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Trelstar: Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer

Home  /  Cancer   /  Trelstar: Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer
Doctor wearing prostate cancer awareness ribbon

Trelstar, also known as triptorelin, is a prescription medication used to treat advanced prostate cancer in adult males. It is given through injection. Trelstar can be given alone or in combination with other drugs, like antiandrogens


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Before taking this drug, it is crucial to inform your doctor:

  • About your food and drug allergies.
  • If you are using any prescription, OTC, or herbal medications.
  • About your disease history and if you are suffering from any chronic diseases, such as liver damage, kidney disease, diabetes, severe allergic reactions, or heart problems.
  • If you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding.


What Is Trelstar?

Triptorelin, sold under the brand names, Decapeptyl and Trelstar, is a man-made hormone designed to stimulate the effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone to treat prostate cancer in men. 

Trelstar comes in an extended-release suspension dosage form that is reconstituted prior to injection.

It contains the active ingredient triptorelin, which belongs to the class of medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH).

Trelstar is used for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer in adult males. It does not cure prostate cancer but improves the quality of life in patients and the symptoms of the disease.

Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of the prostate gland. The prostate is a reproductive gland in the male, about the size of a walnut, located between the bladder and the penis. Its primary function is to produce fluid that nourishes and protects sperm.

Trelstar is also given to children for treating central precocious puberty (CPP), a condition that causes early puberty before the age of 9 years in boys and 8 years in girls. The drug should be only used under the supervision of a doctor.


How Does Trelstar Work?

Telstar works by stimulating the effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and shutting down the production of luteinizing hormone (LH). This, in turn, inhibits the body from making a hormone called testosterone, which helps to stop the abnormal growth of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer requires testosterone to grow and spread in the body.


How is It Administered?

  • Trelstar should be administered exactly as prescribed or recommended by your doctor.
  • It must be given under a physician’s supervision.
  • It is given in the muscles of the buttocks once every 3 months.
  • The suspension should be immediately administered after reconstitution.
  • Trelstar should not be used in children younger than 2 years of age.


Is Trelstar a Chemo Drug?

No, it is not a chemo drug. Rather, it is a form of hormone therapy. It works by inhibiting the body from making testosterone, which in turn, stops the abnormal growth of the prostate gland. On the other hand, chemotherapy works by directly stopping cancer cells along with some healthy cells from growing and dividing.


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Trelstar Side Effects

Woman on couch suffering from Trelstar side effectsThe common side effects include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Difficulty having orgasm
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Pain or swelling in the legs
  • Bone pain
  • Minor pain, swelling, or itching at the injection site
  • Diarrhea or upset stomach
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Ear pain

The severe side effects include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Seizure
  • Swelling of the lips, face, throat, or tongue
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hives
  • Severe itching
  • Severe dizziness or sweating

The common side effects go away with time, but if they become severe or you experience any unusual or intolerable side effects, consult your doctor immediately.



Trelstar is available in three strengths:

  • 3.75 mg
  • 11.25 mg
  • 22.5 mg



  • A single intramuscular injection of 3.75 mg is administered into the buttocks every 4  weeks.
  • For 11.25 mg, a single intramuscular injection is administered into the buttocks every 12 weeks.
  • For 22.5 mg, a single intramuscular injection is injected into the muscles of the buttocks every 24 weeks.


How Long Can You Take Trelstar?

You can take Trelstar as long as it is well-tolerated and effective. You may need to take it for a few years, depending on your disease progression and doctor’s recommendation. 

If you face any severe side effects, you may have to stop the drug therapy and switch to another alternative treatment, depending on the doctor’s suggestions. Do not stop Trelstar without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


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The overall cost of Trelstar depends on various factors, including:

  • The total number of doses prescribed to the patient.
  • The type of pharmacy the patient uses to purchase Trelstar.
  • The health condition of the patient and the severity of the disease.
  • Whether or not the insurance plan of the patient covers the treatment cost.

On average, the cost of Trelstar intramuscular powder for injection is around $866 for a supply of 1 powder for injection. If you are interested in financial assistance for Trelstar, contact us as we can help you find the right program. 


Is Trelstar the Same as Lupron?

No, Trelstar is not the same as Lupron. They are individual drugs. Both Trelstar and Lupron are FDA-approved drugs that are given as a palliative treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Both drugs belong to the same class of medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. However, they have a few differences and similarities, which are discussed below.

  • Lupron or Lupron Depot is also approved to treat fibroids and endometriosis in females.
  • Trelstar and Lupron come in powder form, which is mixed with a liquid for intramuscular injection. Lupron is available in four strengths, while Trelstar is available in three strengths.
  • Lupron is given once every 4, 12, 16, or 24 weeks, depending on the strength prescribed. Trelstar is administered once every 4, 12, or 24 weeks for the recommended strength.
  • The common side effects of Trelstar and Lupron are the same as they belong to the same medication class.


Trelstar Alternatives

There are other alternatives to Trelstar, commonly given to patients who cannot tolerate Trelstar.

However, before switching to other medications, consult your doctor about which drug might be the most suitable for you according to your disease. Do not switch your medicines without a doctor’s consultation or recommendation.

Examples of other drugs given for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer include:


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