Relugolix, an oral gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonist, reduces endometriosis-associated pain in a dose-response manner: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Fertil Steril. 2021 Feb;115(2):397-405. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.07.055. Epub 2020 Sep 7.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of three dose levels of relugolix, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonist, compared with placebo and leuprorelin in women with endometriosis-associated pain.

Design: Phase 2, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Setting: Hospitals and clinics.

Patient(s): Adult premenopausal women with endometriosis who had dysmenorrhea and endometriosis-associated pelvic pain.

Intervention(s): During a 12-week treatment period, patients received relugolix 10 mg (n = 103), 20 mg (n = 100), or 40 mg (n = 103) as a daily oral dose; placebo (n = 97) as a daily oral dose; or leuprorelin 3.75 mg (n = 80) as a monthly subcutaneous injection.

Main outcome measure(s): Primary endpoint was the change from baseline in mean visual analog scale score for pelvic pain during 28 days before the end of treatment.

Result(s): The mean changes in mean visual analog scale score for pelvic pain were -3.8 mm in the placebo group; -6.2, -8.1, and -10.4 mm in the relugolix 10-mg, 20-mg, and 40-mg groups; respectively; and -10.6 mm in the leuprorelin group. The major adverse events with relugolix were hot flush, metrorrhagia, menorrhagia, and irregular menstruation, and bone mineral density decrease in a dose-response manner, which were also observed in the leuprorelin group with a frequency comparable with that in the relugolix 40-mg group.

Conclusion(s): Oral administration of relugolix alleviated endometriosis-associated pain in a dose-response manner and was generally well tolerated. Relugolix 40 mg demonstrated efficacy and safety comparable with those of leuprorelin.

Clinical trial registration number: NCT01458301.

Keywords: Endometriosis-associated pain; GnRH; gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonist; relugolix.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Androgen Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endometriosis / diagnosis
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pelvic Pain / diagnosis
  • Pelvic Pain / drug therapy*
  • Phenylurea Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Pyrimidinones / administration & dosage*
  • Receptors, LHRH / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Young Adult


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Pyrimidinones
  • Receptors, LHRH
  • relugolix

Associated data