Leuprolide is used to treat advanced prostate cancer in men. It is not a cure. Most types of prostate cancer need the male hormone testosterone to grow and spread. Leuprolide works by reducing the amount of testosterone that the body makes. This helps slow or stop the growth of cancer cells and helps relieve symptoms such as painful/difficult urination. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treatment.
This medication is given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional. It is given as directed by your doctor, usually once a month (every 4 weeks). This product slowly releases the medication into your blood over a 1-month period.
If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional and the product package. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Wash your hands and properly mix the medication. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. Inject each dose within 2 hours of mixing. If more than 2 hours have passed since mixing, throw out the product and prepare another syringe/dose.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to receive the next dose.
During the first few weeks of treatment, your hormone levels will actually go up before they go down. This is a normal response to this medication. Your symptoms may get worse for a few weeks. If you have prostate cancer that has spread to the spine or caused urinary blockage, you may require closer monitoring by your doctor, especially when you first start treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you have any bone pain, numbness/tingling/weakness of the arms/legs, blood in the urine, painful/difficult urination, unusual weakness, or inability to move.
Hot flashes (flushing), increased sweating, night sweats, tiredness, swelling of the ankles/feet, increased urination at night, dizziness, or mild burning/pain/bruising at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Infrequently, shrinking of the testicles, breast tenderness/swelling, or reduced sexual interest/ability may also occur as a result of lowered testosterone levels. Talk to your doctor if these effects occur.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: new/worsening bone pain, easily broken bones, increased thirst/urination, mental/mood changes (such as depression, thoughts of suicide, mood swings, aggression in children).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating), signs of a stroke (such as weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes, confusion), seizures, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
Rarely, a very serious problem with your pituitary gland (pituitary apoplexy) may occur, usually in the first hour to 2 weeks after your first injection. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: sudden severe headache, sudden severe mental/mood changes (such as severe confusion, difficulty concentrating), vision changes, severe vomiting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using leuprolide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Leuprolide may weaken your bones and increase your risk for bone loss (osteoporosis) if used for a long time. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have osteoporosis or if you have any of the following risk factors for osteoporosis: long-term alcohol use, smoking, family history of osteoporosis and broken bones, use of certain medications (for example, corticosteroids such as prednisone, certain anti-seizure drugs such as phenytoin).
Leuprolide may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using leuprolide, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using leuprolide safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. It is important to prevent pregnancy while using this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss using reliable forms of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, diaphragm with spermicide) while using this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood testosterone level, PSA blood test, blood glucose) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.Information last revised December 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet