Prostate Cancer Home > Lupron Depot Side Effects

Although side effects with Lupron Depot are possible, they can vary between adults and children. For example, in clinical studies, adults reported nausea, injection site reactions, and hot flashes. Children reported mood swings, vaginal bleeding, and acne. Fortunately, most adverse reactions are mild; however, serious problems, such as pus at the injection site and chest pain, should be reported to a healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Lupron Depot Side Effects

As with any medicine, Lupron Depot® (leuprolide acetate depot) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Lupron Depot. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects With Lupron Depot

Lupron Depot has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials in adults and children. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking Lupron Depot were carefully documented and compared to another group of people taking a different medication or placebo (an injection with no active ingredient).
As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the other groups.
In these studies, common reactions to Lupron Depot in adults included:
  • Hot flashes -- in up to 84 percent of people
  • Injection site reactions -- up to 37.5 percent
  • General pain -- up to 32.7 percent
  • Headache -- up to 32 percent
  • Vaginal dryness, irritation, itching, or discharge -- up to 28 percent
  • Depression or mood swings -- up to 22 percent
  • Swelling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet (edema) -- up to 20.8 percent
  • Testicle atrophy -- up to 20.2 percent
  • Urinary problems -- up to 16.7 percent
  • Joint or muscle pain -- up to 16.3 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in 1 to 16 percent of people, included:
  • Stomach and intestinal problems (gastrointestinal or GI problems)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Skin reactions
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Decreased libido (sex drive)
  • Dizziness
  • Respiratory (breathing) problems
  • Acne
  • Neuromuscular problems (problems with the nerves and muscles)
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness or tingling and pricking sensations of the skin
  • Dehydration
  • Breast tenderness, pain, or enlargement
  • Impotence (erectile dysfunction, or ED)
  • Infection of any kind
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive hair growth in women
  • Memory problems.
Common side effects of Lupron Depot in children included:
  • Injection site reactions -- in up to 9 percent of children
  • Mood changes -- up to 5 percent
  • Vaginal bleeding, irritation, or discharge -- up to 3 percent
  • General pain -- up to 3 percent
  • Headache -- up to 3 percent
  • Acne -- up to 3 percent
  • Rash -- up to 3 percent
  • Vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels), which could cause flushing (sudden redness of the face and neck) -- up to 2 percent.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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