Your physician has prescribed Lupron. It is given through an injection under the skin or into your muscle.
What is Lupron Injection?
Lupron injection is a man-made hormone that resembles a hormone produced by the brain. It belongs to a class of medicines known as the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GNRH) agonist. It is available in the following forms:
- Injectable solution
- Injectable suspension
This medication may be used in a combination therapy as directed by the doctor. The injectable suspension is only given by a nurse or a medical care provider, whereas injectable solution may be taken at home. However, only use Lupron if you understand injection instructions as well as the prescription dosage. The nurse will inform and show the body areas to give the shot if taking the injection at home, choose a different injection site each time; ensure you note the body site to rotate the injection spot as advised by the nurse. If you need clarification, contact the healthcare provider.
What is the Drug Used For?
The uses of this medication are quite a number such as:
- Treat endometriosis – endometriosis is a painful condition and the drug reliefs the pain, though it’s wanted effects don’t happen overnight; it takes a couple of weeks for the medication to be effective. In a woman, the drug works by reducing estrogen levels if given on a regular basis, thus treating endometriosis and monthly period stops. Nonetheless, you may experience bleeding after Lupron, but the bleeding is normally light. It is crucial to point out that initially, within the first or the second week of treatment, endometriosis symptoms may worsen, but it is only for a short time. This medication is used for six months to treat endometriosis.
- To treat uterine fibroids – fibroids are abnormal growths in the uterus, but they are non-cancerous; the exact cause of fibroids isn’t clear, although many doctors believe that estrogen fuels fibroids. Fibroids can cause anemia, may make it difficult to conceive and if a pregnancy occurs, they can trigger a miscarriage. Due to the decrease in estrogen levels, the tumors shrinks, thus reduction of vaginal bleeding and anemia is prevented.
- Treat central precocious puberty (CPP) in children – if a child has this condition, he or she will get to puberty early – sexual traits develops before they reach puberty and the rate of bone growth is faster. If this medication is given to boys and girls with signs of early puberty, the medicine stops premature development in both sexes, for example, in girls, the growth of breast is slowed.
- Manage cancer for example breast cancer and prostate cancer. Lupron for prostate cancer works by decreasing testosterone hormone, stopping the growth of prostate cancer cells and relieving cancer symptoms such as painful urination.
- Used in during in vitro fertilization (IVF) – during the procedure, the doctor may prescribe this drug for IVF to subdue the capability of your pituitary gland to release FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) as well as LH (luteinizing hormone). Consequently, ovulation can’t occur unless you take gonadotropin, this is crucial in IVF cycle for gonadotropin to trigger several eggs to develop and mature in the Follicles in readiness for egg retrieval. There are a number of ways in which this medication is used during IVF stimulation protocol and the fertility expert is better placed to choose the best protocol that will work for you.
One of the characteristics of uterine fibroids and endometriosis is heavy and painful bleeding. The ability of the medicine to stop periods is a sigh of relief to a patient with such conditions. If on the medication and monthly periods persists, let the doctor know.
What To Remember
- This medication may be administered once per month or once between three to twelve months or as instructed by the health care provider, diarize all the meeting dates and don’t skip any visit at the doctor’s office. The progress of the drug will be monitored. During the visits, urine and blood test will be carried out to detect side effects. Lupron cost will depend on the period you will be on medication.
- Each time you use the medicine at home, use a new needle and syringe. Remember to check the expiry date.
- The medication package contains patient’s instructions; go through the directions to remind yourself on preparation procedure and how the injection is taken, give the shot, dispose the used needles and syringes and store unused Lupron.
- If you suspect you are pregnant while on the drug, stop the medication and notify the doctor with immediate effect. If the medicine is used during pregnancy it can result in a miscarriage or cause birth defects to the fetus.
- The medicine isn’t a method of birth control, even without a monthly period, you can conceive if you have unprotected intercourse. Have a discussion with your physician on the best non-hormonal birth control to use.
As you use this medication, you will come across side effects of depo Lupron injection. Most of the unwanted effects are reversible once the therapy is discontinued. Since the medicine may be used in children, the side effects are different in adults.
- Hot flashes or sweating
- Muscle pain and joint pain
- Mood changes
- Weight changes
- Swelling, redness, and itching on the sites
- Vaginal itching in women
- Decreased libido
- Being forgetful
- Loss of bone density
The mentioned list doesn’t entail all the side effects of this drug, ask the health care provider for a comprehensive list of all the negative effects, both the common and the serious ones. Although the effects of this medication are reversible, some are not, and this includes long-term side effects of Lupron. This means that once you stop the medication, you will continue experiencing the undesirable effects like loss of bone density. You may not recover the bone density lost completely since it (loss of bone density) may lead to bone thinning. Before this drug is prescribed, inform the doctor if you are an alcoholic, have a history of osteoporosis or on medication which may cause bone thinning.