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How long should you take Eligard for?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Jan 31, 2023.

Official answer


Eligard (leuprolide acetate) is usually given as a long-term therapy for the treatment of advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer. Hormone therapy may be continued for as long as the treatment continues to be beneficial and the side effects are tolerated. Your doctor can tell you how long you should continue treatment with Eligard based on your specific symptoms and disease progression.

Eligard is a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist hormone therapy approved by the FDA for the palliative treatment (to relieve pain and other symptoms) of advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer. Eligard stops the production of testosterone in the testicles. Your doctor may recommend you use this medicine long-term. It is not a cure for prostate cancer.

How long will Eligard work?

Studies have shown that continuation of therapy with leuprolide acetate maintains testosterone below castrate levels (<50 ng/dL) for up to seven years. This effect on testosterone suppression may be reversed if the drug is stopped. But in some patients, over time, hormone therapy may no longer work to slow prostate cancer growth. If this happens, your doctor can recommend other treatment options.

What is androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)?

GnRH agonists are often referred to as “androgen deprivation therapy” (ADT). These drugs work by stopping production of the male hormone testosterone in the testicles. Interrupting the supply of testosterone can help cancer cells to grow more slowly or die.

GnRH agonist therapy like Eligard can be used in advanced prostate cancer that has spread in the body to shrink and slow the growth of cancer, which may help to relieve your symptoms. Hormone therapy can be used alone or with other treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.

Eligard is a long-acting injected suspension. It is injected under your skin (subcutaneously) once every month, or once every 3, 4 or 6 months. You and your doctor can determine the dosing schedule that works best for you. You will receive this injection in the doctor’s office, a clinic or in the hospital. You do not give this injection to yourself.

What is advanced prostate cancer?

Advanced or metastatic prostate cancer is a stage of cancer that has spread from the prostate gland to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer most commonly spreads to the bones and lymph nodes, but it can spread to other areas of the body, too.

This is not all the information you need to know about Eligard (leuprolide acetate) for safe and effective use. Review the full Eligard information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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