Lupron Side Effects

Lupron, an agonist of GnRH, is widely known and disliked as an injectable fertility medicine. The leading causes of this are unfavorable side effects, such as Hot Flashes, Headaches, and Mood Changes.

Endometriosis and Fibroids are the two conditions that GnRH agonists like Lupron are typically used to treat. An alternative to the typical hCG injection during pregnancy is GnRH agonist, administered less frequently to encourage ovulation.

It is “off-label” to use Lupron for fertility procedures like IVF. In light of this, Lupron has been used long in reproductive treatments.

The adverse Lupron side effects might be severe over time. Lupron long-term therapy is used in conjunction with endometriosis or fibroid therapy. Lupron is a drug for occasional usage when used to treat infertility.

What is Lupron?

GnRH agonist
Source:sciencedirect.com

It is an injectable medication that reduces the ovaries’ production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. In the brain, it blocks the effect of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone on the pituitary gland.

It is usually given by injection as it is not active when given by mouth. It is to create a condition of temporary menopause to treat different problems like:-

It is also used in IVF cycles to improve the quantity and quality of eggs. Then fertility specialists use these eggs for fertilization, donation, and frozen embryo transfer.

How Does it Work?

Lupron suppresses pituitary hormones like Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and other hormones. This results in shallow levels of these hormones, as found in menopause.

Lupron lessens the pituitary gland’s interference with the development of eggs when gonadotropins (FSH/HMG) inject for ovulation induction. Most women have higher estrogen levels and more eggs with the concurrent use because of Lupron side effects.

Lupron Side Effects
source:endographics.org

And for endometriosis and uterine fibroids, there is a superficial estrogen level as lupron causes these conditions to regress or dry up. Unfortunately, this impact is not long-lasting; these symptoms typically reappear 6 to 18 months after the medication stops. It primarily uses in women who have endometriosis and uterine fibroids to prepare for surgical treatments or in women with infertility.

Lupron Therapy Benefits

Lupron therapy helps in ovulation induction because it provides a more predictable response to gonadotropins for the IVF cycle and in women with ovulation disorder.

In comparison with gonadotropins alone, pregnancy rates are higher on Lupron. There are also fewer cancelled cycles for the inadequate response of the ovaries.

Lupron suppression may have fewer side effects than other drugs for endometriosis and uterine fibroids. It may also increase the likelihood of getting pregnant immediately after stopping the medication.

Additionally, Lupron suppression before surgery for these issues may reduce blood loss, adhesions, or scar formation and improve the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy.

Side Effects and Complications of Lupron Treatment

Lupron Side Effects may Cause:-

  • Hot Flashes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Mood Swings
  • Reduction in Breast Size
  • Dryness in Vagina
  • Temporary Menopause in Some Women

At the same time, in the first few days of taking medicine, some women may experience moderate fluid retention, breast pain, and signs that their period is about to start. These symptoms are usually minor and barely bothersome.

Although it is uncommon, there may be momentary burning, itching, swelling, skin discoloration, or discomfort at the injection site.

When Lupron therapy stops, its effects on the ovaries get reversed quickly and found no significant side effects from this medicine were, nor were any adverse effects on pregnancy or the unborn child.

Endometriosis and Fibroids Treatment with GnRH Agonists/Lupron

GnRH agonists are used continuously for three to six months while treating endometriosis. You may need injections or nasal sprays regularly, depending on the medication used.

Endometriosis treatment aims to inhibit estrogen synthesis, nourishing the endometrial deposits. It eases discomfort by “starving” these deposits.

  • Your symptoms could worsen over the first two to three weeks of treatment because of increased FSH and LH levels. You should notice an improvement in your endometriosis symptoms after four to eight weeks.
  • The aim of treatment for fibroids is often to shrink the tumor before surgery. The fibroid shrinks when estrogen is “starved” from it. Before the planned surgery, treatment can last for three to four months.
  • These medications bring on menopause-like symptoms. While using GnRH agonists for endometriosis or fibroids, you cannot become pregnant.
  • These medications cannot treat endometriosis or fibroids, nor they increase fertility. But they may help with some symptoms of these disorders. You must stop your prescription if you want to become pregnant.

Your fertility may return in four to six weeks (with nasal spray agonists) or six to ten weeks (with injections), depending on your medicine.

Risks of GnRH Agonists/Lupron

Lupron and other GnRH agonists as fertility medications are not allowed officially by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The usage of the medication during IVF is termed “off-label.” Therefore, it is unclear precisely what hazards are when used for fertility treatment.

The recognized dangers of taking Lupron to treat endometriosis, fibroids, or prostate cancer are listed here in a concise summary. There may be similar risks associated with IVF:-

Depression

GnRH agonists may cause severe depression if you have a history of depression. Tell your doctor immediately if your depression is worsening or if you have any concerns about any side effects that may affect your mood.

Decreases Bone Density

Over three months, women who used Lupron experienced a 2.7% decline in bone density. Although bone density appeared to increase six months after therapy, it is unclear what the long-term implications will be.

Furthermore, it is unclear when the loss of bone density becomes irreversible. Therefore, receiving treatment for up to three to six months is better.

For women who run the risk of losing bone density, Lupron is not for them. Tell your doctor if there is a history of osteoporosis in your family.

Pituitary Apoplexy

Pituitary Apoplexy occurs when a pituitary tumour bleeds, typically not yet detected. This is relatively uncommon; it typically happens within the first two weeks of therapy, occasionally even in the first few hours.

Get medical help immediately if you develop a sudden, severe headache, nausea, visual changes, paralysis of the muscles in or around your eyes, a change in mental status, or heart attack symptoms.

Increases Health Risk

Some GnRH agonist users had a marginally higher chance of getting diabetes, a heart attack, and a stroke.

However, men using GnRH agonists to treat prostate cancer were more likely to have these hazards. It is unknown if these concerns apply to individuals receiving the medications for IVF treatment.

Alternatives to GnRH Agonists/Lupron

The alternative to GnRH agonists is GnRH antagonists like Cetrotide (cetrorelix) and Antagon (ganirelix acetate).

Source:researchgate.net

GnRH antagonists are permitted for use during IVF treatment by the FDA, in contrast to GnRH agonists. Additionally, you use them for a shorter period. This could shorten the duration or number of sides affects you experience.

Some studies suggest GnRH antagonists may be safer. Compared to GnRH agonists, women who used these drugs during fertility treatment had a decreased risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

The potential drawbacks of GnRH antagonists include their higher cost and not all fertility doctors being familiar with utilizing them.

Conclusion

A powerful fertility drug, Lupron is a GnRH agonist that stimulates the pituitary gland in the short term and suppresses it for a long time. Lupron is advantageous for numerous IVF protocols, including microdose flare, extended luteal, as a trigger shot, and during a frozen embryo transfer.

Always make sure to discuss the advantages of this drug in your fertility therapy with your healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The GnRH agonist class of injectable reproductive drugs includes lupron, used in an IVF protocol. GnRH agonists stop your body’s natural hormonal and egg-development processes. It is applied during the ovarian stimulation procedure as a component of the Down-Regulation technique to prevent early ovulation.

In addition, Lupron is used in IVF cycles to increase the quantity and quality of eggs available for fertilization, as well as in frozen embryo transfers and egg donation IVF to stimulate the endometrium for implantation of the embryos.

In clinical trials, hot flashes, headaches, decreased libido, depression, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, pain, vaginitis, and weight gain were the most frequent side effects of LUPRON DEPOT, occurring in > 10 per cent of the total participants.

Yes, if you have an IVF cycle that uses Lupron, you will have your period. Your period results from the natural rise and fall in progesterone levels during both menstrual and IVF cycles. This will be unaffected by Lupron.

Subcutaneous Lupron injections are injected into the fat beneath the skin. The optimum place to inject Lupron is two inches from the side of the navel on the belly or the upper outer part of the thigh.

Lupron is taken for about two weeks daily during an embryo transfer cycle. Only one dose is required if you utilize the Lupron injection as a trigger shot.

Depending on the drugstore you go to, 1 Lupron Depot intramuscular kit (7.5 mg/month) costs about $1,962.

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