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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 261-267

Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists: Expanding vistas


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Air Force Hospital, Kanpur, India

Correspondence Address:
Navneet Magon
Obstetrician, Gynecologist and Endoscopic Surgeon, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Air Force Hospital, Kanpur
India
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DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.85575

PMID: 22028996

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Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists are derived from native GnRH by amino acid substitution which yields the agonist resistant to degradation and increases its half-life. The hypogonadotropic hypogonadal state produced by GnRH agonists has been often dubbed as "pseudomenopause" or "medical oophorectomy," which are both misnomers. GnRH analogues (GnRH-a) work by temporarily "switching off" the ovaries. Ovaries can be "switched off" for the therapy and therapeutic trial of many conditions which include but are not limited to subfertility, endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine leiomyomas, precocious puberty, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, chronic pelvic pain, or the prevention of menstrual bleeding in special clinical situations. Rapidly expanding vistas of usage of GnRH agonists encompass use in sex reassignment of male to female transsexuals, management of final height in cases of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and preserving ovarian function in women undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy. Hypogonadic side effects caused by the use of GnRH agonists can be tackled with use of "add-back" therapy. Goserelin, leuprolide, and nafarelin are commonly used in clinical practice. GnRH-a have provided us a powerful therapeutic approach to the treatment of numerous conditions in reproductive medicine. Recent synthesis of GnRH antagonists with a better tolerability profile may open new avenues for both research and clinical applications. All stakeholders who are partners in women's healthcare need to join hands to spread awareness so that these drugs can be used to realize their full potential.


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