Leuprorelin, or, Prostap

Leuprorelin, or, Prostap

This patient-friendly article is about chemotherapy drug, Leuprorelin (also called Prostap, leuprolide or Lutrate) which is a type of hormone therapy used in the treatment of prostate cancer, breast cancer, uterine fibroids and endometriosis; it blocks the release of Lutenising hormone and is also referred to as a Lutenising Hormone-Releasing Hormone, or LHRH agonist.

Prostap SR (monthly injections) and Prostap 3 (3-monthly injections) contain leuprorelin acetate.

Prostap is actually one of a group of synthetic copies of gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) but is 20 times stronger than its natural equivalent. Normally GnRH is released in healthy people naturally by the hypothalamus and works by acting on the gonadotropic cells lying in the pituitary gland to release the production of several hormones. In women it releases Lutenising Hormone which causes ovulation; in men it stimulates the production of Testosterone.

Prostap, at the outset, significantly increases the production of Lutenising Hormone, but after a few days the excessive strength of the synthetic drug shuts down the gonadotropic cells' natural production of LH and thus oestradiol and testosterone. Thus, it interferes with the growth of hormonally dependent tumours

It can be used as a sole treatment for advanced prostrate cancer, or for older men not wishing to have surgery or radiotherapy.

Side effects in men can include: hot flushes, mood swings, impotence, breast tenderness, fatigue, weight gain, pain in muscles and joints, nausea, vomiting and mild diarrhoea.

Side effects in women can include vaginal dryness, change in breast size, breast tenderness, dizziness, tingling sensations.

The drug was approved in 1976.

There is a long-term risk of osteoporosis. 

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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Go to: 10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

Go to: Return to the CANCERactive drug list


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