Saturday, December 04, 2010

Keeping an Eye on Lupron News

Lupron As Hormone Therapy

Abbott Labs is the marker of Lupron, more commonly referred to as leuprolide. Lupron is supposed to help both men and women's sexual health, ailing in the treatment of prostate cancer for men and helping to combat endometriosis in women. The medication may also be used for early puberty.

There are five types of Lupron that can be injected under a patients skin to help with his or her hormone therapy. The kinds of Lupron are:
  • Lupron Depot 30
  • Lupron Depot 22.5
  • Lupron Depot 7.5
  • Lupron Depot 11.25
  • Lupron Depot 3.75 
There are side effects of this drug, including:

There is a long list of potential side effects linked to Lupron. Some apply only to men and others affect just women, but others, such as chronic muscle pain, have been reported in both sexes.
Lupron side effects that have been documented are:
  • Chronic muscle pain and weakness
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Limb pain
  • Urine with blood in it
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Depression
  • Decreasing of hemoglobin
  • Decreasing of hematocrit
  • Bone density changes
  • Loss of the sense of smell
  • Loss of the sense of taste
  • Enlargement and sensitivity to breasts (women)
  • Decrease in size of testicles (men)
  • Erectile dysfunction (men)
  • Decreased sexual desire (both men and women)
  • Thyroid problems 
In October, the FDA issued an update about Lupron:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has notified the manufacturers of the Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) agonists of the need to add new safety information to the Warnings and Precautions section of the drug labels. This new information warns about increased risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, sudden cardiac death, stroke) in men receiving these medications for the treatment of prostate cancer. FDA’s notification to manufacturers of GnRH agonists to add this safety information is based on the Agency’s review of several published studies1-7, described in the Agency’s Ongoing Safety Review of GnRH Agonists and possible increased risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases, issued in May 2010.
GnRH agonists are approved to treat the symptoms (palliative treatment) of advanced prostate cancer. The benefits of GnRH agonist use for earlier stages of prostate cancer that have not spread (non-metastatic prostate cancer) have not been established.
Although the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases appears to be low in men receiving GnRH agonists for prostate cancer, it is important for healthcare professionals to evaluate patients for risk factors for these diseases. Healthcare professionals should always carefully weigh the benefits and risks of using GnRH agonists before determining appropriate treatment for prostate cancer.
Patients who are receiving treatment with GnRH agonists should undergo periodic monitoring of blood glucose and/or glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Increased blood glucose levels may represent development of diabetes or worsening of blood glucose control in patients with diabetes. Healthcare professionals should also monitor patients for signs and symptoms suggestive of development of cardiovascular disease and manage according to current clinical practice.
Additional Information for Patients
  • GnRH agonists are sold as the brand names – Lupron, Zoladex, Trelstar, Viadur, and Eligard.
  • Before receiving GnRH agonists, tell your healthcare professional if you have diabetes, heart disease, a previous heart attack or stroke, or any cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cigarette smoking.
  • If you have any concerns about receiving these medicines, talk to your healthcare professional.
  • Report any side effects from the use of GnRH agonists to the FDA MedWatch program, using the information in the "Contact Us" box at the bottom of the page.