I've always been troubled by the observation that GnRH agonists (like Lupron, Gosarelix, Zoladex, and Triptorelin) had a high risk of cardiotoxicity while GnRH antagonists (Firmagon and Orgovyx) did not. Why should they be different if they both lower testosterone? This RCT offers a good explanation. They found that certain proteins known to stabilize plaques increased with use of antagonists. While men taking agonists were more likely to have their plaques rupture.
Why are cardiac effects different for... - Advanced Prostate...
Advanced Prostate Cancer
Is this enough evidence that we should ask our MOs to make the switch?
If cardiotoxicity is a concern for you, you may wish to discuss it.
Pretty much all of us our age have to watch after our hearts.
It would seem to me that if this is true, the default should be Firmagon or Orgovyx, unless there is good reason otherwise.
Are there not scenariors where it might make sense to couple an agonist with an antagonist for a push-pull effect.
Are you aware of any clinical trials to that effect?
Does Regolux work for Advanced METASTATIC prostate cancer?
It is not as effective in lowering hormone production.
Mperloe - based on what research did you state Orgovyx is not as effective? My monthly Testosterone tests say otherwise...and I see no scientific basis for your statement. I have used both Firmagon and Orgovyx for 4 months each....and Orgovyx gave me lower T readings. I go forward with the no pain option of Orgovyx.
Orgovyx is great Regulyx is approved for endometriosis and does aim aim for aggressive hormone lowering. Sorry for the confusion.
AH..the other name for Orgovyx is Relugolix. I assume you are talking about a similar-sounding drug that is targeted for endometriosis for women? Perhaps edit your original post to minimize the confusion?
I was thinking the very same thing
I will address in the future as if all things remain the same my last shot will be in June. Should that not be the case then many things will need to be considered. Also no cardio issues I am aware after 1.5 years so more interested than concerned. Though if all things between the 2 types of ADT are equal whatsbthe upside to an agonist to the patient? Seems none at all and plenty of downsides.
Convenience of multi month shots.
Thats a plus for me, are the other 2 taken orally daily?
I live 4 hours (on a good day) from my MO. We decided on Firmagon and I was not sure why since i have to drive 8 hours each month just for this shot. I think i do remember discussing cardio and other side effects and Dr. Anderson recommended Firmagon. At least I get to go to the brewery with my dog (and husband)
Have you ever considered trying transdermal E2 gel or the 'Patch'? They both do the same thing without the CV risks of GnRH agonists. I use the gel since it is less expensive and more convenient than wearing a patch. I haven't been to a doctor for 3 1/2 years.
If you don’t mind sharing
How much gel do you use?
And is it daily?
Thank you so much
I would ask my MO if the injection could be given by a facility closer to you? I receive my injections from the nurse at my MO's office. It seems that nurses in other offices could also give the injection?
My MO writes order for the injection and I’ve had it filled in different hospitals/doc offices. I’m a plane flight away from my MO.
I should ask about that. When I was traveling in France, it was no big deal. Got a script from my Father's doctor, filled it at the pharmacy and the doctor did the injection himself. The biggest shock was the cost. For two office visits blood work ekg prescription and administration it was less than $200. I didn't even bother submitting it to insurance. Should be able to do the same here? I will ask my primary if she would like to do it. She is a real take charge type of doctor, she will love it.
There is a significant cost difference for many men with Medicare between the new Orovyx and Lupron.
The study listed which specific cardiac history were significant.
What is the cost difference?
Thanks!!..TA.....Do statins help in reducing these plaques caused by GnRH
Thanks TA for posting. They wanted to switch me from firmogon to Lupron and I refused it and told the nurse Practitioner that the cardiovascular profile is better with firmogon Becuse I had read about it and she said “ No, there was a no proof “, now , she can’t argue:-).
There was always some suggestive evidence, but now there's a rationale:
More definitively, there was a large RCT called "PRONOUNCE" that has completed and will probably be published soon:
There's also this comparison of Lupron and Orgovyx that found a " 54% lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events.”
So.....what’s the downside of switching to (or starting ) Orgovyx over Lupron? If both are equally effective when combined with Zytega, and one is much safer, seems like a no brainer to use Orgovyx. Am I missing anything TA?
For some, compliance is better with a shot, And much less long-term experience with Orgovyx.
The only problem is that Orgovyx is not approved for use with abiraterone. I am currently on Firmagon and abiraterone. My MO wants to put me on Orgovyx, but the insurance did not approve that. A study is currently ongoing with Orgovyx and abiraterone, with results due at year end. If anyone has been able to convince their insurance company to approve both Orgovyx and abiraterone, please let me know. My MO would dearly like to hear about that, so he can go beat on insurance.Note that Orgovyx will be more expensive than Firmagon. Firmagon is free at the hospital, while Orgovyx comes from the same specialty pharmacy as the abiraterone. My abi is $85/mo, except that I found an outfit that covers the copay.. Hopefully the same for Orgovyx when I am able to go on that.
My friend just got Orgovyx and abiraterone - fully covered. Maybe your MO can appeal.
My MO has appealed. What is your friend's insurance company? Maybe his doctor could talk to or email my doctor and they could figure out how to do it. My MO is open to anything that will allow him to put me on Orgovyx and abiraterone.
He has Medicare + Anthem Blue Cross supplemental. He had an anaphylactic reaction to his last Lupron shot, so maybe that had some influence. But Zytiga + castration (physical or chemical) is standard of care for mHSPC, so the insurance shouldn't care how the castration occurs. It's possible that your drug plan doesn't cover Orgovyx.
Thanks for posting this. Very timely. I am due for my 6-month Eligard shot next week and will have a discussion with my doctor.
Are there GnRH antagonists (Firmagon and Orgovyx) versions with longer than 30-day cadence doses? I assumed the driver behind Lupron was to push out the appointments to 90 or 180 days cycles. Stopping in monthly for a Firmagon shot is no issue for me. I'm not sure about insurance coverage (I'm US private insurance; not Medicare). However, the immediate Firmagon side effects were more pronounced (its felt like a flaming baseball for the first couple days). I'd deal with the discomfort for less cardiotoxicity. Thanks.
Orgovyx is a daily pill.
Thanks. Does Firmagon come in a dose longer than 30 days?
No - only 30 day. Injection site reactions are worse on the first 2 doses.
It is easy enough to test in any individual by sequential testosterone tests. Did my own: after a single shot of 120 mg Firmagon my T remained castrate <20 for three months. (No starter dose of 240.) Suspect that many men could go to every other month without emerging from castrate.
Which one is Tak-700 please?
TAK-700 (Orteronel) was an experimental hormone therapy that acts much like abiraterone. It didn't improve pain or survival, and was scrapped. Why do you ask?
Because I’m still on it .
I believe you could also avoid this issue with an orchiectomy if you wanted to avoid the shots altogether.
I realize that it's not a solution for everyone, but for those who have to be on ADT permenantly anyway, I might be a good option.
There was a fair amount of largely positive feedback on orchiectomy. At this point I have little attachment to my balls, they worked well for many years but they are no longer needed.
Both my MO and Uro will support me if i decide to go that route.
The Uro says it is a simple outpatient procedure, but not reversible
Is there any reason to not ditch the testicles? Fewer side effects, less driving? Any other benefits. I am getting myself ready for this.
I think the reason it's not done more is just the psychological aspect. In many countries in the world it's more of a standard, in part because of the cost issue. Yes it's not reversable, but then neither is stage 4 prostate cancer.
I agree. Just had it done.
Unless Firmagon comes in a similar 3-monthly or 6-monthly dose like Lupron, it’s hard to make a switch. Going in every month is hard and the injection site reaction for dad was always more painful with Firmagon.
Looks like more reasons to consider Orchidectomy after all. (For permanent ADT folks)
Hi Tall Allen and gentlemen
I would be most grateful if you could advise on my question which is:
Are Bradycardia, premature ventricular contractions (PVC’s) and Tachycardia all considered cardiovascular diseases?
these are electrical problems of the heart
Hence should Firmigon be the best LHRH choice?
And what about the 2nd generation drugs? Which ones for heart problems?
With thanks and all best wishes
Arrhythmias are a different sort of cardiac problem. I don't know if agonists or antagonists are any different in that regard. This study says that cardiac tissues have GnRH receptors that may be stimulated by agonists:
But I don't know of any comparisons about arrhythmias.
Thanks for the post....just getting ready to approach oncologist to make the switch. Good to have some published evidence..... they always seem so reluctant to deviate from the norm(what they normally prescribe)
My only hesitation in switching my husband to Orgovyx is the liver metabolism. Specifically the potential interaction with dexamethasone, as he takes that for 3 days each docetaxil cycle, but also just the potential effects on liver enzymes, especially as we contemplate adding abiraterone. His MO has never prescribed it, but is willing to do so.
My husband is currently on degarelix, but I know his MO plans to eventually switch him to Lupron.
What are your thoughts on liver impact?
The great thing with the "pill" is that if adverse liver reaction occurs, you can stop the pills immediately and the drug wears off fairly quickly and would allow then a switch. As opposed to adverse events with an injections whereas you'll need to await the dissipation of the drug over it's timeline for mitigation.
Otherwise, I'm currently on Orgovyx (Relugolix) and between my 5th & 6th cycle of Docetaxel. I do not recall any elevated liver indicators in my last blood work. But everyone is different, and that then shouldn't mean anything to you. I'm assuming there's an issue that there is concern on the "liver" enzymes...? If there is liver function concern, have you considered the use of "Milk Thistle"?
Thank you for this vital information. My husband was diagnosed at the end of 2014. He was treated with the combination of chemo (doxetal), radiation, firmagon(first shot) and the lupron every six months. He has suffered 4 heart attacks. After the 3 rd one he began going to a cardiologist who has a specialty in the effects of can treatment. She talked to the MO to get him off the Lupron but the MO said there was nothing else. After the 4 th one in July 2019, the MO took him off. He has been doing great but his PSA began rising in Feb this year. It is now 0.05. His T is 288 serum and 3.9 free. The MO is watching this very closely. Don’t know what will happen next. He feels really great with the T rising as he had horrible fatigue from the Lupron.
What is interesting is the cardiologist knew right away what was going on but the MO was not convinced until #4.
He will be 69.
Thanks TA for the good info. I switched after 18 months from Firmagon to Orgovyx just a couple of month ago and have seen no discernible change in side effects i.e., fatigue and hot flashes. It seems I’ve read elsewhere that the antagonists also offer the benefit of lower impact on bone density depletion. That along with the lower CVD profile was enough to convince me to go with Firmagon in the beginning. The recent switch to Orgovyx, where you can take a daily oral pill in lieu of a monthly belly shot, was a no brainer. Thanks again for your invaluable input on this forum.
Any problems with insurance covering Orgovyx?
Regarding insurance coverage, I have CVS Caremark for my drug coverage and pay a $75 per month copay for Orgovyx which is delivered to my home each month. This coverage is under my Anthem BC/BS medical plan. It took a couple of attempts on the part of my MO to get approval. The main argument was the lower rate of heart problems with Orgovyx. I was approved for Orgovyx through 2024.
I’m on FEP Blue as ex-Fed employee. I also used Orgovyx’s premium copay assistance program and pay $10 per months supply. I’m approved by BSBS for one year and have to get another approval in 12 months. I’m receiving my drugs from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa who is using the Caremark system. I would recommend you start with Orgovyx’s customer assistance on what you need to do to get approval from your provider. I would have had a $110 per month copay but got it know down to $10 thru Orgovyx. Good luck.
Thanks, good info. My MO would like to wait till there us more experience given I tolerate lupron (Eligard) pretty well
From what I’ve read Orgovyx is more or less an oral form of Firmagon. I’ve really experienced no different in the two drugs. But I do understand your doc wanting to stick with what’s working for you. My feeling is the antagonist have a better overall (lower) risk profile. Good luck and stay strong. 💪💪
Because it uses different pathways to lower your testosterone I can't take lupron it I have too many side effects but from a femigon gives me a sore stomach for 3 days I tolerate it very well
Ok ta..im concernef about me heart...wouldnt want it to kill me before the cancer does that's a joke but I'm in the Titan trial the open-label part of it and I'm on Lupron / eligard/ erleada which I get at no cost for another year-and-a-half I would like to switch to the pill ADT but that means I'd have to drop out of the trials and it's been working for four years but maybe I wouldn't if the pill is still a form of castration am I answering my own question but I like it when you do because you're real smart
According to the TITAN specs, "the choice of the GnRHa (agonist or antagonist) will be at discretion of the Investigator." They also allow surgical castration. Both Firmagon (monthly injections) and Orgovyx (daily pills) are GnRH antagonists and have the same heart benefit. You should discuss this with your doctor.
The other thing worth considering is that Erleada has already been FDA-approved for mHSPC, so you can get the drug by prescription (with co-pay).
Yeah but even with co-pay I think it's about 500 a month cuz it cost 12 Grand regularly and I'm on a pretty tight budget so I may write it out for a while I did have a stress test and setup my heart wasn't going to kill me at the time but that was three years ago we all know that that Lupron is pretty tough on the heart thanks for responding t a
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