Eligard Warnings and Precautions
Specific Precautions and Warnings With EligardSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
- This medication can cause a temporary initial increase in testosterone levels, which could cause an increase in symptoms, such as bone pain and difficulty urinating. After a week or two, testosterone levels should decrease and your symptoms should improve. Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms do not improve within a few weeks, or if you develop any new symptoms after starting Eligard.
- If your cancer has spread to your spine or urinary tract, you may be at risk for urinary tract blockage or pressure in the spine in the first few weeks of treatment. These problems can lead to paralysis and death. Therefore, your healthcare provider will want to monitor you more closely when you begin treatment with Eligard. If you notice any worsening or new symptoms, contact your healthcare provider right away.
- Your healthcare provider will periodically monitor your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and testosterone levels with blood tests to make sure the medication is working. You may also need monitoring to check for potential Eligard side effects. Make sure to keep all your appointments with your healthcare provider.
- Eligard may decrease bone density, which could increase your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. People who already have osteoporosis, or who have risk factors for osteoporosis, such as people who regularly use alcohol or tobacco or who have a family history of this condition, may be at greater risk.
- In rare cases, this medication can cause a condition known as pituitary apoplexy, which occurs when tissue of the pituitary gland becomes damaged and dies, leading to pituitary gland failure. Signs of pituitary apoplexy include:
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of this condition.
- Like similar medicines, Eligard can elevate blood sugar levels and increase the risk for diabetes. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood sugar levels while you are taking this medication. If you currently have diabetes, your healthcare provider may have you check your blood glucose more often during treatment.
- Medications similar to Eligard have been reported to cause stroke, heart attack, and sudden cardiac death. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your risk for these problems before starting treatment, and monitor you for heart disease during treatment. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any signs of heart attack or stroke while taking Eligard (see Heart Attack Symptoms and Signs of a Stroke).
- Injection site reactions are common with this drug, and may include redness, pain, stinging, burning, and bruising. These reactions are normally mild and temporary. However, if you develop severe reactions at your injection site, or if your injection site symptoms do not go away, contact your healthcare provider.
- Eligard might cause impotence (erectile dysfunction, or ED) or a decrease in libido (sex drive).
- Eligard may interfere with a few other medications (see Eligard Drug Interactions for more information).
- It is unknown if this medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Eligard and Breastfeeding).
- Eligard is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means it should not be used in pregnant women (see Eligard and Pregnancy).