The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Degarelix (Firmagon) for Prostate Cancer
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The FDA has approved degarelix (Firmagon – Ferring), a synthetic decapeptide gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist, for rapid medical castration of men with advanced prostate cancer. Abarelix (Plenaxis),1 the first GnRH antagonist approved by the FDA, was withdrawn from the US market because of immediate hypersensitivity reactions.

MECHANISM OF ACTION — Degarelix binds reversibly to the GnRH receptor in the anterior pituitary gland. It inhibits release of gonadotropins such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which in turn suppresses testosterone production in the testes.

MEDICAL CASTRATION — GnRH antagonists do not produce the testosterone surge that often occurs with the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists that are also used for this purpose.2 The ... more      

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Title: Degarelix (Firmagon) for Prostate Cancer
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