Prostate Cancer Home > Lupron Depot and Pregnancy

Because the drug can have harmful effects on a fetus, women who are pregnant should avoid Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate depot). In addition, women should make sure they are not pregnant before starting treatment. This medication interferes with the production of estrogen, which is important for a healthy pregnancy, so there are no circumstances when it would be given to a woman who is expecting a child.

Can Pregnant Women Use Lupron Depot?

Lupron Depot® (leuprolide acetate depot) is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. It decreases the production of testosterone in men and estrogen in women. Women who are pregnant, or who may become pregnant, should not use Lupron Depot because it can harm the developing fetus.

What Is Pregnancy Category X?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medicines that show problems to the fetus in animal studies or in human use. With this category, the potential risks clearly outweigh the potential benefits.
Lupron Depot has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. However, it has been studied in animals. In these animal studies, the drug increased the risk for birth defects, including problems with development of the spine, when given to pregnant rabbits. It also caused miscarriage and reduced fetal body weight when given in very high doses to pregnant rats and rabbits.
As stated, Lupron Depot decreases the production of estrogen, which is important for a healthy pregnancy. Estrogen supports uterine growth and helps maintain the lining of the uterus in pregnant women. As a result, using Lupron Depot during pregnancy may lead to miscarriage.
Based on the results of animal studies and the effects of Lupron Depot in the body, this medication should not be used in pregnant women or in women who may become pregnant. Women of childbearing potential who take Lupron Depot should use a nonhormonal method of birth control during treatment. In addition, pregnancy should be ruled out before starting treatment.
Women who receive this medication normally stop having monthly periods. However, this drug should not be used as a form of birth control. It is still possible to become pregnant while using Lupron Depot.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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