The aim of this study was to determine the effects of initial treatment with a GnRH agonist on body composition in asymptomatic men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. Forty men with locally advanced, node-positive or biochemically recurrent prostate cancer, no radiographic evidence of metastases, and no prior androgen deprivation therapy were treated with leuprolide 3-month depot 22.5 mg im every 12 wk for 48 wk. The main outcome measures were percentage changes in weight, percentage fat body mass, percentage lean body mass, fat distribution, and muscle size after 48 wk. Thirty-two subjects were evaluable. Serum T concentrations decreased by 96.3% plus or minus 0.4% (P < 0.001). Weight increased by 2.4% plus or minus 0.8% (P = 0.005). Percentage fat body mass increased by 9.4% plus or minus 1.7% (P < 0.001), and percentage lean body mass decreased by 2.7% plus or minus 0.5% (P < 0.001). Cross-sectional areas of the abdomen and abdominal sc fat increased by 3.9% plus or minus 1.2% (P = 0.003) and 11.1% plus or minus 3.4% (P = 0.003), respectively. In contrast, the cross-sectional area of intraabdominal fat did not change significantly (P = 0.94). Cross-sectional paraspinal muscle area decreased by 3.2% plus or minus 1.3% (P = 0.02). GnRH agonists increase weight and percentage fat body mass and decrease percentage lean body mass and muscle size in men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. Increased fatness resulted primarily from accumulation of sc rather than intraabdominal adipose tissue.