Generic drug: histrelin acetate
Brand name: Vantas
What is Vantas (histrelin acetate), and how does it work?
Vantas (histrelin acetate) is a drug-delivery system that contains the medicine histrelin and is placed under the skin. It looks like a small, thin flexible tube. After it is placed under the skin, Vantas delivers histrelin to your body continuously for 12 months. Vantas may help relieve the symptoms of prostate cancer. Vantas is not a cure for prostate cancer.
What are the side effects of Vantas?
Vantas can cause an increase in testosterone during the first week after it is inserted. Your symptoms may get worse during the first few weeks of treatment. You may get new symptoms. Call your doctor right away if you:
- get new or worse bone pain
- get weakness or lose feeling in your legs
- have blood in your urine
- have trouble urinating or cannot urinate
Vantas can cause a loss in bone mineral density. Low bone mineral density can lead to thinning of the bones (oesteoporosis).
The most common side effects of Vantas are:
- hot flashes
- skin reactions at the implant insertion site
- testicles become smaller
- urination problems
- breasts become larger
- erectile dysfunction (impotence)
You may have some pain at the insertion site during and after Vantas is inserted and removed. You may get some bruising and redness at the site. These usually go away without treatment within 2 weeks. Call your doctor if you have unusual bleeding, redness or pain at the insertion site.
These are not all the side effects of Vantas. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
What is the dosage for Vantas?
- The recommended dose of Vantas is one implant for 12 months.
- Each implant contains 50 mg histrelin acetate to deliver 41 mg histrelin.
- The implant is inserted subcutaneously in the inner aspect of the upper arm and provides continuous release of histrelin (50 mcg/day) for 12 months of hormonal therapy.
- Vantas should be removed after 12 months of therapy (the implant has been designed to allow for a few additional weeks of histrelin release, in order to allow flexibility of medical appointments).
- At the time an implant is removed, another implant may be inserted to continue therapy.
What drugs interact with Vantas?
- No pharmacokinetic-based drug-drug interaction studies were conducted with Vantas.
Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions
- Therapy with histrelin results in suppression of the pituitary-gonadal system.
- Results of diagnostic tests of pituitary gonadotropic and gonadal functions conducted during and after histrelin therapy may be affected.
Is Vantas safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Vantas is contraindicated in females who are or may become pregnant.
- Vantas can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The possibility exists that spontaneous abortion may occur.
- Vantas is not indicated for use in women.
- It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Vantas, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
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The prostate is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system and is located between the bladder and penis. Signs and symptoms of prostate problems include painful ejaculation, burning or pain while urinating, blood in the urine or semen, dribbling urine, frequent urination, urinary incontinence, and pain in the lower back, hips, upper thighs, or the pelvic or rectal area. Common causes of prostate problems in men are prostatitis, enlargement of the prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer. Causes of prostate problems can assist in diagnosing prostate cancer. Treatments for prostate problems include medications, surgery, and hormone or radiation therapy.
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis include painful or difficulty urinating; fever; chills; body aches; blood in the urine; pain in the rectum, groin, abdomen, or low back; and painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction. Causes of prostatitis include STDs, bacteria from urinary tract infections, or E. coli. Treatment for prostatitis depends on if it is a bacterial infection or chronic inflammation of the prostate gland.
Does an Enlarged Prostate Affect a Man Sexually?
An enlarged prostate can cause sexual problems in men. Sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction or ejaculation problems, may occur in men with noncancerous enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).
Prostatitis vs. BPH (Enlarged Prostate): What Is the Difference?
Prostatitis and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, enlarged prostate gland) are both conditions of the prostate gland. There are four types of prostatitis that can be caused by infections (usually bacterial) or other health conditions or problems, acute bacterial prostatitis (type I), chronic bacterial prostatitis (type II), chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome (type III), and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis (type IV). BPH is inflammation of the prostate gland, and most men have the condition by age 50. Doctor's don't know what causes this inflammation, but they theorize that it may be related to hormones. Both of these conditions can cause similar symptoms like low back pain, pain during urination, or difficulty or the inability to urinate. However, prostatitis has many more symptoms and signs than BPH, and they based on the type of prostatitis. Examples include low back pain and/or abdominal pain, painful urination, fever, chills, feeling tired, recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), painful urination intermittently, intermittent obstruction urinary tract symptoms (frequent, painful, or incomplete urination), pelvic pain and/or discomfort, pain with ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction (ED). If you think you have either of these conditions contact your doctor or other health care professional. Bacterial prostatitis can be cured with antibiotics; however, there is no cure for BPH.
Early Prostate Cancer
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What Are the 5 Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer rarely produces symptoms in the early stage; however, few signs can help in detecting prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Staging and Survival Rates
The prognosis for prostate cancer, as with any cancer, depends on how advanced the cancer has become, according to established stage designations. The patient's PSA score at diagnosis, as well as their Gleason score (the grading system used to determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer) determines the prognosis and final stage designation. Prostate cancer has a high survival rate in general, but your chances depend on the stage of the cancer.
Enlarged Prostate (BPH, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH or enlarged prostate) is very common in men over 50 years of age. Half of all men over the age of 50 develop symptoms of BPH, but few need medical treatment. This noncancerous enlargement of the prostate can impede urine flow, slow the flow of urine, create the urge to urinate frequently and cause other symptoms like complete blockage of urine and urinary tract infections. More serious symptoms are urinary tract infections (UTIs) and complete blockage of the urethra, which may be a medical emergency. BPH is not cancer. Not all men with the condition need treatment, and usually is closely monitored if no symptoms are present. Treatment measures usually are reserved for men with significant symptoms, and can include medications, surgery, microwave therapy, and laser procedures. Men can prevent prostate problems by having regular medical checkups that include a prostate exam.
Prostate Cancer Early Signs and Symptoms
Difficulty with urination – frequency, weak stream, trouble getting started, etc. – is usually the first sign of prostate cancer. But these and other early symptoms of prostatic cancer can also come from benign prostate conditions, so diagnostic testing is important, including PSA tests and digital rectal exam.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer. Risk factors include age, family history, ethnicity, and diet. Prostate cancer is diagnosed by a digital rectal exam, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and prostate biopsy. Symptoms may include frequent need to urinate, incontinence, pain, blood in the urine, fatigue, and more. Prognosis and treatment depend on cancer staging. Watchful waiting, surgery, radiation, cryotherapy, and other management strategies are available. Research and clinical trials strive to find new and better treatments for prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Facts
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer and cancer death in males; in some men, identifying it early may prevent or delay metastasis and death from prostate cancer. The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that is a part of the male reproductive system that wraps around the male urethra at it exits the bladder. Prostate cancer is common in men over 50 years of age, with the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with aging.
Can Prostate Cancer Be Completely Cured?
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. Due to routine screening of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in the United States, nearly 90% of prostate cancers get detected in early stages. When found early, there are several treatment options available and prostate cancer has a high chance of getting cured.
Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Treatment
If prostate cancer is detected early and appears to be slow-growing, invasive procedures, chemotherapy, radiation and other approaches can sometimes do more harm than good. Many prostate cancer treatments come with side effects, like incontinence or impotence, so it’s in the patient’s interest to put off invasive treatments as long as is medically safe. Active surveillance is where doctors "watch and wait" for changes that could prompt medical intervention.
What Are the First Signs of Prostate Problems?
The first signs and symptoms of prostate disorder usually include problems with urination. Please consult your doctor if you experience any of the signs and symptoms to avoid the worsening of the prostate problems.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
Prostate cancer is largely a disease of men over 40, so it’s around this age doctors recommend the first prostate screening. The first exam is a blood test to determine if there are abnormal prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in your blood – PSA is produced by the prostate. If the PSA is high, your doctor will perform a digital rectal exam, during which the doctor feels your prostate from inside your rectum with a gloved finger. Other diagnostic tests include an endoscopic biopsy of tumor tissue for analysis in a lab.
Prostate Cancer: Radical Prostatectomy Surgery
Radical prostatectomy, or surgical removal of the entire prostate gland, isn’t typically the first choice in prostate cancer treatment. Sometimes a radical approach is necessary to keep the cancer from metastasizing, however. Some cases are too severe or diagnosed too late for drugs or radiation to have much effect. In these cases, treatment teams may opt for a radical prostatectomy, despite potential side effects like impotence and incontinence.
Prostate Cancer: Radiation, Brachytherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer is a powerful tool at doctors’ disposal. Using radiation vs. surgery or other invasive treatments to kill cancer cells may still cause side effects, but ideally they are less severe. Radiation therapy can be performed via external beam therapy (EBRT) or the placement of radioactive seeds into the prostate (prostate brachytherapy) or using radioactive drugs (radiopharmaceuticals).
Prostate Cancer Treatment: Hormonal Therapy
Prostate cancer is highly sensitive to, and dependent on, the level of the male hormone testosterone, which drives the growth of prostate cancer cells. Testosterone belongs to a family of hormones called androgens, and today front-line hormonal therapy for advanced and metastatic prostate cancer is called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
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Prostate Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, Bone-Targeted and Immune Therapy
Doctors may introduce chemotherapy and immune therapy if other measures fail to cure a case of prostate cancer. However, unlike with other forms of cancer, chemotherapy isn’t the first choice for early prostate cancer. Immune therapy uses the body's own immune system to attack the prostate tumor, while bone-targeted therapy aims to preserve bone and prevent metastasis.
Prostate Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies
If the prostate gland becomes swollen and tender, it is called prostatitis or prostate infection. The prostate gland is a walnut-shaped organ that lies just below a man's urinary bladder.
Where Is the Prostate?
The prostate gland, commonly known as the prostate, is one of the male reproductive organs located just below the bladder, above the penis, and in front of the rectum. It is connected to the penis by a tube (urethra) that empties urine from the bladder. The size and shape of the prostate are similar to a walnut.
The Early Signs of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer in its early stages usually causes no signs and symptoms. Screening can help detect the cancer early.
What Is the Latest Treatment for Prostate Cancer?
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Prostate Cancer Treatment: Focal Therapy and Other Experimental Treatments
Several new and experimental treatments for prostate cancer are under study, including treatments that use ultrasound, lasers, tissue-freezing gas, and new ways of administering radiation. These new methods are types of focal therapy, that is, treatment focused on the cancer cells in the prostate, rather than systemic therapy that administers medications or other treatments to the whole body with the aim of treating the prostate.
How Is Prostate Cancer Screening Done?
There are no standard or routine screening tests for prostate cancer. Studies are being done to find ways to make prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing more accurate for early cancer detection.
When Should You Screen for Prostate Cancer?
Screening for prostate cancer helps detecta tumor early, enabling timely treatment and prevention of any complications. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the decision to get screened should be made by men in consultation with their doctor. The doctor needs to counsel the men about the uncertainties involved in the screening process, the risks and potential benefits of getting screened for prostate cancer.
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