Lupron Depot

What should I expect?

At first, your hormone level will go up for 1 or 2 weeks. During that time, you may notice more symptoms. You may have a very heavy period within the first 2 weeks.

Then your hormone level will drop. This is the same as in menopause. Your periods may become lighter or heavier. After a few months, your periods may stop.

Side effects are:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood
  • Depression
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Stomach upset
  • Bone density loss
  • Lower sex drive

Follow up

For your next shot, you will go back to the clinic each month (31 days) or every 3 months (91 days).

Your health care provider will tell you when to go.

What is Lupron Depot and how does it work?

Lupron Depot is given to lower the estrogen made by your ovaries. It is used to treat endometriosis and uterine fibroids. It is injected into the muscle (a shot) and is slowly released over 1 or 3 months. This medicine stops ovulation and monthly periods.

Lupron Depot can treat:

  • Endometriosis
    • Treatment lasts for 6 months.
  • Uterine fibroids
    • Treatment lasts up to 3 months.
  • Pelvic pain

Your health care provider will tell you how long you will keep getting these shots.

How is Lupron Depot used?

It is given by injection (shots).  The shots are given in the hip.

You will get the shot once a month (no sooner than 31 days) or once every three months (no sooner than 91 days).

This depends on the dose.

How well does Lupron Depot work?

  • Studies have shown women with endometriosis who have menstrual pain/cramping found relief about 96% of the time. 
  • Women with pelvic pain found relief about 53% of the time. 
  • Fibroids can shrink a maximum of 30% to 50% in volume within 2 to 3 months of treatment. They may go back to their original size within a couple years after going off Lupron Depot unless menopause happens by then.

How much does Lupron Depot cost?

This is a very expensive medicine. Check with your insurance company about coverage. It may need a prior authorization.

Pros

  • After a few months of therapy, your periods should stop.
  • It can be used with iron to improve anemia due to heavy periods because of fibroids.
  • It can be used to relieve symptoms of endometriosis.
  • It may shrink fibroids 30% to 50% after full therapy is reached.
  • It helps to stop irregular menstrual bleeding.

Cons

  • Cost
  • You may have hot flashes and vaginal dryness while using it.
  • You may have less estrogen may cause thinning of the bones. This may not be completely reversible in some patients.
  • You should get at least 1200 mg of calcium in your diet or vitamins to keep from thinning bones.
  • You may be given “add back” hormones, such as 5 mg norethindrone. This helps lower bone loss and hot flashes without changing its effect on fibroids or endometriosis.

Who should not take Lupron Depot?

Tell your health care provider if you have ever had, or currently have:

  • A known allergy to benzyl alcohol
  • Undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
Last reviewed: 
March 2020

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