Drugs A - Z

Leuprolide Acetate Implant

It is a man-made protein that acts like a natural hormone in the body

Generic Name: leuprolide  |  Brand Name: Eligard

Brand Names: Lupron Depot-Gyn, Viadur, Lupron, Lupron Depot-Ped, Eligard, Lupron Depot

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 10/20/2010] ISSUE: Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) agonists will have new safety information added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the drug labels. This new information warns about increased risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, sudden cardiac death, stroke) in men receiving these medications for the treatment of prostate cancer.

BACKGROUND: GnRH agonists are approved to treat the symptoms (palliative treatment) of advanced prostate cancer. The benefits of GnRH agonist use for earlier stages of prostate cancer that have not spread (non-metastatic prostate cancer) have not been established. FDA’s notification to manufacturers of GnRH agonists to add this safety information is based on the Agency’s review of several published studies. Most of the studies reviewed by FDA reported small but statistically significant increased risks of diabetes and/or cardiovascular events in patients receiving GnRH agonists.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Healthcare professionals should evaluate patients for risk factors for these diseases and carefully weigh the benefits and risks of using GnRH agonists before determining appropriate treatment for prostate cancer. Patients who are receiving treatment with GnRH agonists should undergo periodic monitoring of blood glucose and/or glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Healthcare professionals should also monitor patients for signs and symptoms suggestive of development of cardiovascular disease and manage according to current clinical practice. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

[Posted 05/03/2010] FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients of FDA’s preliminary and ongoing review which suggests an increase in the risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases in men treated with GnRH agonists, drugs that suppress the production of testosterone, a hormone that is involved in the growth of prostate cancer.

Most of the studies reviewed by FDA reported small, but statistically significant increased risks of diabetes and/or cardiovascular events in patients receiving GnRH agonists. FDA’s review is ongoing and the agency has not made any conclusions about GnRH agonists and whether they increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in patients receiving these medications for prostate cancer.

Healthcare professionals and patients should be aware of these potential safety issues and carefully weigh the benefits and risks of GnRH agonists when determining treatment choices. FDA recommends that patients receiving GnRH agonists should be monitored for development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Patients should not stop their treatment with GnRH agonists unless told to do so by their healthcare professional.

Some GnRH agonists are also used in women and in children for other indications than those above. There are no known comparable studies that have evaluated the risk of diabetes and heart disease in women and children taking GnRH agonists. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

LEUPROLIDE (loo PROE lide) is a man-made protein that acts like a natural hormone in the body. It decreases testosterone in men and decreases estrogen in women. In men, this medicine is used to treat advanced prostate cancer. In women, some forms of this medicine may be used to treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or other female hormone-related problems.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • diabetes
  • heart disease or previous heart attack
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • osteoporosis
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • spinal cord metastasis
  • stroke
  • tobacco smoker
  • unusual vaginal bleeding (women)
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to leuprolide, benzyl alcohol, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a muscle or for implant or injection under the skin. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting. The specific product will determine how it will be given to you. Make sure you understand which product you receive and how often you will receive it.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss a dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

Depot injections: Depot injections are given either once-monthly, every 12 weeks, every 16 weeks, or every 24 weeks depending on the product you are prescribed. The product you are prescribed will be based on if you are male or female, and your condition. Make sure you understand your product and dosing.

Implant dosing: The implant is removed and replaced once a year. The implant is only used in males.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • chasteberry

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • herbal or dietary supplements, like black cohosh or DHEA
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
  • male hormones, like testosterone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. During the first weeks of treatment, your symptoms may get worse, but then will improve as you continue your treatment. You may get hot flashes, increased bone pain, increased difficulty passing urine, or an aggravation of nerve symptoms. Discuss these effects with your doctor or health care professional, some of them may improve with continued use of this medicine.

Female patients may experience a menstrual cycle or spotting during the first months of therapy with this medicine. If this continues, contact your doctor or health care professional.


Last Updated: June 21, 2011
Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.
Advertisement