The Fertility Center | Blog

Lupron: everything you need to know

By Dr. Jesús Alberto Félix Atondo

Women who are prescribed hormonal therapies in order to treat fertility problems, as well as diseases such as breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer, and endometriosis, are treated with Lupron either as intramuscular or subcutaneous injections to inhibit stimulation ovary and “store” more eggs.

If you were prescribed Lupron and you don’t know what it is for, continue reading because today we will answer all your questions.
Contact us
 

What is Lupron?

Lupron is a drug indicated as hormonal therapy. Also known as leuprolide, Lupron Depot or Eligard. It is an LHRH antagonist, which prevents luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) from being produced by the pituitary gland so that the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. It is also an antagonist of nHLG, gonadotropin releasing hormone.

This means that ovarian function will be stopped as part of breast cancer treatment, or risk reduction in women at high risk of developing this type of cancer. That is, the production of estrogen in the ovaries is stopped to cause temporary infertility, which will return once the patient stops the drug.

Lubron is also used alone or in combination with another medicine called norethindrone as part of the endometriosis treatment, a condition in which tissue similar to the endometrium covers the uterus or womb and grows out of it. This condition usually affects the ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the tissue that lines the pelvis, causing such severe pain that it becomes incapacitating, in addition to causing abundant or irregular menstruation.

Lupron is also used to treat anemia, a low red blood cell count compared to a normal value, caused by uterine fibroids, noncancerous lumps in the uterus.
 

Lupron for IVF

Lupron is used to prepare the female body for egg retrieval for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycles to improve the quality and quantity of eggs available for fertilization, either for egg donation to be fertilized or frozen, or, to prepare the uterus lining (endometrium) for embryo transfer.

In this case, once the follicles grow enough, the specialist stops the Lupron doses and applies a gonadotropin injection to finish preparing the female body and help it return to normal.
 

How is Lupron applied?

Lupron is a drug that is injected intramuscularly in an office or clinic once a month, or every 3, 4 or 6 months since it is a long acting drug. It will depend on the objectives that the specialist wants to achieve.
 

Side effects

Sometimes patients notice a small lump where they received the injection, especially with the first dose. However, that lump disappears on its own, without having to be rubbed or scratched.

Lupron can cause an increase in the levels of some hormones in the weeks following application. The specialist will constantly monitor the patient to detect the appearance of symptoms during the drug´s period of action.

The most common side effects are:

  • Fatigue
  • Sensation of hot flashes
  • Sweating
  • Body weakness
  • Tenderness and/or change in breast size
  • Vaginal discharge and/or itching
  • Mild vaginal bleeding
  • Decrease in sexual desire
  • Swelling, pain, burning, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs tingling.
  • Changes in body weight
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Flu-like symptoms: runny nose, sore throat, and cough
  • Stomach ache
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Frequent mood swings that cause difficulty controlling emotions
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Acne

Tell your doctor if you experience:

  • Difficulty or slow speech
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rash or hives
  • Fever
  • Dizziness and/or fainting
  • Inability to move an arm or leg
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain or difficulty urinating
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decreased state of consciousness
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty moving the eyes
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

 

Contraindications

Pregnant or lactating women cannot be treated with Lupron. Inform your doctor if you consume vitamins, nutritional supplements or natural products, as well as any medication, especially those indicated for the treatment of irregular heartbeats, seizures and serotonin inhibitors, since they interact with the drug.

If you suffer from abnormal vaginal bleeding, the specialist will probably not prescribe Lupron. As well as if you have a history of osteoporosis, long term alcoholism or smoking, depression, brain tumors, seizures, diabetes, urinary obstruction, cancer spread to the spine, cerebrovascular or heart disease, or low potassium, calcium or magnesium blood concentration.
 

Pregnancy and Lupron

Before starting Lupron treatment, your specialist will probably order a pregnancy test to make sure you’re not pregnant, and recommend a reliable non hormonal contraceptive to prevent pregnancy during treatment, which is unlikely. However, if you have become pregnant, you will need to contact your doctor immediately, as Lupron can cause harm to the fetus.

We hope this information will be useful to you. If you are looking for an effective treatment to fulfill your dream of having a baby, it is time to contact the fertility specialists at The Fertility Center, where we will gladly help you!
Contact us

Facebook Comments

Dr. Jesús Alberto Félix Atondo

Gynecology, Obstetrics and Biology of Human Reproduction Surgeon at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, specialist Biologist of Human Reproduction by the Mexican Institute of Infertility.

    Service of Interest*:


    Questions or clarifications calls the 858 867 4090

    Call me now!