"Feb. 1, 2012 -- A new drug appears to be effective for shrinking uterine fibroids and controlling the heavy menstrual bleeding they often cause, according to new research from Europe.
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Lupron Consumer (continued)
Infrequently in men, shrinking of the testicles, breast tenderness/swelling, and reduced sexual interest/ability may also occur as a result of lowered testosterone levels. Talk to your doctor if these effects occur.
In girls, when this medication is used regularly, it is expected that the menstrual period will stop (or decrease to light bleeding/spotting during the first 2 months). Tell your doctor promptly if regular periods continue after 2 months of treatment with leuprolide.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
During the first few weeks of treatment, your hormone levels will actually increase before they decrease. This is a normal response by your body to this drug. This may result in a temporary increase in your symptoms for a few weeks.
In men, an increase in testosterone levels at the beginning of treatment may sometimes result in new or worsening symptoms for a few weeks. If you have prostate cancer that has spread to the spine or caused urinary blockage, you may require closer monitoring by your doctor, especially when you first start treatment. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects: bone pain, numbness/tingling/weakness of the arms/legs, blood in the urine, painful/difficult urination, unusual weakness, inability to move.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, thoughts of suicide, mood swings, aggression in children), new/worsening bone pain (in adults), easily broken bones (in adults), increased thirst/urination.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest/jaw/left arm pain, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, seizures, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
Rarely, a very serious problem with your pituitary gland (pituitary apoplexy) may occur, usually in the first hour to 2 weeks after your first injection. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: sudden severe headache, sudden severe mental/mood changes (e.g., severe confusion, difficulty concentrating), vision changes, severe vomiting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Lupron (leuprolide acetate injection) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before using leuprolide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as the preservative benzyl alcohol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart disease (such as heart attack), stroke, high cholesterol.
In adults, leuprolide may weaken your bones and increase your risk for bone loss (osteoporosis) if used for a long time. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have osteoporosis or if you have any of the following risk factors for osteoporosis: long-term alcohol use, smoking, family history of osteoporosis and broken bones, use of certain medications (e.g., corticosteroids such as prednisone, certain anti-seizure drugs such as phenytoin).
Leuprolide may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using leuprolide, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using leuprolide safely.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
Leuprolide must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control. Non-hormonal birth control methods (e.g., condoms, diaphragm with spermicide) are recommended during treatment with leuprolide.
It is not known if leuprolide passes into breast milk. Because the effects of leuprolide on a nursing infant are unknown, breast-feeding is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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