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Specific Warnings and Precautions With Lupron Depot

Some precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
  • The levels of sex hormones in your body will increase in the first few weeks of treatment before they decrease. This can cause an initial worsening of symptoms, such as pain and difficulty urinating in men with prostate cancer, and signs of puberty in children. Contact your healthcare provider if these symptoms do not go away within the first few weeks of treatment, or if they are severe or bothersome.
  • If your cancer has spread to your spine or urinary tract, your healthcare provider may need to closely monitor you in the first few weeks of treatment, when your testosterone levels are high. You may be at an increased risk for potentially serious problems, such as urinary tract blockage or pressure in the spine, which could lead to paralysis and even death.
  • It is important to keep all of your (or your child's) healthcare appointments. Missing doses can cause symptoms to return. In addition, your healthcare provider will get routine blood tests, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and testosterone levels in men and hormone levels in children, to make sure the medicine is working. Your child's healthcare provider will also measure your child's bone age every 6 to 12 months.
  • Lupron Depot may cause impotence (also called erectile dysfunction, or ED) in men.
  • Decreased bone density (bone thinning) can occur during Lupron Depot treatment, especially after six months of use, and can lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures. Certain people have an increased risk for this side effect, including those who:
    • Already have thin bones (osteoporosis or osteopenia)
    • Regularly use alcohol or tobacco
    • Have a family history of osteoporosis
    • Use medications that affect bone health, such as corticosteroids and antiseizure medications.
  • In rare cases, Lupron Depot may cause a condition known as pituitary apoplexy, which occurs when tissue from the pituitary gland becomes damaged and dies, leading to pituitary gland failure. Signs of pituitary apoplexy include:
    • A sudden, severe headache
    • Weakness of the muscles around the eye
    • Changes in vision
    • Low blood pressure
    • Confusion. 
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of these symptoms. 
  • This medication can affect memory and worsen or cause depression. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience depression during treatment. If your child is receiving Lupron Depot, contact your child's healthcare provider if you notice mood or behavioral changes in your child.
  • There have been reports of seizures in people taking this medication or other similar medications. Some of these cases occurred in people who had never had a seizure before. Report any seizures to a healthcare provider right away.
  • Tell your child's healthcare provider if your child continues to have signs of puberty after the first one to two months of treatment. Report any menstrual bleeding or spotting in girls beyond the first two months of treatment.
  • Lupron Depot has been reported to cause high blood sugar levels and an increased risk for developing diabetes in men. Your healthcare provider should monitor your blood sugar levels during treatment.
  • Medications like Lupron Depot have been reported to increase the risk for stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in men. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your risk for these problems before starting treatment and periodically thereafter. Make sure you know the warning signs of heart attack and stroke, and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the symptoms (see Heart Attack Symptoms and Signs of a Stroke).
  • You should know that Lupron Depot is not a form of birth control in women. If you are a woman of childbearing potential, you should use a nonhormonal birth control, such as condoms, an intrauterine device (IUD), or a diaphragm, during treatment.
  • Not all Lupron Depot formulations are approved for use in women. Women should only use Lupron Depot 3.75 mg or the 11.25 mg 3-Month formulation. At this time, there is no 4-Month Lupron Depot formulation approved for use in women.
  • This product may react with a few other medications (see Lupron Depot Drug Interactions for more information).
  • It is unknown if Lupron Depot passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to beginning treatment (see Lupron Depot and Breastfeeding).
  • Lupron Depot is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. It should not be used in women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant (see Lupron Depot and Pregnancy).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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