How Lupron Depot Works

Lupron Depot suppresses testosterone that causes
testosterone-dependent prostate cancer cells to grow

Most prostate cancer cells depend on testosterone to grow. Although it is not a cure for advanced prostate cancer, Lupron Depot suppresses the production of testosterone, which slows the growth of prostate cancer cells.1

chart of testosterone level effects

How Lupron Depot is administered

Lupron Depot is a prescription drug that must be given by a member of your treatment team in your doctor’s office. It’s given as a single intramuscular injection, which is an injection into one of your muscles, rather than under the skin or into a vein. Your doctor will determine the most appropriate injection site for you.1

Possible injection sites include:

  1. Upper arms
  2. Upper lateral thighs
  3. Outer thighs
  4. Buttocks

You and your doctor will decide which dosage of Lupron Depot is right for you. Depending on which dose you are prescribed, you will need to return for an injection every 6 months, every 4 months, every 3 months, or every month. Each dose of Lupron Depot works to continuously suppress testosterone throughout your treatment period.1,2

What to expect during Lupron Depot therapy

While Lupron Depot ultimately reduces testosterone in your body, don’t be alarmed if during the first few weeks of therapy your testosterone level increases. This is normal. As a result, you may experience temporary new or worsening symptoms of prostate cancer, including urinary symptoms and/or bone pain. But, because every man is different, it is not possible to predict exactly what will happen in your case. After a few weeks, your testosterone level will decrease.1

Testosterone levels are one way for your doctor to determine if Lupron Depot is working. Make sure to have your PSA level tested on a regular basis and record your results. This is an excellent way for you to monitor your prostate health.1

  • Do Not Take If
    • You should not take LUPRON DEPOT if you have had any type of allergic reaction to LUPRON DEPOT or similar drugs.
    • Females who are or may become pregnant should not receive any formulation of LUPRON DEPOT.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • Before Starting
    • Talk to your doctor about your medical history and all other medicines that you take.
    • Increased risk of heart attack, sudden death, and stroke can occur in men using LUPRON DEPOT. Discuss this increased risk with your doctor before starting treatment and report any new symptoms during treatment.
    • LUPRON DEPOT can affect the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor must determine if the benefits of using LUPRON DEPOT outweigh the risks, especially if you have congenital long QT syndrome, abnormal blood tests for electrolytes, congestive heart failure, or if you take medications to regulate your heartbeat.
    • Convulsions have been observed in patients taking leuprolide acetate, including patients who have a history of seizures, epilepsy, or brain disorders (related to blood vessels, nerves, or tumors), and in those taking medications associated with convulsions. Convulsions have also been reported in patients without any of these conditions.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • What to Expect
    • LUPRON DEPOT causes an increase in testosterone during the first few weeks of therapy.
      • Some men may experience temporary new or worsening symptoms of prostate cancer, including urinary symptoms and/or bone pain.
      • If your cancer has spread to the spine or urinary tract, urinary blockage or pressure on the spine may occur and can sometimes lead to paralysis, which may be life-threatening.
      • You may require close medical attention during the first few weeks of therapy. Notify your doctor if you develop any new or worsened symptoms after beginning LUPRON DEPOT treatment.
    • High blood sugar and increased risk of diabetes can occur in men using LUPRON DEPOT. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar during treatment.
    • Regular blood tests are needed to check your testosterone and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
    • LUPRON DEPOT may cause impotence.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • Side Effects
    • The most common side effects of LUPRON DEPOT include hot flashes/sweats; injection site reactions/pain; general pain; swelling; testicular shrinkage; difficulty urinating; fatigue/weakness; headache; and joint, gastrointestinal, and respiratory problems.

    For more information, talk with your healthcare provider.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • Helpful Resources

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.

    View the full Prescribing Information for LUPRON DEPOT at www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/
    lupronuro_pi.pdf
    .

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

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Safety Facts
  • LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for 1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month, 30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month administration are prescribed for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
  • LUPRON DEPOT is a prescription medication that must be administered in your doctor’s office.
Reference:
LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for 1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month, 30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

References:

  1. Lupron Depot® [package insert].
  2. Data on file, AbbVie Inc.
  3. National Cancer Institute. Treatment choices for men with early-stage prostate cancer. Available at:
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/treatment/prostate/understanding-prostate-cancer-treatment.
    Accessed July 27, 2012.