Vantas is a brand-name prescription medication used for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. This type of cancer affects the prostate gland, which is located between the bladder and penis. "Advanced" means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

As a palliative treatment, Vantas helps relieve symptoms such as trouble urinating and bone pain. The drug also works to improve the quality of life for people with advanced prostate cancer. Vantas isn't a cure for the disease.

Vantas contains the drug histrelin acetate, which is a type of hormone therapy. It works to lower the levels of male sex hormones, such as testosterone, to help slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Vantas comes as an implant that's inserted directly under the skin (subcutaneous). A healthcare professional will place Vantas in the inner area of your upper arm, between the biceps and triceps muscles. One Vantas implant will typically last for 12 months. After that, it must be removed and another implant may be inserted.

Effectiveness

In a clinical study of 134 men with advanced prostate cancer, everybody received one Vantas implant. Vantas wasn't compared with a different implant or a placebo (treatment with no active drug).

At the beginning of the study, these men had an average testosterone level of 388 ng/dL. Four weeks after receiving the Vantas implant, these men had an average testosterone level of 15 ng/dL. Any testosterone level below 50 ng/dL is considered below castration levels. "Castration" in this sense means using a medication to lower testosterone levels to the point where they're barely detectable. This is known as chemical castration (medical castration).

At week 52, men with the Vantas implant still had testosterone levels below 50 ng/dL. These results show that Vantas was effective at helping testosterone levels remain low. Because testosterone causes prostate cancer cells to grow, keeping testosterone levels low helps stop the cancer from spreading and may help relieve symptoms.

For more information about how effective Vantas is in treating advanced prostate cancer, see the "Vantas for prostate cancer" section below.

Vantas is available only as a brand-name medication. It's not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Vantas contains one active drug ingredient: histrelin acetate. (As the active drug, histrelin acetate is the ingredient that makes Vantas work.)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Vantas to treat certain conditions. Vantas may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that's approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Vantas is approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. This type of cancer starts in the prostate gland, which is located between the bladder and penis, and spreads to other parts of the body. Advanced prostate cancer may reach only areas close to the prostate, such as glands called the seminal vesicles. Or the cancer may spread farther, such as to the lymph nodes. These are located on either side of your neck, beneath your armpits, and on each side of your groin, among other spots.

As a palliative treatment, Vantas helps relieve symptoms such as trouble urinating and bone pain. The drug also works to improve the quality of life for people with advanced prostate cancer. Vantas isn't a cure for the disease.

Effectiveness

In a clinical study of 134 men with advanced prostate cancer, everybody received one Vantas implant. Vantas wasn't compared with a different implant or a placebo (treatment with no active drug).

At the beginning of the study, these men had an average testosterone level of 388 ng/dL. Four weeks after receiving the Vantas implant, these men had an average testosterone level of 15 ng/dL. Any testosterone level below 50 ng/dL is considered below castration levels. "Castration" in this sense means using a medication to lower testosterone levels to the point where they're barely detectable. This is known as chemical castration (medical castration).

At week 52, men with the Vantas implant still had testosterone levels below 50 ng/dL. These results show that Vantas was effective at helping testosterone levels remain low. Because testosterone causes prostate cancer cells to grow, keeping testosterone levels low helps stop the cancer from spreading and may help relieve symptoms.

The same study looked at the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the men's blood. PSA is a protein made by the prostate, and men with prostate cancer typically have a high PSA level. Researchers found that PSA levels decreased in all men after they received a Vantas implant. By week 24 of the study, 93% of the men who received the implant had normal PSA levels in their blood.

Here's some information about the dosage of the Vantas implant.

Drug forms and strengths

Vantas comes as an implant that's inserted directly under the skin (subcutaneous). Vantas is placed in the inner area of the upper arm, between the biceps and triceps muscles. A healthcare professional will insert the implant at your doctor's office or a clinic. One Vantas implant will typically last for 12 months. After that, it must be removed and another implant may be inserted.

Vantas is available in one strength: 50 mg.

Dosage for prostate cancer

The usual recommended dose of Vantas for advanced prostate cancer is one 50-mg implant inserted under the skin every 12 months.

What if I miss a dose?

The Vantas implant releases the drug in your body over 12 months, so you don't have to be concerned about taking individual doses. However, a healthcare professional will need to remove the implant after 12 months. At the time of removal, another Vantas implant may be inserted if your doctor wants you to continue treatment.

The Vantas implant is designed to release the drug for a few weeks beyond 12 months. So if you need to postpone your appointment for the implant removal, you'll still receive the drug for a short time. Your doctor's office staff will help schedule your visits so you can have the Vantas implant removed on time and a new implant inserted, if needed.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Vantas is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Vantas is safe and effective for you, you'll likely use it long term.

Vantas can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Vantas. These lists don't include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Vantas, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs they have approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you've had with Vantas, you can do so through MedWatch.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Vantas can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they're more severe or don't go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Vantas aren't common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you're having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

  • Spinal cord compression (increased pressure on your spinal cord). Symptoms can include:
    • pain and stiffness in your back or neck
    • cramping, numbness, or weakness in your arms, hands, or legs
    • loss of sensation in your feet
    • burning pain that spreads to your buttocks, legs, or arms
  • Blockage in your urinary tract. Symptoms can include:
    • trouble urinating
    • "dribbling" urine (a slowed urine stream)
    • pain in your side
    • frequent urge to urinate
    • feeling as if your bladder isn't empty
  • High blood sugar. Symptoms can include:
    • increased thirst
    • headache
    • trouble concentrating
    • fatigue
  • Serious cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease, including heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death (occurs when the heart stops). Symptoms can include:
    • chest pain
    • sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of your body)
    • trouble walking
    • shortness of breath
    • anxiety
    • fainting
    • dizziness
    • confusion
    • trouble concentrating
  • Long QT syndrome (a heart condition in which your heartbeat is uneven). Symptoms can include:
    • irregular heartbeat
    • fainting
    • seizures

Other serious side effects, explained in more detail below in "Side effect details," include:

  • allergic reaction
  • tumor flare (growth of a tumor for a very short time)
  • trouble locating or removing the implant

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here's some detail on several of the side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, an allergic reaction is possible after using Vantas. In clinical studies, there weren't any allergic reactions to Vantas. But allergic reactions have been reported with other drugs in the same class as Vantas. (A class of medications is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.)

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Vantas. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you're having a medical emergency.

Hot flashes

Hot flashes are a possible side effect of Vantas. A hot flash is a sudden feeling of warmth that's usually most intense in the face, chest, and neck. In one clinical study, more than 65% of men who received a Vantas implant had hot flashes. In this group, 2.3% of men rated their hot flashes as severe, and 25.4% of men rated their hot flashes as moderate. There was no control group in this study, so it's not known how these results compare with a different implant or a placebo (treatment with no active drug).

Hot flashes are an expected side effect of lowering testosterone. It's estimated that up to 80% of men who receive hormone therapy have hot flashes. If your hot flashes are so severe that your daily activities are affected, talk with your doctor.

Implant site reactions

Because Vantas is an implant that's inserted under the skin, it isn't surprising that some people have skin reactions where Vantas is placed. In one study, 13.8% of men who received a Vantas implant had an implant site reaction. Vantas wasn't compared with a placebo or a different implant.

Symptoms of implant site reactions can include:

  • bruising
  • pain
  • tenderness
  • soreness
  • skin redness or swelling near the implant site

In the same study, two people had an infection near the Vantas implant. One infection went away with antibiotics, and the other infection went away without treatment.

A Vantas implant must be inserted by a trained healthcare professional at a doctor's office or clinic, but it's possible that you still may have implant site reactions. If you're concerned about the procedure or believe you're having an implant site reaction, talk with your doctor. They can suggest treatments to help you feel better.

Fatigue

A lack of energy known as fatigue is a commonly reported side effect of Vantas. One clinical study showed that 9.9% of men who received a Vantas implant reported having fatigue. There was no control group in this study, so Vantas wasn't compared with a placebo or a different implant.

If you have fatigue after receiving your Vantas implant, talk with your doctor. They may suggest ways to help ease this side effect.

Tumor flare

During the first week of treatment, Vantas causes a short-term increase in the level of testosterone in the blood. This can cause your prostate tumor (the mass of cancerous tissue) to grow for a very short time before Vantas takes full effect. This is known as a tumor flare.

Although rare, in some people, a tumor flare can cause prostate cancer symptoms to get worse or cause new symptoms to occur. A tumor flare typically goes away on its own but can become serious in some people.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following serious signs of a tumor flare:

  • blood in your urine
  • trouble urinating
  • not being able to urinate
  • new or worsening bone pain
  • weakness or loss of feeling in your legs

If you're concerned about a tumor flare while using Vantas, talk with your doctor.

Trouble locating or removing the Vantas implant

After you've had a Vantas implant for 12 months, your doctor will need to remove it. (They may insert a new implant if they want you to continue treatment.) Out of about 300 Vantas implants that were placed during clinical studies, doctors weren't able to locate and remove the implant in eight men. Of these men, six had testosterone levels that continued to stay low, which showed that Vantas was still working. The other two men had higher testosterone levels. There were no control groups in the studies, so Vantas wasn't compared with a different implant or a placebo.

Talk to your doctor if you have questions about how they will find and remove the Vantas implant.

There's no interaction between Vantas and alcohol. However, Vantas has caused severe liver injury in a very small number of men in clinical studies. Drinking too much alcohol can also damage your liver. So drinking too much alcohol while you have a Vantas implant may further increase your risk for liver damage.

If you have a Vantas implant, talk with your doctor about whether you may safely drink alcohol.

It isn't known whether there are any drug interactions between Vantas and other medications. If you have any questions about taking other medications with Vantas, talk with your doctor.

Vantas and herbs and supplements

There aren't any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Vantas. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Vantas.

Vantas and foods

There aren't any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Vantas. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Vantas, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Vantas can vary. To find current prices for Vantas in your area, check out WellRx.com.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you'll pay depends on your insurance plan and your location.

Your insurance plan may require you to get prior authorization before approving coverage for Vantas. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the request and let you and your doctor know if your plan will cover Vantas.

If you're not sure if you'll need to get prior authorization for Vantas, contact your insurance company.

Financial assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Vantas, there may be help available.

Medicine Assistance Tool offers programs to help lower the cost of certain medications. For more information and to find out if you're eligible for support, visit the program website.

Other drugs are available that can treat prostate cancer. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you're interested in finding an alternative to Vantas, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat this condition. Off-label use is when a drug that's approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Alternatives for prostate cancer

Examples of other drugs used to treat prostate cancer include:

  • leuprolide acetate (Lupron Depot)
  • goserelin acetate (Zoladex)
  • triptorelin pamoate (Trelstar)
  • degarelix (Firmagon)
  • abiraterone acetate (Zytiga, Yonsa)
  • enzalutamide (Xtandi)
  • bicalutamide (Casodex)
  • nilutamide (Nilandron)
  • apalutamide (Erleada)

You may wonder how Vantas compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Vantas and Lupron Depot are alike and different.

Ingredients

Vantas contains the active drug histrelin acetate. Lupron Depot contains the active drug leuprolide acetate.

Both histrelin acetate and leuprolide acetate decrease the level of testosterone and other male hormones in the blood. And both drugs work in the same way by blocking production of certain male hormones (including testosterone).

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration has approved both Vantas and Lupron Depot for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. This type of cancer affects the prostate gland, which is located between the bladder and penis. "Advanced" means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

As palliative treatments, the drugs help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with advanced prostate cancer. The drugs aren't cures for the disease.

In addition to advanced prostate cancer, Lupron Depot is approved to treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and central precocious puberty.

Drug forms and administration

Although both Vantas and Lupron Depot must be given by a healthcare provider, the drugs come in different forms.

Vantas comes as an implant that's inserted directly under the skin (subcutaneous). Vantas is placed in the inner area of the upper arm, between the biceps and triceps muscles. A healthcare professional will insert the implant at your doctor's office or a clinic. One Vantas implant will typically last for 12 months. After that, it must be removed and another implant may be inserted.

Lupron Depot comes as a suspension (liquid). A healthcare provider will give you the drug as an injection into your muscle (intramuscular). Lupron Depot may be injected into the muscle of the shoulder, thigh, or buttocks. You may receive Lupron Depot injections every 4, 12, 16, or 24 weeks.

Side effects and risks

Vantas and Lupron Depot contain different drugs, but they work in similar ways. Therefore, these medications can cause some similar and some different effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Vantas, with Lupron Depot, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Vantas, with Lupron Depot, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Vantas:
    • trouble locating or removing the implant
  • Can occur with Lupron Depot:
    • seizures
  • Can occur with both Vantas and Lupron Depot:

Effectiveness

These drugs haven't been directly compared in clinical studies, but studies have found both Vantas and Lupron Depot to be effective for treating advanced prostate cancer.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network lists both Vantas and Lupron Depot as treatment options for advanced prostate cancer.

Costs

Vantas and Lupron Depot are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Vantas costs significantly less than Lupron Depot over the course of 1 year. The actual price you'll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan and your location.

You may wonder how Vantas compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Vantas and Zoladex are alike and different.

Ingredients

Vantas contains the active drug histrelin acetate. Zoladex contains the active drug goserelin acetate.

Vantas and Zoladex work in the same way by blocking the production of certain male hormones, including testosterone. Both drugs decrease the level of testosterone in the blood.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Vantas and Zoladex for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. This type of cancer affects the prostate gland, which is located between the bladder and penis. "Advanced" means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

As palliative treatments, the drugs help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with advanced prostate cancer. The drugs aren't cures for the disease.

Zoladex is also FDA-approved to treat localized prostate cancer when used with the drug flutamide (Eulexin). "Localized" means that the cancer hasn't spread outside the prostate gland.

In addition, the FDA has approved Zoladex for the palliative treatment of advanced breast cancer as well as endometriosis (a condition in which tissue grows abnormally outside the uterus).

Drug forms and administration

Both Vantas and Zoladex are implants that must be inserted by a healthcare professional.

The Vantas implant is inserted directly under the skin (subcutaneous). Vantas is placed in the inner area of the upper arm, between the biceps and triceps muscles. A healthcare professional will insert the implant at your doctor's office or a clinic. One Vantas implant will typically last for 12 months. After that, it must be removed and another implant may be inserted.

The Zoladex implant is also inserted under the skin, but it's placed around the belly button. The implant will dissolve in your body, so you'll typically need a new implant every 4 or 12 weeks.

Side effects and risks

Although Vantas and Zoladex contain different drugs, they work in similar ways. Therefore, these medications can cause some similar and some different side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Vantas, with Zoladex, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Vantas:
  • Can occur with Zoladex:
    • few unique common side effects
  • Can occur with both Vantas and Zoladex:

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Vantas, with Zoladex, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Vantas:
    • trouble locating or removing the implant
  • Can occur with Zoladex:
  • Can occur with both Vantas and Zoladex:

Effectiveness

Vantas and Zoladex are both FDA-approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

These drugs haven't been directly compared in clinical studies, but studies have found both Vantas and Zoladex to be effective for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network lists both Vantas and Zoladex as treatment options for advanced prostate cancer.

Costs

Vantas and Zoladex are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Vantas costs significantly less than Zoladex over the course of 1 year. The actual price you'll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan and your location.

The Vantas implant is inserted directly under the skin (subcutaneous). Vantas is placed in the inner area of the upper arm, between the biceps and triceps muscles. Preferably, it will be placed in the arm you use the least.

Implanting Vantas is a surgical procedure that can be done in your doctor's office or a clinic. You'll lie on your back, and a healthcare professional will numb your arm. They'll make a small cut and place the Vantas implant under your skin. Then they'll close the cut with stitches and cover it with a bandage.

You should keep your arm clean and dry for at least 24 hours after your procedure. This means you shouldn't bathe or shower during this time. Do your best to avoid bumping the implant site for a few days. Avoid exercise, including heavy lifting, for at least 7 days after getting a Vantas implant.

Your doctor will give you full instructions on caring for the implant after the procedure.

When it's given

One Vantas implant will release the drug into your body for 12 months. After 12 months, you must have an appointment to have the Vantas implant removed.

If your doctor wants you to keep using Vantas after 12 months, you can have a new Vantas implant inserted to continue treatment.

Vantas contains the drug histrelin acetate, which is used to treat advanced prostate cancer. This type of cancer starts in the prostate gland, which is located between the bladder and penis, and spreads to other parts of the body. Advanced prostate cancer may reach only areas close to the prostate, such as glands called the seminal vesicles. Or the cancer may spread farther, such as to the lymph nodes. These are located on either side of your neck, beneath your armpits, and on each side of your groin, among other spots.

Male hormones, such as testosterone, are referred to as androgens, and they cause prostate cancer cells to grow. When cancer cells grow, symptoms often get worse.

Vantas belongs to a class of medications known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs. (A class of medications is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.) GnRH is made naturally by your body. GnRH tells your body to release other hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These other hormones then direct your body to produce more androgens, such as testosterone.

When your level of GnRH is too high, your body automatically lowers the levels of LH and FSH it makes. This reduces the amount of testosterone and other androgen hormones in your blood.

What Vantas does

Vantas is a GnRH analog. This means it acts just like GnRH in your body. By mimicking GnRH, Vantas tricks your body to stop making LH and FSH. Without LH and FSH, your body doesn't get a signal to produce testosterone and other androgen hormones. So testosterone and other androgens in the blood drop to very low levels. This stops the growth of prostate cancer cells and helps ease the symptoms of prostate cancer.

How long does it take to work?

The Vantas implant will start working right away and have its full effects within a few weeks. Within 2 to 4 weeks, your testosterone level should be below castration levels. "Castration" in this sense means using a medication to lower testosterone levels to the point where they're barely detectable.

As your testosterone level decreases, your symptoms should ease. Vantas isn't a cure for prostate cancer.

Vantas isn't meant to be used by women. So pregnant women shouldn't receive a Vantas implant. Vantas can cause harm to the baby if given to a pregnant woman.

Studies in animals showed that taking Vantas while pregnant had harmful and even fatal effects on babies whose mothers received Vantas. However, animal studies don't always predict how a drug will affect humans.

Vantas isn't meant to be used by women. Vantas can cause harm to the baby if given to a pregnant woman. If you're sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you're using Vantas.

Vantas isn't meant to be used by women. And it isn't known if the drug passes into breast milk.

If you're considering taking Vantas while you're breastfeeding, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a treatment other than Vantas or suggest you stop breastfeeding.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Vantas.

How many times can I have a Vantas implant placed?

The manufacturer of Vantas doesn't specify a limit on how many times you can have a Vantas implant. After 12 months, the Vantas implant must be removed. At this time, your doctor may insert a new implant to continue your treatment.

If you have questions about using Vantas to treat advanced prostate cancer, talk with your doctor.

Is Vantas a chemotherapy drug?

No, Vantas isn't a chemotherapy drug. Vantas is a type of hormone therapy that works by reducing the levels of male hormones, such as testosterone, in the body.

Chemotherapy drugs such as docetaxel (Taxotere) and cabazitaxel (Jevtana) work in a different way. Chemotherapy drugs attack rapidly growing cells in the body, including cancer cells. But chemotherapy drugs also attack other rapidly growing cells. These include hair follicles (sacs under your skin that hold the roots of your hair), blood cells, and cells lining the intestine and mouth. Because of this, chemotherapy drugs can cause many side effects throughout the body.

Chemotherapy can be used with hormone therapy or by itself to treat late stage prostate cancer. Currently, Vantas isn't one of the hormone therapies recommended for use with chemotherapy.

If you have questions about Vantas, chemotherapy, or other prostate cancer treatments, ask your doctor.

Will I have sexual side effects from Vantas?

It's possible that you may have sexual side effects from using Vantas. In a clinical study of men who received a Vantas implant:

The study didn't compare Vantas with a different implant or a placebo (treatment with no active drug).

If you're concerned about sexual side effects with Vantas, talk with your doctor. They may be able to suggest remedies to help.

Can Vantas cause my testosterone level to increase?

Yes. During the first week of treatment, Vantas can cause a short-term increase in the level of testosterone in the blood. A clinical study looked at the testosterone blood levels of 17 men who received the Vantas implant. The levels rose briefly during week 1 before returning to baseline by week 2. "Baseline" refers to the levels before Vantas was implanted. The study didn't compare Vantas with a different implant or a placebo.

The rise in testosterone levels is known as tumor flare. During this time, your symptoms may get worse, or you may develop new symptoms that mimic cancer worsening. However, for many people, tumor flare doesn't cause symptoms to get worse.

If you do have new or worsening symptoms after receiving a Vantas implant, tell your doctor right away.

What's the difference between Vantas and Supprelin LA?

Both Vantas and Supprelin LA are implants placed under the skin in the inner part of the upper arm, between the biceps and triceps muscles. And they both contain the same drug: histrelin acetate. However, Vantas and Supprelin LA differ in the amount of histrelin acetate they release over time. They're also used to treat different conditions.

Vantas contains 50 mg of histrelin acetate and is designed to release 50 mcg of the drug each day. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Vantas only for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. "Advanced" means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. And as a palliative treatment, Vantas helps relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with advanced prostate cancer. The drug isn't a cure for the disease.

Supprelin LA contains 50 mg of histrelin acetate and releases 65 mcg of the drug each day. Supprelin LA is approved by the FDA only for the treatment of central precocious puberty in children. (This is a condition in which puberty occurs too early.) Supprelin LA isn't FDA-approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

If you have questions about Vantas or Supprelin LA, or about treatments for prostate cancer or central precocious puberty in children, talk with your doctor. They can guide you to the best treatment for you or your child.

Before taking Vantas, talk with your doctor about your health history. Vantas may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Heart disease. Vantas can cause serious cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems, such as heart attack or stroke, which may lead to death. So if you already have heart disease, using Vantas may increase this risk further. Before you receive a Vantas implant, talk with your doctor about your history of heart disease, including whether you've had an arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Your doctor may suggest a treatment other than Vantas.
  • Diabetes. If you have diabetes, Vantas can make it harder for you to control your blood sugar. Before you receive a Vantas implant, talk with your doctor. They may need to adjust your diabetes treatment before or after you receive a Vantas implant.
  • Allergic reaction. If you're allergic to Vantas or any of its ingredients, you shouldn't use Vantas. Also, you shouldn't take Vantas if you've had an allergic reaction to other drugs in the same class as Vantas. (A class of medications is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.) If you're not sure whether you've had an allergic reaction to Vantas or to similar drugs, ask your doctor. They can suggest a treatment other than Vantas.
  • Pregnancy. Vantas isn't meant to be used by women and can cause harm to the baby if given to a pregnant woman. For more information, please see the "Vantas and pregnancy" section above.
  • Breastfeeding. Vantas isn't meant to be used by women. And it isn't known if the drug passes into breast milk. For more information, please see the "Vantas and breastfeeding" section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Vantas, see the "Vantas side effects" section above.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Vantas is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Mechanism of action

Vantas contains histrelin acetate, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. When given continuously, Vantas inhibits the secretion of gonadotropin, which leads to a decrease in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). This causes a reduction in the synthesis of testosterone and other androgens, leading to castration-like levels of testosterone within 2 to 4 weeks of initiating treatment.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Histrelin acetate is not active when given orally. As a subcutaneous implant, it has a relative bioavailability of 92%.

Approximately 29.5% of the drug remains unbound to plasma proteins. Metabolism is primarily via dealkylation and hydrolysis. No drug excretion study was conducted during clinical trials.

Contraindications

Vantas can cause harm to a developing fetus and lead to loss of pregnancy. It is not intended for use in women and is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Vantas should not be used in patients with a known hypersensitivity to GnRH or GnRH analogs.

Storage

The Vantas implant should be stored refrigerated at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) and should not be removed from refrigeration until the day of insertion. Do not open the implant vial until just before the insertion procedure. Do not freeze Vantas implant kits, and protect the medication from light.

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