Triptorelin is the generic name of a prescription drug used to treat the advanced stages of prostate cancer in men. The drug is more commonly known by its brand name Trelstar®. Under the Trelstar® name, the drug is further broken down into four different variations. The purpose of triptorelin is to decrease the production of testosterone in the body, which will then help slow down or completely stop the cancer from spreading further. In order for triptorelin to work, it must be injected directly into the muscle via syringe.
When an individual is diagnosed with prostate cancer, it's important to seek treatment right away. If a doctor can catch the cancer before it spreads beyond the prostate gland, chances are good that the patient can be cured. If the cancer is left untreated, and it spreads outside the prostate gland, the cancer will typically continue to replicate itself until it spreads, and it ultimately takes its toll on the body. In worst-case scenarios, the disease can be fatal. Taking a drug like triptorelin helps because it regulates the production of testosterone, and testosterone is needed for the prostate cancer to grow and replicate.
Using a hormone therapy regimen to treat the cancer is typically the first method of treatment doctors choose in the battle against prostate cancer. The other two options are surgery to remove the prostate and radiation therapy to try and kill the cancer cells. When using triptorelin as part of a cancer treatment, the drug can only be administered through injection directly into a muscle. Depending on individual circumstances, doctors will prescribe a regimen of injections over the course of every four, 12, or 24 weeks, with the average being every three to six months. In some cases, the doctor will give injections in the office, and in others, the doctor will teach the patient how to administer the injections.
After taking triptorelin, the patient may experience some side effects. Common complaints are weakness, lack of energy, hot flashes, and upset stomach. More severe and long-term side effects can include anemia, a decrease in muscle mass, and osteoporosis. It should be noted that triptorelin doesn't cure prostate cancer; it's used to treat the symptoms of the disease and limit its progression. In cases where hormone therapy fails to stop the spread of the cancer cells, doctors will then consider the alternative treatments of chemotherapy and surgery.