Orilissa

Remember, this is educational information only and not medical advice – always check with your qualified medical professional before making any changes to your treatment plan for endometriosis or any other health problems.

Orilissa

Orilissa is an oral GnRh drug that came out in 2018 by the same makers of Lupron. It has been approved by the FDA for the management of endometriosis symptoms for 6 months on the higher dose and 2 years on the lower dose. It can have serious side effects, and doesn’t diagnose, treat, remove, or shrink endometriosis lesions. Since it only came out in 2018, we still don’t have information on potential long-term side effects.
 
For many gynecologists, who are not endometriosis specialists and don’t often see patients with endometriosis in their practice, this (and/or Lupron) is the only “tool” they have for patients with endometriosis. GnRh drugs are supposed to be second-line therapies, meaning that they are prescribed when first-line therapies (oral contraceptive pills and progestins) are ineffective, not tolerated or contraindicated. Studies have shown that in about 2/3 of people with endometriosis, first-line therapies provide symptom relief.
 
Yet some doctors put their patients on GnRh drugs right away, as soon as they suspect endometriosis, and for much longer than the FDA approved time frame. Additionally, various studies comparing GnRh drugs to other hormonal medications such as the Mirena, Dienogest, Depo Provera, combined birth control pills, and others, have shown these other hormones (which a patient can be on for longer and that have a much lower side effect profile) to provide similar symptom relief to patients as GnRh drugs. This is another reason why GnRh drugs are second-line therapies, but unfortunately many gynecologists are giving them out as soon as they suspect endometriosis, without any conversation around the side effects, treatment time limitations, or equally viable options.

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