Objective: Our goal was to determine the effects of a repeated course of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist nafarelin on symptoms and signs of endometriosis and lumbar and distal radius bone mineral density.
Study design: Forty-five women previously treated for 6 months with nafarelin, who had recurrent symptoms and signs of endometriosis, received 400 mcg/day of nafarelin intranasally for 3 months. Efficacy was evaluated by changes in severity of symptoms and signs. Lumbar bone mineral density was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and distal radius bone mineral density by single-photon absorptiometry. Bone mineral density was also measured in 10 control volunteers.
Results: Repeated 3-month treatment significantly alleviated recurrent symptoms and signs of endometriosis. Lumbar bone mineral density decreased significantly by a mean of 2% at the end of treatment; this loss was restored within 3 to 6 months after treatment completion. No bone mineral density decline occurred in the radius. Bone mineral density changes in the control group were statistically insignificant.
Conclusions: A repeated 3-month course of nafarelin treatment significantly relieved recurrent endometriotic symptoms and signs without sustained loss of bone mineral density.