Eligard (leuprolide acetate) is a drug prescribed to treat advanced prostate cancer. It’s given as an injection under the skin by a healthcare professional. How often you receive Eligard depends on the dosage you’re prescribed.
Eligard is approved to treat advanced prostate cancer in adults. (“Advanced” refers to cancer that has spread outside the prostate to other areas of the body.)
The active ingredient in Eligard is leuprolide acetate. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Eligard belongs to a group of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists.
This article describes the dosages of Eligard, as well as its strengths and how it’s given. To learn more about Eligard, see this in-depth article.
The table below highlights the basics of Eligard’s dosage. All doses are listed in milligrams (mg) and are given as an injection under the skin by a healthcare professional.
|once per month
|once every 3 months
|once every 4 months
|once every 6 months
Keep reading for more details about Eligard’s dosage.
What is Eligard’s form?
Eligard is given as an injection under your skin by a healthcare professional in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office.
What strengths does Eligard come in?
Eligard comes in four strengths:
- 7.5 mg
- 22.5 mg
- 30 mg
- 45 mg
What are the usual dosages of Eligard?
Your dosage of Eligard depends on how often you receive injections. The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended, but your doctor will determine the best dosage for you.
Dosage for prostate cancer
The Eligard dosage and dosing schedule for adults with advanced prostate cancer depends on the frequency of your injections. Regardless of the strength of Eligard you’re prescribed, you’ll receive a total of 7.5 mg of medication every month. This is because the drug is released slowly over time, helping to keep a steady level of the drug in your body.
For example, if you’re prescribed 30-mg injections once every 4 months, the drug will be slowly released over that time at a rate of about 7.5 mg monthly.
See the dosage table above for more information about the dosage and dosing schedule for Eligard.
Is Eligard used long term?
Yes, Eligard is usually prescribed as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely receive it long term.
Eligard is given as an injection under your skin. Your doctor or another healthcare professional will give you the injections at a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital.
If you have questions about your Eligard dosage or dosing schedule, talk with your doctor.
If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of Eligard, call your doctor’s office as soon as possible to reschedule. It’s important to follow your schedule for Eligard doses to keep a steady level of the medication in your body. This will help the drug to work most effectively at managing your condition.
If you need help remembering your appointments, try downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Eligard’s dosage.
How long does it take for Eligard to start working?
Eligard starts to work within a few weeks of your first dose. This drug works to lower your testosterone level, but in the first 1–2 weeks of starting treatment, your testosterone level may actually increase.
This could cause your symptoms to get worse at the beginning of treatment. This temporary effect is called a tumor flare. (To learn more about this, see the “Side effects” section of this article.)
As your testosterone level starts to decrease within about 2–4 weeks of treatment, your symptoms of prostate cancer may begin to ease.
Your doctor will monitor you during treatment to check whether the drug is working for your condition. Talk with them if you have other questions about what to expect from your Eligard treatment.
Can Eligard be used for other types of cancer? If so, what’s the dosage?
Eligard is not approved for treating breast cancer. However, your doctor may prescribe it off-label for this condition. (Off-label use is when a drug is prescribed to treat a condition other than those it’s approved for.)
This is because
Because Eligard isn’t approved for treating breast cancer, the drug manufacturer doesn’t provide recommended dosages for this use. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
To learn more about your treatment options for breast cancer, including Eligard, talk with your doctor.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by Eligard’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends this treatment for your condition, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your dosage of Eligard. Examples of questions you may want to ask include:
- Is my dosage of Eligard based on the severity of my symptoms?
- Do I have an increased risk of Eligard side effects if I receive the highest dose?
- Can you adjust my dosage during treatment if I want to receive doses of Eligard less often?
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.