Pain associated with endometriosis is a considerable burden for women, permeating all aspects of their lives, from their ability to perform daily activities to their quality of life. Although there are many options for endometriosis-associated pain management, they are often limited by insufficient efficacy, inconvenient routes of administration, and/or intolerable side effects. Elagolix, a nonpeptide, small-molecule gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist, is the first new oral therapy to be approved for the treatment of endometriosis-associated pain in the United States in more than a decade. Modulation of estradiol with elagolix is dose dependent and ranges from partial to full suppression. Clinical evidence has shown that elagolix at both approved doses (150 mg once daily and 200 mg twice daily) is effective for reducing symptoms of pelvic pain (dysmenorrhea, nonmenstrual pelvic pain, and dyspareunia), improving quality of life, and decreasing use of rescue analgesics (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or opioids). The availability of two dosing options allows for individualization of treatment based on baseline clinical factors and response to therapy. Elagolix is well tolerated, with less pronounced hypoestrogenic effects compared with GnRH agonists. This review provides an overview of elagolix, highlighting currently available treatment options and the application of this new treatment for women with endometriosis-associated pain.
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