Eligard (leuprolide acetate) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for advanced prostate cancer in adults. Eligard is injected under your skin (subcutaneously) by your healthcare professional. The dosage can vary depending on how often you receive Eligard.

Eligard belongs to a drug class called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. Eligard is not available in a generic version.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Eligard, including its strengths and how you’ll receive the medication. For a comprehensive look at Eligard, see this article.

Note: This article describes typical dosages for Eligard provided by the drug’s manufacturer. However, your doctor will prescribe the Eligard dosage that’s right for you.

Below is information about Eligard’s form, strengths, and dosages. Your doctor will recommend the best treatment plan for you before starting Eligard.

Eligard form

Eligard comes as a powder that’s mixed into a suspension. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection. Your doctor or another healthcare professional will mix and give you your injections at your doctor’s office or clinic.

Eligard strengths

Eligard comes in four strengths:

  • 7.5 milligrams (mg)
  • 22.5 mg
  • 30 mg
  • 45 mg

The strength of Eligard you receive will determine how often you receive your dose. You and your doctor can decide which dosing option is best for you.

Typical dosages

There are four different dosing options for receiving Eligard. You and your doctor will discuss the best treatment plan for you before you start Eligard.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for prostate cancer

Doctors may prescribe Eligard to treat advanced prostate cancer.

If your doctor prescribes Eligard for your prostate cancer, they will discuss the best treatment plan for you. Eligard can be given in 4 different dosages. Before you start treatment, you and your doctor can discuss the best dose and frequency of your Eligard injections.

You’ll get a lower dose of Eligard if you get an injection more frequently. But if you and your doctor decide it’s best to space out your Eligard injections further, you will get a higher dose of the medication. The table below shows the dose options for Eligard and how often you would get a dose of the medication.

Dose7.5 mg22.5 mg30 mg45 mg
Frequencyone injection every monthone injection every 3 monthsone injection every 4 monthsone injection every 6 months

Regardless of how often you get your dose of Eligard, the drug is designed so that you’ll get 7.5 mg of medication each month. This is because even if you get a dose of 45 mg every 6 months, the drug is released into your body slowly. So you’ll get 7.5 mg each month for 6 months. This makes your total dose of 45 mg. The drug works this way so that you have a constant amount of medication in your body. This helps Eligard work best to manage your prostate cancer.

Talk with your doctor to determine the best treatment schedule for you. For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Long-term treatment

Eligard is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Eligard is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely receive it long term. Even though Eligard does not cure prostate cancer, it helps manage it. So your doctor may recommend taking the drug as long as it works for you.

Before you start taking Eligard, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.

The Eligard dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on how often you want to get your dose of Eligard. If you get your dose more often, you’ll be prescribed a lower dose of the medication. But if you prefer to get a dose less often, you’ll receive a higher dose of the drug. For more information about the dose and frequency options of Eligard, see the section above called “Dosage for prostate cancer.”

Eligard comes as a powder that your healthcare professional will mix into a suspension. You’ll receive your dose of Eligard as a subcutaneous injection.

With a subcutaneous injection, your healthcare professional will inject the medication under your skin. You’ll have to go to your doctor’s office or clinic to get your dose of Eligard. You will not be able to give yourself Eligard injections at home.

Your healthcare professional will inject your dose of Eligard into your abdomen, upper buttocks, or another location with fatty tissue. They will use a different injection site with each dose of Eligard to decrease your risk of side effects.

After Eligard is injected, the drug forms a gel and releases slowly over time. If you get a dose of 7.5 mg, it will be slowly released into your body over 1 month. This means your Eligard injection will work throughout the entire month, even though you only got one injection. Similarly, if you get a dose of 45 mg, the Eligard will release 7.5 mg each month for 6 months. So your one dose will continue working to manage your prostate cancer for a period of 6 months.

If you have questions about how you’ll receive your dose of Eligard, talk with your doctor or healthcare professional.

If you miss your appointment for an Eligard injection, call your doctor’s office as soon as possible to reschedule. They’ll adjust your dosing schedule as needed.

You should try to keep your appointments to receive Eligard if you can. It’s important that you receive your dose of Eligard on the correct day so that the drug can work to manage your prostate cancer.

If you need help remembering your appointments, try setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Eligard.

How long does it take for Eligard to start working?

It may take a few weeks before Eligard starts to work. In fact, Eligard increases your testosterone levels for the first 2 weeks of treatment, which may actually make your symptoms worse. This is called a tumor flare.

But within 2–4 weeks after starting Eligard, the drug begins to work to manage your prostate cancer. You should notice that your symptoms may begin to improve after 2–4 weeks of treatment.

Your doctor will monitor your hormone levels through blood tests during your treatment with Eligard. This can help show how well the drug is working for you.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Eligard treatment.

Is the dosage of Eligard similar to the dosage of Lupron Depot?

Yes, the forms and how often you take each drug are similar. Eligard and Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) are both powders that your healthcare professional will mix into a liquid suspension. Both forms of the drug will be given by a healthcare professional to manage prostate cancer. Both drugs also contain the same active ingredient, which is leuprolide acetate.

If you take either Eligard or Lupron Depot, how often you get a dose will depend on what your dose of the medication is. For either drug, if you get a dose of 7.5 mg, you’ll need a dose every month. If you get a dose of 22.5 mg, you’ll receive a dose every 3 months. If you get a dose of 30 mg, you’ll need a dose once every 4 months. And if you get a dose of 45 mg, you’ll get it every 6 months.

The major difference between Eligard and Lupron Depot is how the drugs are given. If you get Eligard, your dose will be given as a subcutaneous injection (under your skin). But, if you get Lupron Depot, your dose will be given as an intramuscular injection (into your muscle).

In addition to prostate cancer, Lupron Depot is also approved to treat other conditions, including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and central precocious puberty. Eligard is not approved for these uses.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Eligard for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. If you have questions about the dosage of Eligard that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Eligard. These additional articles might be helpful:

  • More about Eligard: For information about other aspects of Eligard, refer to this article.
  • Side effects: To learn about side effects of Eligard, see this article. You can also look at the Eligard prescribing information.
  • Details about prostate cancer: For details about prostate cancer, see our cancer hub.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.