Brand Names

Leuprolide is the generic drug name. Lupron® Depot (injection) and Viadur® (implant) are brand names. (There may be other be names for this medication.)

How is it Given?

This medication is given by injection into the muscle (intramuscular/IM - Lupron Depot) or under the skin (subcutaneous/SQ - Eligard). It is also available as an implantable device (Viradur).

Why am I taking Leuprolide?

This drug is used to treat prostate cancer in men and ovarian, breast, and endometrial cancer in women.

How Does it Work?

Leuprolide is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that belongs to a class of medications called LHRH (luteinizing hormone releasing hormone) agonists. This type of medication works by telling the pituitary gland, located in the brain, to stop producing luteinizing hormone.

In men, luteinizing hormone stimulates the production of testosterone, a male hormone. Male hormones, or androgens, that normally circulate throughout a man’s body can encourage some types of prostate cancers to grow. Leuprolide stops the production of testosterone.

In women, luteinizing hormone stimulates the production of estrodial (estrogen), which can encourage some breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers to grow. Leuprolide decreases the production of estradiol to levels similar to a postmenopausal state.

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