Generic Name: leuprolide (LOO proe lide)
Brand Names: Eligard, Lupron, Lupron Depot, Lupron Depot-Ped
What is Eligard?
Eligard (leuprolide) is a man-made form of a hormone that regulates many processes in the body. Leuprolide overstimulates the body's own production of certain hormones, which causes that production to shut down temporarily. Eligard 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. Use any other medications your doctor has prescribed to best treat your condition.
Eligard may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Eligard
Eligard 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 Eligard.
Before using Eligard, tell your doctor if you have epilepsy, asthma, migraines, heart or kidney disease, a history of depression, osteoporosis, bone cancer affecting your spine, blood in your urine, or if you are unable to urinate.
Tell your doctor if you have a personal or family history of osteoporosis, or if you have any risk factors for bone loss such as smoking, alcohol use, or taking steroid or seizure medications long term. Long-term use of Eligard may decrease bone density, possibly leading to osteoporosis.
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).
To make sure you can safely use Eligard, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
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. Leuprolide 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: Eligard pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
Long-term use of Eligard 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 Eligard 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 to 6 months. How often you receive Eligard will depend on the condition being treated. Follow your doctor's instructions.
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 Eligard.
To be sure Eligard is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with Eligard. You may still need blood tests for up to 3 months after you stop using Eligard to check your hormone levels and pituitary gland function. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Store Eligard in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. You may take the medicine out and allow it to reach room temperature before mixing and injecting your dose. After the dose is mixed, you must use the injection within 30 minutes.
Use each disposable needle one time only. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). 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.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include weakness, or irritation where the Eligard shot was given.
What should I avoid while using Eligard?
Avoid coming into contact with your body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). Chemotherapy can pass into body fluids. Patients or 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.
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
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 a serious side effect such as:
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;
feeling like you might pass out;
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack;
painful or difficult urination;
urinating more often than usual;
high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), problems with speech or balance;
sudden headache with vision problems, vomiting, confusion, slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, or slow breathing; or
chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.
Rare but serious side effects 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
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious 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: Eligard side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Eligard?
There may be other drugs that can interact with Eligard. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Eligard resources
- Eligard Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Eligard kit MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Eligard Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Leuprolide Prescribing Information (FDA)
- leuprolide MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Leuprolide Acetate Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Lupron Depot Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Lupron Depot MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Lupron Depot-PED Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Lupron Depot-PED kit MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Viadur Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Viadur implant MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
Compare Eligard with other medications
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 by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. 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. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 15.01. Revision Date: 2013-03-13, 1:54:51 PM.