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Lupron: Do the Risks Outweigh the Benefits?
Lupron has not received the same widespread media attention to which other medications have been subjected, but for some patients, Lupron side effects can be devastating. Some say the drug is dangerous; others call it a poison. A number of websites have sprung up to provide Lupron users with a forum in which to share their experiences and debate the drug's pros and cons. Even some medical experts have come out against Lupron, arguing that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Lupron is used for a variety of purposes. It is prescribed to children to treat early-onset puberty, to men who exhibit symptoms of prostate cancer in men, and to women with endometriosis, a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. Lupron is also used widely off-label as a "down regulator" for women going through IVF treatment. Patients take Lupron in a single day dose in the form of daily shots. Lupron Depot is given in an extended release injection that lasts for 30 days.
At least one expert believes Lupron should be pulled from the market. Dr. John L. Gueriguian, former medical officer with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), stated in a report for a pharmaceutical liability lawsuit on 3/19/08 that Lupron should not be used.
"After years of use of [Lupron] in a great number of patients, the evidence is clear that TAP [Takeda Abbott Pharmaceuticals] didn't study [Lupron] adequately before marketing," Gueriguian states in his report. "After its introduction into the marketplace, TAP did not perform enough long-term studies to detect potential long-term and irreversible side effects of [Lupron], which has been shown, through independent observations and studies, to be able to cause irreversible side effects and permanent severely disabling health problems. Lupron temporarily stops menstruation, but does not eradicate endometriosis for long-term. Lupron should only be limited to six injections for the initial treatment, and a retreatment should not exceed six injections. Lupron cannot be given more than twelve injections per lifetime." Read more.