Endometriosis: Leuprolide Acetate Instructions

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Single-Yellow-GirlIf your gynecologist has prescribed Leuprolide acetate (Lupron Depot®) to treat your endometriosis, please read the following important information.

  • Leuprolide acetate (3 month formulation) is an injection (shot) that is given in the buttocks, arm or thigh every 3 months (12 weeks). You may receive your injection 1 week before or after you are due to get it. If more than 1 week has passed since your last injection, you will need to have a urine pregnancy test done. If it is negative, schedule an appointment to get your next injection in 10 days.
  • Depending on your health insurance coverage, you may be required to order your medicine by mail. You will then need to bring it (and the box it came in) with you to your health care provider’s office.
  • Add–back therapy is Norethindrone acetate (Aygestin®) or Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Prempro®). It must be taken at the same time each day.
  • Oral contraceptive pills: If you are on oral contraceptive pills, continue the Pill for 3 weeks after your first injection. On the day you stop the Pill you will begin taking the add–back medication.
  • Calcium supplements: While on Leuprolide acetate, it is important that you take a calcium supplement, as your body needs 1300 mg of calcium every day.
  • Eating and drinking foods that are high in calcium is also important.
  • Vitamin D: It is recommended that teens take 600 IU’s (international units) of vitamin D every day. Vitamin D is a pill that can be taken with calcium.
  • Your first period on Leuprolide acetate: Please be aware that you may have a heavy and painful period during the first 4–6 weeks after your first Lupron Depot® shot. After that, you will probably not have anymore vaginal bleeding as long as you take the add–back therapy at the same time each day.
  • Appointments to get your follow–up injection: Make sure you make your appointment on a day that your gynecologist sees patients.
  • 6 month follow–up visit: After 6–8 months on Leuprolide acetate and add–back, you and your gynecologist will talk about whether or not you can continue on the medicine. If you do continue, you will be scheduled for a DXA Scan.
  • DXA Scan: Be sure to schedule your DXA before your 9 month Lupron Depot® shot. Your gynecologist will need to review the results before you can have your next shot. A follow–up DXA will be done every 1–2 years as needed.
  • Improvement in pain: It usually takes about 2–3 months to see an improvement in symptoms (while on Leuprolide acetate and add–back therapy).

Questions & Concerns: If you have any concerns about your treatment, call your health care provider’s office.