Abarelix (Plenaxis)

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Mechanism of action

From the NCI Drug Dictionary: A synthetic decapeptide and antagonist of naturally occurring gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Abarelix directly and competitively binds to and blocks the gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor in the anterior pituitary gland, thereby inhibiting the secretion and release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

Diseases for which it is used

History of changes in FDA indication

  • 11/25/2003: Approved for palliative treatment of men with advanced symptomatic prostate cancer, in whom LHRH agonist therapy is not appropriate and who refuse surgical castration, and have one or more of the following: risk of neurological compromise due to metastases, ureteral or bladder outlet obstruction due to local encroachment or metastatic disease, or severe bone pain from skeletal metastases persisting on narcotic analgesia.