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Leuprolide

About your treatment

Your doctor has ordered the drug leuprolide to help treat your illness. The drug can be injected into a muscle or under the skin once a month or every 3 months. It also can be injected daily under the skin. The long-acting form of leuprolide (given once a month or every 3 months) is slowly released into the bloodstream during that period.

This medication is used to treat:

  • prostate cancer in men
  • endometriosis in women
  • early onset of puberty in children
  • uterine fibroids in women

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Leuprolide is in a class of drugs known as gonadotropin-releasing (LH-RH) hormone analogs. It stops the production of testosterone in men and estrogen in females. Blocking the production of these hormones is desirable because they stimulate the growth of the diseased cells involved in prostate cancer and endometriosis. When the medication is stopped, these hormone levels return to normal.

Precautions

Before taking leuprolide,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to leuprolide or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had abnormal vaginal bleeding or liver disease.
  • you should know that leuprolide may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. Amenorrhea (stopping of the monthly menstrual cycle) and vaginal discharge or bleeding may occur with leuprolide therapy. This effect occurs in women who receive 10 weeks or more of therapy and have not been through menopause. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking this drug. You should not plan to have children while receiving hormone therapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Leuprolide may harm the fetus.

Side effects

Although side effects from leuprolide are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • hot flashes or sudden sweating
  • night sweats
  • blurred vision
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • decrease in sexual desire or ability
  • decrease in appetite
  • itching, swelling, and redness at injection site
  • numbness or tingling of the feet or lower legs
  • constipation
  • anxiety
  • unstable mood

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • vomiting
  • rapid heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever
  • chills
  • painful urination
  • testicular or prostate pain
  • pain in the legs or groin

Storage conditions

Keep leuprolide in the container it came in and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight, excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not allow leuprolide to freeze. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Special instructions

  • In men, leuprolide may cause increased bone pain and increased difficulty in urinating during the first few weeks of treatment. These effects may result from an initial increase in testosterone. Notify your doctor should this occur.
  • Continue to take leuprolide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking leuprolide without talking to your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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