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Chemotherapy and other systemic treatment regimens may change due to COVID-19. Find out more at Systemic Treatment Regimens During COVID-19.

leuprolide

( LOO-pro-lied )
Funding:
ODB - General Benefit
  • leuprolide - long-acting formulation
Other Name(s): Lupron® (AbbVie), Lupron Depot® (AbbVie), Eligard® (Sanofi Aventis)
Appearance: suspension or solution for injection

Medication Information Sheet
leuprolide (LOO-pro-lied)
This document provides general information about your medication. It does not replace the advice of your health care professional. Always discuss your therapy with your health care professional and refer to the package insert for more details.

Other Name: Short- acting: Lupron®; long- acting: Lupron Depot®, Eligard®

Appearance:
suspension or solution for injection

What is this medication for?
  • For treating prostate cancer and breast cancer.
What should I do before I have this medication?
  • Tell your doctor if you have/had significant medical condition(s), especially if you have / had heart problems (including irregular heartbeat), anemia (low red blood cells), diabetes, bone loss or thinning, seizures or have any allergies.
  • People with cancer have a higher risk of getting other cancers or developing blood clots. Some cancer medications may increase these risks, especially if used for a long period of time. Discuss any concerns about this medication with your health care team.
How will this medication affect sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding?
  • While this may not be directly applicable to you, the use of this medication in men or women may cause harm to the unborn baby if pregnancy occurs. Let your health care team know if you or your partner is pregnant, becomes pregnant during treatment, or if you are breastfeeding
  • If there is ANY chance that you or your partner may become pregnant, you and your partner together must:  ►Use 2 effective forms of birth control at the same time while using this drug:  Keep using birth control until 6 months after the last dose (general recommendation). Discuss with your healthcare team.
  • Do not breastfeed while using this drug.
  • Effects on Fertility: Probable
  • Effects on Fertility: Probable
How is this medication given?
  • Eligard® is injected under the skin by your doctor or nurse. 
  • Lupron Depot® (long-acting) is injected into muscle by your doctor or nurse.
  • Lupron® (short-acting) is injected under the skin, usually by yourself or your caregiver.
  • Various dosing schedules are used - check with your health care professional about how often this medication is given to you. 
  • Be sure to visit your doctor for your repeat injection. Speak to your health care professional to see what drugs and supplies you need to bring for your next visit.
 
What else do I need to know while on this medication?
  • This medication can interact with other medications and can result in the treatment not working as well or cause severe side effects.

  • Make sure your health care team knows about all your medications (prescription, over-the-counter, herbals and supplements). Check with your health care team before starting or stopping any of them.

  • For mild aches and pain:

    • You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) tablets. Ask your health care team about the right dose for you. 
    • Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®) or aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA), including low dose aspirin for heart conditions, may increase your chance of bleeding.
    • Talk to your health care team before you start or stop these medications.
    • If you feel unwell, take your temperature before taking any of these medications. They may hide a fever. 
    • Talk to your health care team or go to the closest emergency room right away if you have a fever.  See the Fever pamphlet for more information.
  • Drinking alcohol and smoking during your treatment may increase some side effects and make your medication less effective. Speak to your health care team about smoking and drinking alcohol while on treatment.

How should I safely store this medication?
  • Keep this medication in the original packaging at room temperature in a dry place, away from heat and light. Keep out of sight and reach of children and pets.

  • Do not throw out any unused medications at home. Bring them to your pharmacy to be thrown away safely.

  • Follow storage instructions as noted on the packaging. 
What are the side effects of this medication?

Common side effects usually occur in more than 1 out of every 10 patients. Other side effects are less common, but may be severe. You may not have all of the side effects below. You may have side effects that are not listed.

Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
More Common Side Effects

Headache; mild joint or muscle pain; flu-like symptoms

  • Take painkiller(s) as directed, if given to you by your doctor.
  • Otherwise, take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) tablets as needed for mild aches and pains. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the right dose for you.
  • Rest often, but may try light exercise.
Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Mild swelling in arms and legs; puffiness

  • Keep your feet up when sitting. Eat a low-salt diet.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing.

 

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Tiredness

  • Rest often; take naps if needed. Move slowly when getting up.
  • Eat well-balanced meals and drink plenty of fluids. Light exercise may help.
  • Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery when feeling tired.

 

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Reactions at the injection site (redness, burning, stinging, pain, itchiness, mild rash or swelling)

  • Usually mild and resolves after a few days

 

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Rash

  • Stay out of the sun; wear sunblock, a hat and cover exposed skin.
  • Use daily moisturizer.

 

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Flare of symptoms (pain at tumour area, increased bone or back pain, difficulty passing urine or poor bladder/bowel control)

  • Increase of prostate size and worsening of cancer symptoms - may be severe
  • Usually happens within the first 2 weeks of starting treatment.
  • If you have severe bone pain, worsening problems with passing urine, severe numbness or trouble with movements, call your doctor right away.
Get emergency medical help right away

Symptoms of having low testosterone levels

  • Impotence
  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Decrease in sexual desire
  • Bladder infections
  • Mood changes (for example, feeling depressed)
  • Osteoporosis

Increased sweating, feelings of warmth (hot flashes)

  • Avoid triggers such as alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee, cola), chocolate, hot & spicy food, stress and heat.
  • Exercise regularly. Keep cool; dress lightly, drink plenty of water. May improve over time.
Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
Less Common Side Effects, but may be Severe

Heart problems
(irregular heartbeat, chest pain, fainting, swelling, shortness of breath)

Get emergency medical help right away

Blockage of an artery (blood vessel) in your heart, brain, chest, belly, or limbs; this may result in stroke (sudden loss of vision, speech, or the use of your limb(s)) or heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath), or pain in chest, belly or limb

Blood clot (limb pain or swelling, hardened vein in limb), may occur in lungs (sudden start of coughing, breathing problems, chest pain, coughing blood)

Get emergency medical help right away

Liver problems (tender right side of belly, yellowish skin or eyes, dark urine)

Get emergency medical help right away

Bleeding from the digestive system
(Watch for vomit with bright red blood or coffee-grounds, or stools with bright red blood or which looks black/tarry)

Get emergency medical help right away

Blocked intestines
(severe belly pain, bloating, severe constipation)

Get emergency medical help right away

High blood sugar (increased thirst, urinates frequently)

  • Check your own blood sugar if you are diabetic.
Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Allergic reaction (severe rash, itchiness, swollen face, lip or tongue, chest or throat tightness; may occur during or shortly after the drug is given)

Get emergency medical help right away

Bone pain; Bone loss

Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Bleeding or blood flow problems in the pituitary gland
(sudden severe headache, vision changes, loss of consciousness)

 

Get emergency medical help right away

Lung problems
(increased cough, breathing problems, chest pain, coughing blood)

Get emergency medical help right away
Seizures Get emergency medical help right away

Mood changes; Having a low mood that doesn't seem to improve (may be severe)

  • Try talking with family and friends. Maintain proper nutrition, exercise, and good sleep habits.
  • If this lasts more than 2 weeks or have suicidal thoughts, contact your doctor.
Contact your health care team if no improvement or if severe

For more links on how to manage your symptoms go to https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/symptom-management.

The information set out in the medication information sheets, regimen information sheets, and symptom management information (for patients) contained in the Drug Formulary (the "Formulary") is intended to be used by health professionals and patients for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or side effects of a certain drug, nor should it be used to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for a given condition.

A patient should always consult a healthcare provider if he/she has any questions regarding the information set out in the Formulary. The information in the Formulary is not intended to act as or replace medical advice and should not be relied upon in any such regard. All uses of the Formulary are subject to clinical judgment and actual prescribing patterns may not follow the information provided in the Formulary.