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Generic Name:

leuprolide, Injectable suspension

Generic Name:
Eligard,Lupron Depot,Lupron Depot-Ped

leuprolide, Injectable suspension

All Brands

  • Eligard
  • Lupron Depot
  • Lupron Depot-Ped
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for leuprolide

Injectable suspension
1

Leuprolide is an injected drug used to decrease symptoms of advanced prostate cancer in men. It’s used to treat endometriosis and uterine fibroids in women. It’s also used to treat central precocious puberty (CPP). This condition causes children to enter puberty earlier than normal.

2

Common side effects include hot flashes, sweating, tiredness, headache, acne, general body aches and pain, skin rash, weight gain, mood changes, decreased sex drive (libido), and breast tenderness or size changes.

3

Leuprolide is given as an injection into your muscle or under your skin. You may be able to take some forms of leuprolide at home, but others are only given in a doctor’s office. 

4

If your leuprolide needs to be given in the doctor’s office, you should go to all of your appointments. It’s important to stick to the schedule your doctor prescribes for this medicine to work.

5

You shouldn’t use leuprolide if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It can harm your unborn baby. Ask your doctor about effective birth control options.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Diabetes

Leuprolide may increase your blood sugar levels. This can lead to diabetes that will need to be treated. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels regularly while you’re taking this drug.

Seizures

Leuprolide may cause seizures. This may happen in children who have never had seizures before and in children with a history of seizures.

What is leuprolide?

Leuprolide  is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: injectable solution and injectable suspension, which is only given by a healthcare provider. You may be able to take the injectable solution form at home.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

Leuprolide have several uses.

More Details

How it works

Leuprolide belongs to a drug class called gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog.

More Details

Why it's used

Leuprolide has many uses. These uses are:

  • decrease symptoms of advanced prostate cancer.
  • treat children with central precocious puberty (CPP). This condition causes children to reach puberty earlier than normal. Their bone growth is faster and sexual characteristics develop earlier.
  • treat endometriosis. In this condition, tissue that normally grows in your uterus will grow in other places, such as inside the pelvic cavity. This causes pelvic pain and heavy or irregular menstrual periods.
  • treat uterine fibroids. These are non-cancerous, abnormal growths in your uterus. They cause stomach swelling or fullness, pelvic pain, or heavy, long menstrual periods.

How it works

Leuprolide belongs to a drug class called gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Leuprolide is chemically similar to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH or LH-RH), which naturally exists in your body. Normally, your body releases small amounts of LH-RH and this leads to events that stimulate the production of sex hormones.

When you inject leuprolide, the production of sex hormones is interrupted. Your body makes fewer female and male hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. This has the following effects:

  • By stopping the production of testosterone, leuprolide slows down the growth of your prostate cancer cells.
  • This process puts women in a state of menopause. This should help reduce your pain and stop your periods.  
  • This slows down the process of puberty in children.

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SECTION 2 of 5

leuprolide Side Effects

Injectable suspension

More Common Side Effects

The adult side effects for this drug are slightly different from the side effects for children.

  • Some of the more common side effects of taking this drug include:

    • hot flashes or sweating
    • tiredness
    • headache
    • muscle and joint pain
    • acne
    • mood changes, such as depression or emotion changes
    • weight changes
    • burning, itching, swelling, or redness at the injection site
    • discharge, itching, or pain in the vagina (vaginitis) in females
    • vaginal spotting (bleeding) or menstrual period in females
  • Adults may also experience:

    • decrease in the size of your testicles (testicular atrophy) in men
    • decreased sex drive (libido)
    • breast changes, such as pain, tenderness, or size changes
    • swelling of your hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • pain, burning, or tingling in your hands or feet
    • flu-like symptoms, such as fever and body aches
    • nervousness
    • trouble remembering things
  • Children may also experience:

    • skin rash
    • skin irritation at the injection site. Symptoms include:
      • redness, itching, and pain
      • headache
      • acne
      • mood changes (being more emotional)

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • Changes in bone density. This raises your risk for bone fractures or osteoporosis.

  • Pituitary problems. Leuprolide may damage your pituitary gland, which produces hormones. Symptoms may include:

    • sudden headache
    • vomiting
    • changes in your vision or problems moving your eyes
    • confusion
  • Seizures

  • Loss of your ability to move (paralysis) due to the tumor increasing in size

  • Heart problems, such as:

    • heart attack. Symptoms include:
      • squeezing pain in your chest
      • shortness of breath
      • pain that moves to your arms or back
    • stroke. Symptoms include:
      • severe headache
      • sudden weakness or numbness (especially on one side of your body)
      • confusion
      • changes in your vision
      • trouble speaking
  • High blood sugar and diabetes. Symptoms include:

    • feeing very hungry
    • feeling very thirsty
    • needing to urinate often
    • blurry vision
    • tiredness
    • cuts that take longer to heal
  • Depression. Symptoms include:

    • changes in your mood
    • feeling extremely sad
    • feeling worthless
    • sleeping more or less than usual
  • Trouble remembering things

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Leuprolide doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

leuprolide May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable suspension

Leuprolide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, or vitamins you’re taking.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Leuprolide warnings
seizures
People with seizures

Let your doctor know if you have a history of seizures. Leuprolide can make your condition worse.

depression
People with depression

Let your doctor know if you have a history of depression. Leuprolide can make your symptoms of depression worse.

metastasized cancer
People with metastasized cancer

If you’re taking this drug for prostate cancer and your cancer has spread to your spine or urinary tract, your doctor should monitor you carefully. During the first two weeks of treatment, your testosterone levels may temporarily increase. This may make your symptoms worse and may even be fatal. You may have more bone pain, trouble urinating, tingling or numbness in your hands or feet, or weakness or paralysis.

osteoporosis
People with osteoporosis

Leuprolide can decrease your bone density and raise your risk for bone fractures.

heart problems
People with heart problems

Let your doctor know if you have a history of heart disease.  Leuprolide can cause a heart attack or stroke. This can be fatal. Your doctor will monitor you more carefully.

diabetes
People with diabetes

Leuprolide may increase your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will watch you closely and change your diabetes medications if needed.

memory problems
People with memory problems

Let your doctor know if you have a history of memory problems. Leuprolide can make your memory worse.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Leuprolide is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.

Taking leuprolide can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about effective birth control options. You may need to use a non-hormonal form of birth control.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant, you’ll need to stop taking leuprolide.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if leuprolide passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breast-feeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take leuprolide or breast-feed.

for seniors
For seniors

Lupron Depot-Ped: This drug should only be used in children. The safety and effectiveness of leuprolide in this form haven’t been established for adults older than 65 years.

Lupron Depot 3.75 mg and 11.25 mg: The safety and effectiveness of leuprolide in this form haven’t been established for adults older than 65 years.

for children
For children

Eligard and leuprolide injection solution: The safety and effectiveness of leuprolide in this form haven’t been established in children younger than 18 years.

Lupron Depot: The safety and effectiveness of leuprolide in this form haven’t been established in children younger than 2 years.

Lupron Depot-Ped: The safety and effectiveness of leuprolide in this form haven’t been established in children younger than 2 years.

Lupron Depot 3.75 mg and 11.25 mg: The safety and effectiveness of leuprolide in this form haven’t been established in children younger than 18 years.

call doctor
When to call the doctor

For children: Let the doctor know if your child still has symptoms of puberty after starting this medication. They may need to adjust your child’s dose of leuprolide.

For women: Leuprolide should stop your menstrual periods. Let your doctor know if you’re still having periods after starting this medication.

allergies
Allergies

Leuprolide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • sudden swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • trouble swallowing
  • hives (raised bumps)
  • sensitivity to sunlight

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take leuprolide (Dosage)

Injectable suspension

Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Leuprolide comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all or skip or miss doses/appointments

If you don’t take this drug as prescribed, your prostate cancer symptoms may get worse or your child will enter puberty much earlier than normal.

If you’re taking this drug for endometriosis or uterine fibroids, you may have breakthrough bleeding or ovulation. Ovulation can cause you to get pregnant if you aren’t using effective birth control. Your symptoms of endometriosis or uterine fibroids may also not get better.

If you take too much

If you take too much, you may have more side effects caused by this drug. If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

What to do if you miss a dose/appointment

It’s important to go to all of your appointments to take your doses on schedule.

If you’re unable to make your appointment, let your doctor know. You’ll have to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.

How to tell if the drug is working

If you’re taking this drug for prostate cancer, your symptoms should decrease. Note that this drug isn’t a cure for prostate cancer. Your doctor will also do tests to check your testosterone levels and your prostate specific antigen (PSA) to make sure that leuprolide is working for you.

If your child is taking this drug for central precocious puberty (CPP), their doctor will do tests to make sure the treatment is working. They may check levels of sex hormones and measure their height and bone growth.

If you’re taking this drug for endometriosis, you may feel less pain in your pelvic area, during your menstrual periods, and during intercourse.

If you’re taking this drug for uterine fibroids, you may feel decreased stomach swelling or fullness, pelvic pain, and pressure and less vaginal bleeding.

Leuprolide is used for short-term treatment.

How long does it take?

This medication is given as a single injection. It should take a few minutes to prepare and receive your injection.

Can I drive home after?

Since leuprolide can make you feel tired, you may need a ride home after receiving your injection.

Travel

You should tell your doctor if you plan to travel because you need to get your dose of leuprolide on a regular schedule. You may need to plan your travel around your leuprolide injections.

Some forms may require additional equipment

Some forms may require additional equipment.

Eligard and leuprolide injection solution:

You can inject this medication yourself at home. In addition to the medicine, you may need to purchase:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • a puncture-resistant container to safely dispose of your needles

Clinical monitoring

Before starting and during treatment with leuprolide, your doctor may do some monitoring.

If you’re taking this drug for prostate cancer, your doctor may check your:

  • testosterone levels and prostate specific antigen (PSA) to make sure leuprolide is working for you 
  • blood sugar levels and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) to check if you have diabetes
  • heart function. Your doctor may do an electrocardiogram to check your heart.

If your child is taking this drug for central precocious puberty (CPP), your doctor may check your child’s:

  • levels of sex hormones
  • height
  • bone growth

If you’re taking this drug for endometriosis or uterine fibroids, your doctor may check your:

  • liver function
  • cholesterol levels

Insurance

Some insurance companies may require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for leuprolide injection.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does leuprolide Cost?

Injectable suspension

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for leuprolide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 2, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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