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How is Eligard injected / administered for prostate cancer?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Jan 18, 2023.

Official answer


Eligard (leuprolide acetate) is an injectable suspension injected under your skin (subcutaneously) once every month or once every 3, 4 or 6 months, based on the dosing schedule that works best for you. Your doctor will give you this injection in the doctor’s office, a clinic or in the hospital. It is used for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

The medicine is injected into an area around your stomach (abdomen), upper buttocks, or other area with adequate subcutaneous tissue. Your doctor may rotate your injection sites, injecting it into a different area.

Eligard injection forms a solid drug delivery depot under the skin and the medicine is slowly released over time. This means you may not need to get a shot every day or even every month. You may feel a small bump under your skin after you receive the injection, but this will diminish over time. Your doctor may rotate your injection sites.

Leuprolide acetate, the generic name for Eligard, is classified as a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist and is often referred to as hormone therapy. Eligard works in prostate cancer by reducing the amount of testosterone in men to relieve symptoms, but it is not a cure for prostate cancer.

Follow all your directions for Eligard and read all medication guides or instruction sheets given to you by your healthcare providers.

Do Eligard injections hurt?

It is not uncommon for side effects to occur with an injection of Eligard. Short-term burning and stinging were the most common injection site reactions experienced by patients in studies. These effects occurred in about 16% to 35% of patients in studies.

Injection site reactions are generally short-lived with Eligard. In research studies, no patients discontinued treatment due to side effects at the injection site, which may include:

  • transient burning and stinging
  • bruising
  • pain
  • redness

Some of the other more common side effects with Eligard include hot flashes, fatigue (extreme tiredness), testicular atrophy (shrinking), muscle aches, weakness, gynecomastia (enlargement of breast tissue) and dizziness.

This is not a complete listing of side effects, warnings, or other information you need for safe and effective use of Eligard. Review the full Eligard information here, and discuss this and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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