Generic Name: leuprolide (LOO proe lide)
Brand Name: Eligard, Lupron Depot, Lupron Depot-Ped
What is leuprolide?
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.
Leuprolide is used in men to treat the symptoms of prostate cancer. Leuprolide treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer and does not treat the cancer itself. Leuprolide is used in women to treat symptoms of endometriosis (overgrowth of uterine lining outside of the uterus) or uterine fibroids.
Leuprolide is also used to treat precocious (early-onset) puberty in both male and female children.
Leuprolide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about leuprolide?
Certain brands or strengths of leuprolide are used to treat only men and should not be used in women or children.
Leuprolide can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using leuprolide?
Certain brands or strengths of leuprolide are used to treat only men and should not be used in women or children. Always check your medicine to make sure you have received the correct brand and strength. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to leuprolide or similar medicines such as buserelin, goserelin, histrelin, nafarelin, or if you have:
abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor; or
if you are pregnant.
To make sure leuprolide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
risk factors for bone loss (personal or family history of osteoporosis, smoking, alcohol use, taking steroid or seizure medicines long term);
diabetes, high blood pressure, recent weight gain, high cholesterol (especially in men);
heart disease, congestive heart failure, a history of Long QT syndrome;
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
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 if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
Leuprolide usually causes women to stop ovulating or having menstrual periods. However, you may still be able to get pregnant. Use a barrier form of birth control (condom or diaphragm with spermicide). Hormonal contraception (birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings) may not be effective enough to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.
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 medicine.
It is not known whether leuprolide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I use leuprolide?
Leuprolide 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.
Because different brands or strengths of leuprolide are used to treat different conditions, it is very important that you receive exactly the brand and strength your doctor has prescribed. If you self-inject this medication at home, always check your medication to make sure you have received the correct brand and type prescribed by your doctor.
Leuprolide may be given once every month or once every 3 to 6 months. How often you receive this medication will depend on the condition being treated.
Your symptoms may become temporarily worse as your hormones adjust when you first start using this medication. For best results, keep using the medication as instructed by your doctor. Your condition should eventually improve with continued use of leuprolide.
While using leuprolide, you may need frequent blood tests. Leuprolide can have long lasting effects on your body and you may also need medical tests for a short time after you stop using this medicine.
Store Lupron in the original carton at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
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 a disposable needle and syringe only once. 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.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using leuprolide?
This medicine 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.
Leuprolide side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: 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;
increased thirst or urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin;
heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating; or
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.
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
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 side effects may include:
mood changes, hot flashes, sweating, acne, rash, itching;
headache, joint pain, back pain, or general pain;
cold or flu symptoms, weakness, feeling tired, trouble breathing;
vaginal itching or discharge;
breakthrough bleeding in a female child during the first weeks of leuprolide treatment;
swelling, bloating, weight gain, problems with urination;
decreased testicle size;
redness, burning, stinging, pain, swelling, or oozing 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 leuprolide?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with leuprolide, especially:
an antibiotic--azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, pentamidine; anti-malaria medication--chloroquine, halofantrine;
cancer medicine--arsenic trioxide, vandetanib; heart rhythm medicine--amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, flecainide, ibutilide, quinidine, sotalol; or
medicine to treat depression or a psychiatric disorder--citalopram, chlorpromazine, escitalopram, haloperidol, pimozide, thioridazine.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with leuprolide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Lupron (leuprolide)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about leuprolide.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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