazol is usually taken 2-4 times daily for 3-6 months. Take the capsules exactly as your doctor has told you - your dose will be on the label of the pack to remind you. Swallow the capsules whole - do not chew or open them. Taking them with a drink of water can help.
- You should start taking danazol on the first day of your period unless you have been told otherwise.
- You can take the capsules before or after meals, but try to take your doses at the same times each day, as this will help you to remember to take them. If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is important that you do not become pregnant while you are on danazol. You should use a non-hormonal method of contraception, such as a condom. This is because hormonal methods (such as 'the pill' or 'mini pill') will not work. Speak with your doctor if you need further advice about what methods of contraception are suitable for you.
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Also, your doctor may want you to have some blood tests during this treatment.
- It is best to avoid drinking alcohol while you are on danazol. This is because you may feel sick or become short of breath.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can danazol cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Danazol side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sick, stomach pain||Stick to simple foods (avoid rich or spicy meals)|
|Feeling dizzy or tired, eyesight changes||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache is severe or continues, speak with your doctor|
|Increased growth of hair (particularly on your body or face), voice changes||Speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible. An alternative treatment may be more suitable for you|
Acne, skin rash, backache and muscle cramps,
|If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you experience any of the following rare but possibly serious symptoms, speak with your doctor straightaway:
- A severe headache and sickness.
- Jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes).
- Any painful swelling of your arms or legs.
- Any bruising that you can't explain. This could be a sign of a blood disorder.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store danazol
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Danol® 100 mg Capsules, Danol® 200 mg Capsules; sanofi-aventis, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2012.
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 26/09/2012||Document ID: 3273 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.