Vantas is a medicine prescribed to help relieve the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. It comes as an implant that is surgically inserted just under the skin (subcutaneously) once a year. This medicine works by lowering testosterone levels, which helps slow down the growth of testosterone-dependent prostate cancer cells. Potential side effects may include fatigue, hot flushes, and skin reactions at the implantation site.
What Is Vantas?
Vantas® (histrelin implant) is a prescription hormone medication approved to relieve the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. It is a small, flexible implant that is surgically inserted beneath the skin, where it slowly releases medication into the body for 12 months. Vantas belongs to a group of medicines called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, or sometimes called luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists.
Vantas is manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals Solutions, Inc.
How Does Vantas Work?
Vantas is a synthetic (manufactured) version of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a naturally occurring hormone that controls the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland (a tiny gland located beneath the brain). LH and FSH stimulate the production of testosterone in the testes.
Vantas works by overstimulating the pituitary gland, so it does not make as much LH and FSH. As a result, the testes stop making testosterone. This causes testosterone levels to decrease. Most forms of prostate cancer are dependent on testosterone to grow. By reducing testosterone levels, Vantas slows down the growth rate of the cancer cells.
The Vantas implant is specially formulated to slowly release medicine into the body over a 12-month period. This allows for once-a-year dosing.
Vantas Web site. Available at: http://www.vantasimplant.com/default.aspx. Accessed June 30, 2011.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 29, 2011.
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