Leuprolide Acetate

Other Names: Lupron®

About This Drug

Leuprolide acetate is used to treat cancer and other disorders. It is given as a shot under the skin (subcutaneously) or in your muscle (intramuscularly).

Possible Side Effects

  • Hot flashes or sudden skin flushing may happen. You may also feel warm or red.
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue (low energy, feeling weak)
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Increased sweating
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Gastrointestinal (GI tract) disorders. Your mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestine (small and large) and rectum make up your gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Trouble passing urine
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Pain
  • Pain in the joints
  • Testicular shrinkage 
  • Injection site reaction - you may get a rash, swelling or bruising on your skin may get red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection.

Note: Not all possible side effects are included above

Warnings and Precautions

  • Tumor flare phenomenon. During the first few weeks, typical signs and symptoms of your cancer may worsen. You also may have an increase in bone pain. In men, obstruction of urine flow and compression of spinal cord can happen very rarely. Let your doctor know if you have any difficulties in urinating, moving your bowels, or numbness, tingling, or pain in your legs and feet.
  • Abnormal heart beat/EKG
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke in men. Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Blood sugar levels may change. If you have diabetes, changes may need to be made to your diabetes medication.
  • Seizure. Common symptoms of a seizure can include confusion, blacking out, passing out, loss of hearing or vision, blurred vision, unusual smells or tastes (such as burning rubber), trouble talking, tremors or shaking in parts or all of the body, repeated body movements, tense muscles that do not relax, and loss of control of urine and bowels. There are other less common symptoms of seizures. If you or your family member suspects you are having a seizure, call 911 right away.

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team. 

Treating Side Effects

  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
  • If you have diabetes, keep good control of your blood sugar level. Tell your nurse or doctor if your glucose levels are higher or lower than normal. 
  • While you are getting this drug, please tell your nurse right away if you get a rash, swelling or bruising on your skin gets red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of leuprolide acetate with food.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs
    and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your
    treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back or it can be constant. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Symptoms of a seizure such as confusion, blacking out, passing out, loss of hearing or vision, blurred vision, unusual smells or tastes (such as burning rubber), trouble talking, tremors or shaking in parts or all of the body, repeated body movements, tense muscles that do not relax, and loss of control of urine and bowels. If you or your family member suspects you are having a seizure, call 911 right away.
  • Pain or burning when you pass urine
  • Difficulty urinating 
  • Feeling like you have to pass urine often, but not much comes out when you do.
  • Abnormal blood sugar
  • Unusual thirst, passing urine often, headache, sweating, shakiness, irritability 
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • While you are getting this drug, please tell your nurse right away if you get a rash, swelling or bruising on your skin gets red, warm, itchy, painful at the site of your infusion or injection
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of childbearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant. 
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: In men and women both, this drug may affect your ability to have children in the future. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking. 

Revised May 2018

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2018. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.