The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists to be associated with a minor risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke and sudden death in men.

As part of the ongoing analysis of commonly used prostrate cancer drugs, the FDA pointed that there may be an increased risk of serious side effects.

“While our review of these prostate cancer treatments is ongoing and there are some limitations to the data, the FDA believes it is important to tell patients and health care professionals that there may be an increased risk of serious side effects,” said Robert Justice, director of the FDA Division of Drug Oncology Products Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Medications in the GnRH class are marketed under the brand names Eligard, Lupron, Synarel, Trelstar, Vantas, Viadur and Zoladex. There are also several generic products available.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 203,415 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and about 28,372 men will die from the disease in 2010.

GnRH agonists suppress the testosterone production, a hormone responsible for the growth of prostate cancer.