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Leuprolide

Generic name: leuprolide [ LOO-proe-lide ]
Brand names: Camcevi, Eligard, Fensolvi, Lupron Depot, Lupron Depot-Ped, ... show all 8 brands
Dosage forms: intramuscular kit (22.5 mg/3 months; 30 mg/4 months; 45 mg/6 months; 7.5 mg/month; pediatric 11.25 mg/3 months; pediatric 11.25 mg/month; pediatric 15 mg/month; pediatric 30 mg/3 months; pediatric 45 mg/6 months; pediatric 7.5 mg/month), ... show all 5 dosage forms
Drug classes: Gonadotropin releasing hormones, Hormones / antineoplastics

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Oct 26, 2023.

What is leuprolide?

Leuprolide injection (Eligard, Lupron Depot) is used to treat the symptoms associated with advanced prostate cancer.

Leuprolide injection (Lupron Depot-PED, Fensolvi) is used in children 2 years of age or older to treat central precocious puberty (CPP; a condition causing girls [usually younger than 8 years of age] and boys [usually younger than 9 years of age] to enter puberty too soon, resulting in faster than normal bone growth and development of sexual characteristics).

Leuprolide injection (Lupron Depot) is used alone or with another medication (norethindrone) to treat endometriosis (a condition in which the type of tissue that lines the uterus [womb] grows in other areas of the body and causes pain, heavy or irregular menstruation [periods], and other symptoms).

Leuprolide injection (Lupron Depot) is also used with other medication to treat anemia (a lower than normal number of red blood cells) caused by uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths in the uterus).

Leuprolide belongs to a class of medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. It works by decreasing the amount of certain hormones in the body.

Leuprolide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to leuprolide (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have a seizure, unusual changes in mood or behavior (crying spells, irritability, restlessness, anger, aggression), severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, or pain behind your eyes.

Your symptoms may become temporarily worse when you first start using leuprolide, including new or worsening symptoms of sexual development in children. Tell your doctor if this continues for longer than 2 months.

Leuprolide may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common leuprolide side effects may include:

Leuprolide can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using leuprolide.

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.

Warnings

Your symptoms may become temporarily worse when you first start using leuprolide, including new or worsening symptoms of sexual development in children. Tell your doctor if this continues for longer than 2 months.

Call your doctor at once if you have a seizure, unusual changes in mood or behavior, severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, or pain behind your eyes.

Do not use leuprolide if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control. Do not use if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor.

Before taking this medicine

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.

To make sure leuprolide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Leuprolide usually causes women to stop ovulating or having menstrual periods. However, you may still be able to get pregnant. Use barrier birth control to prevent pregnancy: condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge.

Call your doctor if your periods continue while you are being treated with leuprolide.

Leuprolide may cause birth defects. Do not use leuprolide if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.

How should I use leuprolide?

Uae leuprolide as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

There are many brands, strengths, or forms of leuprolide used to treat different conditions. Avoid medication errors by using only the medicine your doctor prescribes.

Leuprolide is usually administered by a healthcare provider.

Leuprolide is injected under the skin or into a muscle, once every month or once every 3 to 6 months. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

Your symptoms may become temporarily worse as your hormones adjust to leuprolide. A child using this medicine may have increased signs of puberty (such as vaginal bleeding) during the first weeks of treatment.

You may need frequent medical tests while using leuprolide.

Do not reuse a needle or syringe. Place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container and dispose of it following state or local laws. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Follow all storage instructions provided with leuprolide. Your pharmacist can provide more information about how to store this medicine.

Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Endometriosis:

3.75 mg IM once a month for up to 6 months
OR
11.25 mg depot every 3 months

Comments:
-In women receiving this drug for endometriosis, hormone replacement therapy is recommended to reduce bone mineral density loss and vasomotor symptoms.

Uses: Management of endometriosis (including pain relief and reduction of endometriotic lesions), preoperative hematologic improvement of patients with anemia caused by uterine leiomyomata

Usual Adult Dose for Prostate Cancer:

Eligard: administered by subcutaneous injection and provides continuous release of leuprolide acetate over a one, three, four, or six-month period:

Viadur: one implant inserted for 12 months. Each implant contains 65 mg leuprolide. The implant is inserted subcutaneously in the inner aspect of the upper arm and provides continuous release of leuprolide for 12 months of hormonal therapy.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Precocious Puberty:

IM Injection:
2 years and older:
One month depot injection: 25 kg or less: 7.5 mg IM once a month. Greater than 25 kg to 37.5 kg: 11.25 mg IM once a month. Greater than 37.5 kg: 15 mg IM once a month
Three month depot injection: 11.25 mg or 30 mg IM every 3 months

Comments:
-Doses should be titrated to the individual.
-Hormone levels should be tested after 1 to 2 months of therapy and with each dose change to ensure adequate pituitary gonadotropin suppression.
-Once a dose that results in adequate hormonal suppression has been determined, it can often be maintained for the duration of therapy in most children; however, hormonal suppression should be verified as weight can increase significantly while on therapy.
-Therapy should be discontinued at the appropriate age of onset of puberty at the discretion of the physician.

Subcutaneous injection:
2 years and older:
Fensolvi (long acting formulation): 45 mg subcutaneously every 6 months
NOTE: The short-acting formulation has been replaced with long-acting formulations.

Comments:
-The dosage should be adjusted for weight changes.
-Discontinuation of therapy be considered before age 11 for females and before age 12 for males.

Use: Treatment of children with central precocious puberty (CPP); CPP is defined as early onset of secondary sexual characteristics (generally earlier than 8 years in girls and 9 years in boys) associated with pubertal pituitary gonadotropin activation; it may show a significantly advanced bone age that can result in diminished adult height

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose or miss an appointment for your injection.

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?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What other drugs will affect leuprolide?

Leuprolide can cause a serious heart problem. Your risk may be higher if you also use certain other medicines for infections, asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, cancer, malaria, or HIV.

Other drugs may interact with leuprolide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Popular FAQ

In clinical studies evaluating endometriosis, 95% of women started their periods (normal menstrual cycle) in the third month after treatment ended with Lupron Depot 3.75 mg. Continue reading

During an vitro fertilization (IVF) protocol, your doctor may use leuprolide (Lupron) injection as part of an ovarian stimulation regimen. Leuprolide is a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. It reduces the amount of hormone that stimulates ovulation. This helps to control your ovulatory cycle and prevent premature ovulation, so that your doctor can have predictable access to your eggs for IVF. The brand name Lupron is no longer available in the U.S., but generic options are available. Continue reading

Lupron Depot and Eligard are brand name medicines that both contain the active ingredient leuprolide acetate. Both Lupron Depot and Eligard are prescribed to treat the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. Lupron Depot is also approved to treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or central precocious puberty (CPP) in children (early puberty). Continue reading

Yes, you may still become pregnant if you are using Lupron Depot. Lupron Depot is not a method of birth control. Even though you may not have a period, unprotected intercourse could result in pregnancy. Lupron Depot can cause harm to an unborn child. You should use a reliable non-hormonal birth control such as condoms, a diaphragm with contraceptive jelly, or a copper IUD to prevent pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about use of birth control before you start treatment with Lupron Depot. Continue reading

No, Firmagon (degarelix) is not the same as Lupron but they are both hormone deprivation treatments that may be used for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Firmagon takes a more direct path to testosterone suppression than Lupron. Firmagon is an antagonist that immediately stops testosterone production, preventing a testosterone surge and eliminating the need for any additional therapies. Lupron is an agonist that desensitizes the GnRH receptor but causes an initial surge in testosterone and may require additional medication. Continue reading

Supprelin LA is not the same as Lupron Depot-Ped, because Supprelin LA contains the active drug histrelin acetate, while Lupron Depot-Ped contains the active drug leuprolide acetate. Both belong to the class of medicines called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GRHA) and both are approved to treat central precocious puberty (CPP) in children aged 2 years and older. Although they have not been compared directly in clinical studies, separate studies have found them both to be effective for CPP. Supprelin LA is available as a small implant that is placed under the skin of the upper arm by a healthcare provider, and it lasts for 12 months. Lupron Depot-Ped is given by intramuscular injection into the buttock, thigh, or deltoid muscle once a month so must be given 12 times a year. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use leuprolide only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.