Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist
A gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH agonist) is a synthetic peptide modeled after the hypothalamic neurohormone GnRH that interacts with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor to elicit its biologic response, the release of the pituitary hormones FSH and LH.
GnRH agonists are pregnancy category X drugs.
Flare effect and downregulation
Agonists do not quickly dissociate from the GnRH receptor. As a result initially there is an increase in FSH and LH secretion (so-called "flare effect").
However after about ten days a profound hypogonadal effect (i.e. decrease in FSH and LH) is achieved through receptor downregulation by internalization of receptors. Generally this induced and reversible hypogonadism is the therapeutic goal.
Agonists with double and single substitutions
GnRH agonists are synthetically modeled after the natural GnRH decapeptide with specific amino acid substitutions typically in position 6 and 10. These substitutions inhibit rapid degradation. Agonists with 2 substitutions include:
- leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard)
- buserelin (Suprefact, Suprecor)
- nafarelin (Synarel)
- histrelin (Supprelin)
- goserelin (Zoladex)
- deslorelin (Suprelorin, Ovuplant)
Triptorelin is an agonist with only a single substitution at position 6.
These medications can be administered intranasally, by injection, or by implant. Injectables have been formulated for daily, monthly, and quarterly use; and implants can last from 1 to 12 months.
GnRH agonists are useful in:
- Treatment of cancers that are hormonally sensitive and where a hypogonadal state decreases the chances of a recurrence. Thus they are commonly employed in the medical management of prostate cancer and have been used in patients with breast cancer.
- Treatment of delaying puberty in individuals with precocious puberty.
- Management of female disorders that are dependent on estrogen productions. Women with menorrhagia, endometriosis. adenomyosis, or uterine fibroids may receive GnRH agonists to suppress ovarian activity and induce a hypoestrogenic state.
- Gender reassignment therapy of transsexuals.
- in vitro fertilisation therapy: they allow for better control of ovarian stimulation during the administration of exogenous FSH. Typically, after GnRH agonists have induced a state of hypoestrogenism, exogenous FSH is given to stimulate ovarian follicle, followed by human chorionic gonadotropins (hCG) to trigger ovulation.
- Severe cases of congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Temporary Suppression of Fertility in Male Dogs
- Induction of Ovulation in Mares
Women of reproductive age who undergo cytotoxic chemotherapy have been pretreated with GnRH agonists to reduce the risk of oocyte loss during such therapy and preserve ovarian function. Further studies are necessary to prove that this approach is useful.
Side effects of the GnRH agonists are signs and symptoms of hypoestrogenism, including hot flashes, headaches, and osteoporosis. In patients under long-term therapy, small amounts of estrogens could be given back (â€œadd-back regimenâ€) to combat such side effects and to prevent bone wastage. Generally, long-term patients, both male and female, tend to undergo annual Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans to appraise bone density.
- Use of agonists in endometriosis
- Lupron, by manufacturer
- Buserelin website
- Information of use of Zoladex in prostate cancer
- 10th International Symposium on GnRH
- http://www.genengnews.com/news/bnitem.aspx?name=63455946&source=genwire "Researchers Suggest Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Can Cause Serious Heart Problems and Death"
- Readers may use this email link to report errors and/or omissions they have discovered, or to add additional material or comments regarding this article "Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist"
- Wiki Staff should discuss this article in the Wiki Staff Forum
- Susan's Place Transgender Resources Forums
- Susan's Place Transgender Chat
Browse: Gender | Cross-dressing | Intersexuality | Transgender topics | Transsexualism | Hormone Therapy | Surgery | Standards of Care | Legal Information | Psychology | Transitioning | Family & Friends | People | Books | Abbreviations | Browse All TopicsRead the FAQ | Return to the Main Page
Want to help us? Write New Articles and/or Expand Current Articles
*Some information provided in whole or in part by http://en.wikipedia.org/