Generic Name: leuprolide (LOO proe lide)
Brand Names: Eligard, Lupron Depot, Lupron Depot-Ped
What is Eligard?
Eligard (leuprolide) overstimulates the body's own production of certain hormones, which causes that production to shut down temporarily. Leuprolide reduces the amount of testosterone in men or estrogen in women.
Eligard is used in men to treat the symptoms of prostate cancer. Eligard treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer and does not treat the cancer itself.
Eligard may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Certain brands or strengths of leuprolide are used to treat only men and should not be used in women or children. Always check your medication to make sure you have received the correct brand and strength prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.
Leuprolide can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant.
You should not breast-feed while you are using leuprolide.
You should not use leuprolide if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been diagnosed by a doctor.
Before using Eligard
You should not use Eligard if you are allergic to leuprolide or similar medications such as buserelin (Suprefact, Suprecor), goserelin (Zoladex), histrelin (Supprelin, Vantas), nafarelin (Synarel), or if you have:
abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been diagnosed by a doctor; or
if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Do not breast-feed a baby while using leuprolide.
To make sure Eligard is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a personal or family history of osteoporosis;
risk factors for bone loss such as smoking, alcohol use, or taking steroid or seizure medications long term;
diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, recent weight gain, high cholesterol (especially in men);
a history of depression;
bone cancer affecting your spine;
blood in your urine; or
if you are unable to urinate.
FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use leuprolide if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
Leuprolide usually causes women to stop ovulating or having menstrual periods. However, you may still be able to get pregnant. Use an effective barrier form of birth control (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide gel or inserts). Hormonal forms of contraception (such as birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings) may not be effective in preventing pregnancy while you are using leuprolide.
Because leuprolide is expected to cause your menstrual periods to stop, contact your doctor if your periods continue while you are being treated with this medication.
Long-term use of this medication may decrease bone density, possibly leading to osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about your possible risk for osteoporosis. You may need to receive a bone scan if you ever need to be re-treated with leuprolide in the future.
How should I use Eligard?
Eligard is injected under the skin or into a muscle. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Eligard comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Eligard may be given once every month or once every 3, 4 or 6 months, depending on the dosage used. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Because different strengths of Eligard are available it is very important that you receive the exact strength your doctor has prescribed. If you self-inject this medication at home, always check your Eligard to make sure you have received the correct strength prescribed by your doctor.
Your symptoms may become temporarily worse as your hormones adjust when you first start using Eligard. For best results, keep using the medication as instructed by your doctor. Your condition should eventually improve with continued use of leuprolide.
While using Eligard, you may need frequent blood tests at your doctor's office. Eligard can have long lasting effects on your body. You may also need medical tests for a short time after you stop using this medication.
Store Eligard in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Take the medicine out and allow it to reach room temperature before mixing and injecting your dose of Eligard. After the dose is mixed, you must use the injection within 30 minutes.
Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of Eligard.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid?
Leuprolide can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.
Eligard side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Eligard: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
bone pain, loss of movement in any part of your body;
swelling, rapid weight gain;
pain, burning, stinging, bruising, or redness where the medication was injected;
vomiting, confusion, slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, or slow breathing;
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack;
painful or difficult urination;
signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
high blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or
heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating.
Rare but serious side effects from Eligard may include:
pain or unusual sensations in your back;
numbness, weakness, or tingly feeling in your legs or feet;
muscle weakness or loss of use;
loss of bowel or bladder control; or
liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common Eligard side effects may include:
acne, increased growth of facial hair;
breakthrough bleeding in a female child during the first 2 months of leuprolide treatment;
dizziness, weakness, tired feeling;
hot flashes, night sweats, chills, clammy skin;
nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain;
skin redness, itching, or scaling;
joint or muscle pain;
vaginal itching or discharge;
breast swelling or tenderness;
impotence, loss of interest in sex;
depression, sleep problems (insomnia), memory problems; or
redness, burning, stinging, or pain where the shot was given.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Eligard?
Other drugs may interact with Eligard, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Eligard (leuprolide)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Eligard.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Eligard only for the indication prescribed.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.01. Revision Date: 2014-07-08. 9:15:18 AM.