J. Brantley Thrasher, MD, FACS | Authors

Complications of Androgen Deprivation Therapy: Prevention and Treatment

March 01, 2004

Androgen deprivation, as a form of treatment for prostate cancer,has been used for decades. Within the last decade, however, its use hasincreased significantly. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the physicianto be familiar with the side effects associated with this treatment. Someof these side effects (eg, osteoporosis, changes in lipid profiles, andanemia) may be associated with significant morbidity, whereas others(eg, impotence, decreased libido, fatigue, and hot flashes) primarilyaffect the patient’s quality of life. Prevention strategies and treatmentsexist for many of these side effects. In addition, alternative forms ofantiandrogen therapy such as intermittent hormone ablation andantiandrogen monotherapy may be effective, with the added benefit ofminimizing side effects. This review focuses on the wide range of sideeffects associated with androgen ablation as well as preventive and treatmentstrategies.