Eligard: better understand the treatment for prostate cancer

The prostate cancer is one of the most frequent among men. Despite this, even today, talking about the subject is considered taboo.

Whether out of fear or embarrassment, many men prefer not to see a urologist – a specialist in the male reproductive system – frequently, which makes it difficult to diagnose the disease.

However, when the problem is found, some treatments can be indicated to combat and reduce symptoms.

Among them, the use of the drug Eligard, which helps to prevent tumor growth.

Know more about the drug!

What is Eligard?

Eligard is one of the trade names for the active ingredient Leuprorelin Acetate, a synthetic hormone, that is, manufactured in the laboratory.

It is a drug produced by Zodiac – a pharmaceutical company – and is used to treat advanced prostate cancer .

It is part of the drugs used in hormone therapy, that is, that act on the body’s hormones.

Its administration is through suspension for injection and there are 3 presentations: 7.5mg, 22.5mg and 45mg.

What is Eligard for?

Eligard is used for palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Palliative treatments aim to reduce the symptoms and discomfort caused by serious illnesses, in terminally ill patients (in which there is no cure).

Thus, it focuses on quality of life, reduction of symptoms and improvement of well-being, not serving to treat the disease itself.

Eligard works by reducing the discomfort of the disease and helps to prevent the tumor from developing.

What are palliative care in advanced prostate cancer?

Palliative treatment aims to dignify the patient’s terminal phase, reducing his physical and mental suffering.

Because it is a multidisciplinary method, in addition to using medications that reduce physical discomfort, it has other special care.

Among them, psychology and nutrition services, aiming at well-being.

In addition, attention to the patient’s family members is a characteristic of palliative care, providing support and helping, through simple language, a better understanding of the disease.

How does the Leuprorelin Acetate active ingredient work?

Leuprorelin Acetate acts by inhibiting the secretion of gonadotropin – a hormone that stimulates testosterone production.

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone and, when at very high levels, it can encourage the growth of tumors.

This is because this hormone stimulates prostate cell growth.

Thus, by stimulating the multiplication of a cell, it also encourages, if any, the growth of the tumor present in it.

In the first days of using the medication, in general, testosterone levels are high, which can cause some side effects.

However, after a few weeks, the rate of the substance in the body is reduced and remains at low levels.

Is Eligard chemotherapy?

No . Chemotherapy is the treatment that uses substances to destroy cells in the body that form a tumor.

These drugs mix with the blood and are taken to attack diseased cells throughout the body.

The technique is used when hormone treatments, such as Eligard, do not have the expected result.

Eligard, on the other hand, is part of the medications used in treatments called hormone therapy.

The method consists of blocking the action of sex hormones that may have an influence on the growth of cancerous tumors.

If this resource does not bring results, other measures are used.

Is Eligard for breast cancer?

No . Although the active ingredient Leuprorelin Acetate, in some cases, is used in the treatment of breast cancer , according to the instructions for Eligard, the use of medication is not recommended for the treatment of the disease.

In addition, the administration of Eligard is contraindicated in women.

Is Eligard medication applied on a quarterly basis

It depends . The period of application of Eligard varies according to the dosage and medical indication.

In general, the application is:

  • Eligard 7.5mg – monthly application;
  • Eligard 22.5mg – quarterly application;
  • Eligard 45mg – semi-annual application.

The medication has a continuous release mechanism, that is, after administration, it releases the product gradually in the interval between applications.

How does the package insert indicate use?

The use of Eligard, according to the package insert, must be done via subcutaneous injection first in the abdomen region.

The location of administration should be changed with each application, always in areas with a large amount of subcutaneous tissue and without lesions or hair.

To use it, it can be divided into 2 phases: preparation of the solution and application.

Preparation of the solution

The medicine is supplied in 2 different syringes: one containing the diluent and another with the active ingredient.

For the application, it is necessary to perform the fusion of the components:

  1. Couple the 2 syringes and mix the present contents (pushing the plunger back and forth) for approximately 45 seconds;
  2. Disengage the syringes (transferring the entire contents to the smallest syringe) and attach the needle to its end.

The syringe content is a single dose. It is important to remember that the suspension must be uniform to be applied and, in addition, it must be applied up to a maximum of 30 minutes after its dilution.

Application

  1. Clean the area where the medicine will be applied with alcohol-soaked cotton;
  2. With the fingers of the non-dominant hand, tighten the skin around the area to be applied, forming a fold;
  3. With your other hand, insert the needle at a 90 ° angle. After inserting the needle, release the skin that was being pressed;
  4. Inject the contents slowly and steadily. Press the plunger until the entire product is injected;
  5. Remove the needle at the same angle at which it was applied.

After use, tighten the safety lock on the syringe. It will completely cover the needle.

Discard in a suitable place for biological materials.

What are the side effects and reactions?

Like most medications, Eligard can cause side effects in some people.

However, it is worth remembering that each organism reacts differently to the use of the drug. That way, not all people will necessarily suffer from all the side effects.

In addition, since it is a drug with a new pharmaceutical form (7.5mg and 22.5mg) and concentration (45mg), despite research indicating safety and efficacy, Eligard may have unknown side effects.

If this occurs, inform the responsible physician.

According to the package insert, different reactions were found in the 3 presentations of the medication: 7.5mg; 22.5mg and 45mg.

However, in general, during the first weeks of using the drug, there may be a worsening in the symptoms of the disease and even the appearance of new signs such as bone pain, problems in the nervous system and the presence of blood in the urine.

This is because hormone levels are increased in the first doses of the drug, but most of the time, these are temporary reactions.

Specifically, the symptoms are:

7.5mg

Among the very common reactions in the 7.5mg version, are:

  • Malaise;
  • Fatigue;
  • Heat;
  • Sweat.

Common reactions are:

  • Dizziness;
  • Decreased testicles;
  • Inflammation in the stomach;
  • Inflammation in the intestine;
  • Inflammation of the colon.

Other reactions that can occur are:

  • Insomnia;
  • Fainting;
  • Gases;
  • Constipation;
  • Weight gain;
  • Impotence;
  • Reduced libido;
  • Loss of hair;
  • Disorders of smell and taste;
  • Joint pain;
  • Tremors;
  • Testicular sensitivity.

22.5mg

The very common reactions found in the 22.5mg version are:

  • Heat;
  • Sweating.

Among the common ones are:

  • Fatigue;
  • Increased urinary frequency;
  • Nausea;
  • Itch;
  • Joint pain.

Other reactions that may occur are:

  • Difficulty of digestion;
  • Tremors;
  • Weakness;
  • Somnolence;
  • Pain when urinating;
  • Blood in the urine;
  • Decreased testicles;
  • Hypertension;
  • Hypotension;
  • Impotence;
  • Bladder contractions;
  • Urinary retention.

45mg

In the 45mg version, the very common reactions are:

  • Fatigue;
  • Heat;
  • Sweating.

The common ones are:

  • Weakness;
  • Decreased testicles;
  • Breast growth (gynecomastia);
  • Muscle pain;
  • Pain in the limbs;
  • Night sweats.

Other reactions that can occur are:

  • Difficulty of digestion;
  • Somnolence;
  • Sexual impotence;
  • Loss of sexual desire;
  • Increased urinary frequency during sleep.

Price: what is the value of Eligard?

The price of Eligard may vary according to the geographic region, establishment and dosage.

In general, its value is from *:

  • Eligard 7.5mg – R $ 350;
  • Eligard 22.5mg – R $ 999;
  • Eligard 45mg – R $ 2199.

If there is a need to compare prices, the Consulta Remédios website can be used , which indicates the medication values ​​in several pharmacies in each region.

* Prices consulted in February 2020. Prices may change.

Are you in SUS?

-Yeah . The active ingredient Leuprorelin Acetate is part of the National List of Essential Medicines (Rename), that is, it is on the list of medicines distributed directly by SUS.

For cases in which, for some reason, SUS does not provide medication, there is the possibility of requesting treatment coverage by the State, through a lawsuit.

For that, it is necessary to present some documents and exams such as the medical report, application and budget in 3 different pharmacies.

Is it approved by ANVISA?

-Yeah . The drug was registered by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in 2006.

It is part of the therapeutic class of antineoplastic agents, that is, drugs used to fight tumors.

How to budget Eligard?

For cases in which the SUS does not provide medication and the (a) patient is unable to afford the costs, it is possible to go to court asking for treatment coverage.

For that, it is necessary to open a judicial process and present some documents, which include:

  • Application;
  • Medical report;
  • Exams;
  • Budget in 3 different pharmacies.

For the realization of the budget, it is possible to obtain assistance in advising on the quotation of high-cost medications , which makes a personalized quotation simply and quickly.


Prostate cancer is a common disease. In Brazil, there are more than 65 thousand cases per year.

To combat the problem and decrease the symptoms, there are some treatments that can be administered.

One of them is the use of medications such as Eligard, which works to mitigate and prevent the disease from getting worse.

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