Lupron is a drug that is used to control a certain type of cancer particularly in men known as prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland that gradually spreads and damage other organs and tissues. Prostate cancer tends to grow when more of the hormone, testosterone, is available in men. Although this medicine has proved effective in reducing symptoms such as pain or burning sensation while urination, it should not be used as a cure for cancer. It can only help slow down the growth and spreading of cancer to other parts of the body.
Common side effects of Lupron
Although severe side effects of this medicine are rare, there have been instances of such effects on a few users. The major side effects of Lupron are mentioned below and will require immediate medical attention if you experience any of these.
Major side effects
- Pain in the bones
- Loss of movement
- Seizures or convulsion painful or difficulty in urination
- Symptoms of high blood sugar like dry mouth, increased thirst, frequent urination, bad breath, increased hunger
- Unusual changes in mood or mood swings such as sudden crying or anger and aggressiveness, feeling irritable
- Sudden pain in the chest or discomfort
- Dry cough
- Rapid weight gain or swelling of the body
- Loss of bowel, bladder or muscle control
- Symptoms of a heart attack
- Symptoms of a stroke
- Tingling sensation or numbness in the back
There are minor side effects of this drug as well, but these are temporary and tend to go away once the treatment is completed. It is possible you might not even experience any side effects at all.
Minor side effects
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Reduced testicle size
- A headache
- General bodily pain
- Hot flashes or sweating
- Acne, rash or itching on the skin or scalp
- Scaly skin
These side effects are mild and are fairly common among users. They are not dangerous and do not require you to consult a doctor. However, if you notice these signs aggravating, see a doctor at once.
How does Lupron work?
Lupron works to relieve the painful symptoms of prostate cancer and limit the growth of cancer cells. The active ingredient of Lupron is leuprolide. This drug does so by copying the action of a hormone that is responsible for producing the sex hormone, testosterone, in men. When too much of this hormone is suddenly made available in the body, it responds by limiting the production of testosterone. As a result, low testosterone levels means fewer chances of the cancer cells to grow leading to stunted growth and hence, no uncomfortable symptoms.
How to use Lupron?
The medicine needs to be injected in the skin. Make sure not to inject in the same place two times in a row. Don’t attempt to inject into the skin by yourself until you fully understand the directions of your doctor. If you do not know how to do it, seek help from your healthcare provider. Ensure that your hands are washed, and the site of injection is also cleaned and dry. Make use of a disposable syringe and dispose it after each use, do not use the same needle again and again. The usual dosage of Lupron is about once per month as the medicine slowly releases into the blood over the period of a month. However, it may vary according to the patient’s medical condition. Do not alter dosages or overdose without a doctor’s recommendation as it can lead to serious side effects.
Before using Lupron
Do not use Lupron if you are allergic to it
Make sure you’re using the medicine that you need as the medicine for men and women is different.
Inform your doctor if you suffer from electrolyte imbalance, depression or any other mental illness, epilepsy, brain tumor, blood clot disorder, heart diseases, have a family history of asthma, osteoporosis.
Precautions for using Lupron
- May cause birth defects.
- Not suitable for pregnant women or those planning a baby
- Nursing females should consult their physician before using Lupron and discuss all possible outcomes as this medicine passes through breast milk.
- Your symptoms may temporarily worsen with initial use as hormone levels might increase instead of decreasing.
- May weaken bones and increase risk on bone loss
- May make you dizzy; do not engage in activities that require complete attention such as driving and operating machinery until fully alert.
- Get up from a lying or a sitting position slowly to avoid falling over due to being dizzy.
- Keep all medicines away from kids.
- Store in a cool and dry place.