Leuprolide is a hormone medication that comes in the form of an injection. Healthcare providers prescribe it for a number of conditions, including prostate cancer, early puberty, and osteoporosis. Depending on the product being used, it may be given daily, monthly, or once every three to six months. Hot flashes, general body pain, and fatigue are some of the most common side effects.
Leuprolide acetate (Eligard®, Lupron®, Lupron Depot®) is a prescription hormone medication used in the treatment of a variety of hormonal conditions. It is a synthetic form of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a naturally occurring hormone that helps control the production of testosterone and estrogen in the body. It is available as a:
- Subcutaneous injection (an injection just beneath the skin) that is given once a day (Lupron)
- Long-acting subcutaneous injection that is given every one, three, four, or six months (Eligard)
- Long-acting intramuscular injection (an injection into a muscle) that is given every one, three, or four months (Lupron Depot).
All forms of leuprolide are approved to help ease the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. The regular subcutaneous injection (Lupron) and the intramuscular injection (Lupron Depot) are also approved to treat central precocious puberty in children, a condition in which puberty occurs too early. In addition, Lupron Depot can be used to manage endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
(Click What Is Leuprolide Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)