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ELIGARD (Leuprolide, Lupron®, Lupron Depot®, ViadurTM)

Warning: Eligard can lead to serious health problems. There have been reports of risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke while using the medication. Tell your doctor if you have had any of these and/or high cholesterol, smoking and family history of heart disease and stroke.

Indications: This treatment is intended to treat prostate cancer in men. It is not intended to be a cure. Prostate cancer needs testosterone in order to multiply and grow throughout the body. Eligard works to stop and slow the production of testosterone in the body. This helps to stop or slow the growth of the cancer throughout the body, as well as helps with some side effects, such as painful/difficult urination.

There are other uses for this medication, but should not be used unless prescribed by a doctor. The manufacturer does not recommend the drug for these intentions. This treatment may help women with disorders of the uterus (endometriosis, fibroids) as it slows the production of estrogen. It may also help children with early puberty.

Other medication conditions that Eligard is used to treat include: 

  • breast cancer  
  • ovarian cancer  
  • endometrial cancer  
  • infertility  
  • enlarged prostate (BPH), a non cancerous prostate disease.   

DosageThere are several different dosages that your doctor is able to prescribe you. Most of the prescriptions for Eligard are given by injections into the skin, either by your or your doctor. If your doctor prescribes you to do the injection yourself, you must first read the instructions and dosage indications before injecting yourself.

You must first take the medication out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. You can then wash your hands and clean the area with alcohol. Then mix the medication according to the directions. Look for discoloration or particles, if there are any do not use it. This treatment should be used within 30 minutes of mixing. If there is any more time after you have mixed the medication, discard and mix a new one. You should change the area of injection each time you use it to avoid irritation of the skin.

Storage:  The vials or kits of Eligard should be refrigerated at a temperature between 2 ° C and 8 ° C, and protected from light. Do not let the drug at the children reach. After opening, powder and solvent for the solution must be reconstituted and administered immediately. The physicochemical stability of the reconstituted solution last about 30 minutes at 25 ° C. 

OverdoseEligard overdose is very rare, in fact, no cases of misuse or overdose has been reported in clinical practice. However, if overdose occurs, medical attention is very important. In some cases, symptomatic treatment can be recommended.  

Missing dose: if for some reasons you missed taking a dose or cannot be present at the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date of the appointment. In fact, this case is rarely reported.

Contraindications: You should always tell your doctor of any allergies you may have, as you can have a severe reaction to the inactive ingredients in this medication. Tell your doctor if you have had heart disease, diabetes, stroke or family history of these. You should also tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis or any risk factors for it, such as long-term alcohol use, smoking, broken bones, use of certain medications (corticosteroids) or family history.

This medication may also make you dizzy, don’t drive or do any activity that requires alertness. Limit alcohol use.

Do not use this medication if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, as it is known to cause harm and birth defects to an unborn baby.

Interactions: Your pharmacist and doctor should be aware of all the medications you are taking. They should know all of the possible interactions before they prescribe you Eligard. Don’t start, stop, or change any medication you are taking without first talking to your doctor.

For preventive measures, before starting a treatment with Eligard, tell your doctor about all prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking; the list include but not limited to aspirin, vitamins supplements, and the following dugs:

  • dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone)  
  • methylprednisolone (Medrol)  
  • Prednisone (Deltasone)  
  • Lanthanum carbonate (Fosrenol);  
  • Phenothiazine  
  • Sevelamer (Renagel)  
  • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Restasis, Sandimmune)  
  • Diuretics ('water pills').  

Side effects: Eligard not damages cancer cells but also healthy cells that reproduce rapidly, which lead to, in certain patients, the following side effects:   

  • hot flashes
  • hair loss
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea or constipation 
  • weight loss
  • anxiety or nervousness
  • memory or concentration problems
  • drying or darkening of the skin or nails
  • clinical depression
  • sensitivity of skin to sunlight
  • tingling in the hands or feet
  • increased need to urinate, especially at night
  • incapacity or decrease in sexual desire in men and women
  • decrease in size of testicles
  • vaginal discharge, dryness, or itching (women)
  • absence of menstrual periods (women)
  • Firmness or hardness at subcutaneous injection spot
  • breast tenderness or change in breast size (both men and women)

 If the side effects above become severe or persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:    

  • fever  
  • chills  
  • bone pain 
  • persistent cough  
  • severe depression symptoms
  • testicular or prostate pain  
  • inability to move arms or legs  
  • painful or difficult urination  
  • painful urination or red urine  
  • unusual bruising or bleeding  
  • swelling of the feet or legs  
  • numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the feet or lower legs 
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes.  

 

References: 

1 - vidalpro.net, ELIGARD® 45 mg – leuproréline  

2 - santecheznous.com  

3 - nlm.nih.gov  

4 - Ganong, William F.: "Review of Medical Physiology", page 248. Lange, 2005.