GnRH antagonist, cetrorelix, for pituitary suppression in modern, patient-friendly assisted reproductive technology

Ilan Tur-Kaspa, Diego Ezcurra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues are used routinely to prevent a premature luteinizing hormone (LH) surge in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments. In contrast to GnRH agonists, antagonists produce rapid and reversible suppression of LH with no initial flare effect.

OBJECTIVE: To review the role of cetrorelix, the first GnRH antagonist approved for the prevention of premature LH surges during controlled ovarian stimulation in modern ART.

METHOD: A review of published literature on cetrorelix.

RESULTS: Both multiple- and single-dose cetrorelix protocols were shown to be at least as effective as long GnRH agonist regimens for pituitary suppression in Phase II/III clinical trials. Furthermore, cetrorelix co-treatment resulted in similar live birth rates but a shorter duration of gonadotropin stimulation, a lower total gonadotropin dose requirement and lower incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome compared with long agonist regimens. A single-dose cetrorelix protocol further decreased the number of injections required. Preliminary studies have also produced promising data on the use of cetrorelix in modified ART protocols, such as frozen embryo transfer and donor oocyte recipient cycles.

CONCLUSION: Cetrorelix offers a potential therapeutic alternative to GnRH agonists during controlled ovarian stimulation and has become an integral part of modern, patient-friendly reproductive medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1336
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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