What is Lupron Depot® (leuprolide acetate)?

Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) is a type of hormone therapy that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat endometriosis, fibroids, central precocious puberty, and prostate cancer.1

Lupron Depot may be used off-label to treat metastatic breast cancer that is positive for the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2+) in people who have not gone through menopause. Off-label means using an FDA-approved drug for an unapproved use.2

Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones or liver. Breast cancer tumors are defined as HER2+ or HER2- cancers. HER2 refers to a specific protein that appears on the surface of cancer cells and makes the cells multiply faster. When cancer cells produce too many HER2 molecules, they are called HER2+ tumors.1,2

What are the ingredients in Lupron Depot?

The active ingredient in Lupron Depot is leuprolide acetate.2-4

How does Lupron Depot work?

Lupron Depot is a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist. The pituitary gland secretes gonadotropin, which stimulates the production of estrogen by the ovaries. LHRH agonists like Lupron Depot stops the pituitary gland from releasing gonadotropin. This reduces the amount of estrogen in the body, which slows the growth and breast cancer cells and kills them.1,2

What are the possible side effects of Lupron Depot?

The most common side effects of Lupron Depot include:2-4

Lupron Depot may cause a temporary increase in estrogen levels. This can result in a tumor flare or worsening of symptoms.4

Lupron Depot may also cause serious side effects, including:3,4

  • Weakening of the bones (osteoporosis)
  • Allergic reactions
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Heart problems

These are not all the possible side effects of Lupron Depot. Talk to your doctor about what to expect with treatment or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with Lupron Depot.

Things to know about Lupron Depot

Your doctor should monitor your heart function and bone density before and during treatment with Lupron Depot. You doctor should also screen you for diabetes during treatment with Lupron Depot.3,4

Lupron Depot affects the reproductive system and should cause menstruation to stop. If your menstrual cycle continues or you experience spotting, notify your doctor.4

Lupron Depot can harm an unborn baby. If you can become pregnant, you should use birth control during treatment and for some time after the last dose of Lupron Depot. You should also not breastfeed during treatment with Lupron Depot and for some time after the last dose. Talk to your doctor about your options for birth control and breastfeeding while taking Lupron Depot.1,3,4

Before beginning treatment for breast cancer, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Lupron Depot.

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Written by: Emily Downward | Last reviewed: March 2021