Context: Elagolix is an oral gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist recently approved for the treatment of endometriosis-associated pain and being developed for heavy menstrual bleeding associated with uterine fibroids.
Objective: The objective was to evaluate the effects of elagolix on ovulation and ovarian sex hormones.
Design and setting: This was a randomized, open-label, multicenter study.
Participants: Participants were healthy ovulatory women aged 18 to 40 years.
Interventions: Elagolix was administered orally for 3 continuous 28-day dosing intervals at 100 to 200 mg once daily (QD), 100 to 300 mg twice daily (BID), and 300 mg BID plus estradiol/norethindrone acetate (E2/NETA) 1/0.5 mg QD.
Main outcome measures: The main outcomes measures were ovulation rates measured by transvaginal ultrasound, progesterone concentrations, and hormone suppression.
Results: Elagolix suppressed ovulation in a dose-dependent manner. The percentage of women who ovulated was highest at 100 mg QD (78%), intermediate at 150 and 200 mg QD and 100 mg BID (47%-57%), and lowest at 200 and 300 mg BID (32% and 27%, respectively). Addition of E2/NETA to elagolix 300 mg BID further suppressed the ovulation rate to 10%. Elagolix also suppressed luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone in a dose-dependent manner, leading to dose-dependent suppression of estradiol and progesterone. Elagolix had no effect on serum biomarker of ovarian reserve, and reduced endometrial thickness compared to the screening cycle.
Conclusion: Women being treated with elagolix may ovulate and should use effective methods of contraception. The rate of ovulation was lowest with elagolix 300 mg BID plus E2/NETA 1/0.5 mg QD.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01403038.
Keywords: GnRH antagonist; elagolix; endometrial thickness; ovarian reserve; ovulation; sex hormones.
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