luteinising hormone releasing hormone agonists

Last reviewed 12/2022

Luteinising hormone releasing hormone agonists are agents used in the hormonal modulation of malignant and benign diseases including:

  • prostatic carcinoma
  • breast carcinoma
  • endometriosis

These agents may cause an initial stimulation in the secretion of luteinising hormone (LH) resulting in a "flare" in symptoms in patients with symptomatic prostatic cancer during the first 1-2 weeks of treatment.

After 1-2 weeks pituitary gonadotrophin secretion is down-regulated leading to inhibition of ovarian and testicular sex hormone production.

If a tumour flare is likely to cause problems e.g. spinal cord compression, then an antiandrogen should also be given at least 3 days before the LHRH agonist and continued concurrently for three weeks.