Leuprolide Acetate (Lupron Depot)

Lou-pro-lid As-e-tate  (Lou-pron Dee-po)

Leuprolide acetate is the generic form of the medication. Brand names include Lupron Depot and Lupon Depot-Ped.

Leuprolide acetate (Lupron Depot) is a medicine that is used in children who have early or precocious puberty. It stops the body from making the hormones that cause the body to mature. Some of the changes that your child's body has already had will slow down or stay the same after they start the medicine.

In girls, the breast tissue will soften and stop growing, periods will stop, mood swings might go away.

In boys, the testicles will soften and stop growing and mood swings might go away.

Some of the signs that boys and girls have will slow down or stay the same. These signs are hair growth, oily skin and acne.

Treatment of early puberty is continued until the child reaches an age when puberty would be considered normal and the predicted height is optimal. This decision will be made by you and your child's physician, as a team.

After stopping leuprolide acetate, the body returns to normal hormone production and allows the child to restart puberty without any effects to their future health.

The medicine is given by an injection into the muscle. The nurse will help you decide if you want to give the shots at home or get them at the doctor's office.

Another medicine used to stop puberty is an implant called Supprelin LA or Histrelin. The implant is inserted by a specially trained doctor into the upper arm. The implant stays in place for 12 months and needs to be replaced every year.

Your doctor will help you decide which option is best for your child.

  • It is very important that your child receive their medicine on time. In some cases the shots are given once a month; other shots are given once every three months.
  • Work with your pharmacy to make sure the medicine is delivered on time.
  • Missing a dose of medication or giving the medicine late may cause changes in puberty and a further advancement in the bone age which will decrease the amount of time your child has to grow.
  • Do not use after the expiration date on the bottle or package.
  • Keep this medication out of the reach of children.

For any medication information related to your child's dosing schedule and/or missed doses, contact the healthcare provider who prescribed the medication.

Leuprolide acetate is usually well tolerated, but you should be aware of some possible side effects your child might have. Side effects are usually seen in the first month or two. These include:

  • Vaginal bleeding in girls
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain (rare)
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Burning or itching at the injection site
  • Difficulty urinating 

A reaction at the injection site (redness, swelling, burning or itching) occurs in about 5 percent of patients. The doctor may request to see your child if they have this reaction.

  • Call the doctor if your child has vaginal bleeding after the second injection. This may indicate a dose change is needed.

Treatment with leuprolide acetate is considered successful if the child has not had changes in their puberty after starting the injections. The doctor will want to see your child every four months after starting the medicine.

The speed that your child will grow will slow down.

The doctor may check blood tests and/or a bone age X-ray to ensure the hormones have been stopped with the medicine. They may order a bone age X-ray to ensure that no changes take place while on the medicine.

Leuprolide acetate can be a very costly medicine. Your health insurance company may request to look at your child's medical information before agreeing to pay for leuprolide acetate.

Last Updated 04/2016