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Is Lupron Depot a chemotherapy treatment?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Jan 16, 2024.

Official answer


Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) injection is not a chemotherapy treatment, but a prescription hormone medicine used in the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Palliative treatment is used to relieve pain or other symptoms and improve the quality of your life. Lupron Depot is not a cure for advanced prostate cancer.

Lupron Depot is classified as a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. It works by reducing the amount of testosterone in your blood. Testosterone is an androgen hormone that can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer.

Lupron Depot is given as an injectable depot suspension under your skin (subcutaneously). Depot formulations continuously release medicine into your body over a certain period of time.

You and your doctor will determine the best dose for you. Lupron Depot is injected into a muscle of your upper arm, upper thigh or buttocks either once a month, or once every 3, 4 or 6 months for the treatment of prostate cancer. You may feel a small bump under your skin after you receive the injection, but this will diminish over time.

Your doctor will give you this medicine in their office, a clinic or hospital. This helps to prevent you from having daily or even weekly injections.

Testosterone levels should be suppressed in 3 to 4 weeks after your injection. Your doctor will monitor your testosterone and prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in your blood to see how well the medicine is working.

Related: Lupron Depot side effects (in more detail)

This is not all the information you need to know about Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) for safe and effective use. Review the full Lupron Depot information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

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