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Generic Name: leuprolide (LOO proe lide)
Brand Names: Eligard, Lupron Depot, Lupron Depot-Ped

What is Lupron?

Lupron (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.

Lupron is used in men to treat the symptoms of prostate cancer. Lupron treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer and does not treat the cancer itself.

Lupron may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

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.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

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 Lupron

You should not use Lupron 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 Lupron 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);

  • epilepsy;

  • asthma;

  • migraines;

  • kidney disease;

  • 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 Lupron?

Lupron is injected under the skin or into a muscle. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject Lupron if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Lupron comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

The recommended dose of Lupron is 1 mg (0.2 mL or 20 unit mark) administered as a single daily subcutaneous injection. The injection site should be varied regularly.

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • If using a new bottle of Lupron for the first time, flip off the plastic cover to expose the grey rubber stopper. Wipe metal ring and rubber stopper with an alcohol wipe each time you use Lupron. Check the liquid in the container. If it is not clear or has particles in it, DO NOT USE IT.
  • Remove outer wrapping from one syringe. Pull plunger back until the tip of the plunger is at the 0.2 mL or 20 unit mark.
  • Take cover off needle. Push the needle through the center of the rubber stopper on the Lupron bottle.
  • Push the plunger all the way in to inject air into the bottle.
  • Keep the needle in the bottle and turn the bottle upside down. Check to make sure the tip of the needle is in the liquid. Slowly pull back on the plunger, until the syringe fills to the 0.2 mL or 20 unit mark.
  • Toward the end of a two-week period, the amount of Lupron left in the bottle will be small. Take special care to hold the bottle straight and to keep the needle tip in liquid while pulling back on the plunger.
  • Keeping the needle in the bottle and the bottle upside down, check for air bubbles in the syringe. If you see any, push the plunger slowly in to push the air bubble back into the bottle. Keep the tip of the needle in the liquid and pull the plunger back again to fill to the 0.2 mL or 20 unit mark.
  • Do this again if necessary to eliminate air bubbles.
  • To protect your skin, inject each daily dose of Lupron at a different body spot.
  • Choose an injection spot. Cleanse the injection spot with another alcohol wipe.
  • Hold the syringe in one hand. Hold the skin taut, or pull up a little flesh with the other hand, as you were instructed.
  • Holding the syringe as you would a pencil, thrust the needle all the way into the skin at a 90° angle. Push the plunger to administer the injection.
  • Hold an alcohol wipe down on your skin where the needle is inserted and withdraw the needle at the same angle it was inserted.
  • Use the disposable syringe only once and dispose of it properly as you were instructed. Needles thrown into a garbage bag could accidentally stick someone. NEVER LEAVE SYRINGES, NEEDLES OR DRUGS WHERE CHILDREN CAN REACH THEM.

Your symptoms may become temporarily worse as your hormones adjust when you first start using Lupron. For best results, keep using the medication as instructed by your doctor. Your condition should eventually improve with continued use of leuprolide.

While using Lupron , you may need frequent blood tests at your doctor's office. Lupron 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 Lupron in the original carton at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

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 Lupron.

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.

Lupron side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Lupron: 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 Lupron 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 Lupron 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;

  • testicle pain;

  • 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 Lupron?

Other drugs may interact with Lupron, 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Lupron.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Lupron 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.