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Histrelin Acetate Implant

What is this medicine?

HISTRELIN (his TREL in) is used to treat the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. The implant contains a drug that is like a natural hormone in the body called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). It is placed under the skin and releases the drug over 12 months.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is placed under the skin of your arm by a health care professional in a clinic or office. After the implant is placed, keep the insertion site clean and dry for 24 hours. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for 7 days after implant insertion. The surgical strips over the site should be allowed to fall off on their own over several days. The implant must be removed after 12 months. At this time, a new implant may be inserted to continue therapy.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not approved for use in children.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • blood in your urine

  • changes in vision

  • loss of bladder or bowel control

  • new or worse bone pain

  • pain at the insertion site

  • severe headache

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • breast enlargement

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • constipation

  • hot flashes (sudden feelings of warmth or sweating)

  • redness or irritation at the insertion site

  • testicles become smaller

  • trouble sleeping

  • weight gain

What may interact with this medicine?

  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections

  • herbal or dietary supplements, like black cohosh or DHEA

  • male hormones, like testosterone

  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

  • prasterone

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. After 1 year, the implant will have to be removed. If you need to continue this medicine, the implant will be replaced at that time.

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • diabetes

  • female (this implant is not for use in women)

  • heart disease or previous heart attack

  • high blood pressure

  • high cholesterol

  • pain or trouble passing urine

  • spinal cord metastasis

  • stroke

  • tobacco smoker

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to histrelin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. During the first week, your symptoms may get worse but then will start to get better as you continue your treatment. You may get hot flashes, increased bone pain, increased difficulty passing urine, or an aggravation of nerve symptoms. Discuss these effects with your doctor or health care professional. Some of these may get better with continued use of this medicine.

Rarely, the implant can be expelled from the body through the original incision site. It is possible that you may see the implant being expelled, or rarely, the implant may be expelled without you noticing it. If you believe the implant has been expelled from your body, call your doctor.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 5/4/2010
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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