Leuprorelin – common side effects

Leuprorelin, also known as Lupron, is a medication commonly used in gender-affirming care, particularly for transgender women (assigned male at birth) or those with androgen-dependent conditions. It belongs to a class of medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, which work by suppressing the production of gonadal hormones like testosterone. While it can be effective in reducing testosterone levels and aiding in feminisation, it’s important to be aware of potential unwanted/adverse/side effects. Here are some of them:

Side EffectDescription
Hot flashesOne of the most common side effects of leuprorelin is hot flashes or flushing, which can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by sweating and discomfort.
Decreased libidoA decrease in libido (sex drive) can occur as a side effect of leuprorelin treatment due to its suppression of testosterone levels.
Erectile dysfunctionLeuprorelin may cause erectile dysfunction or difficulty achieving/maintaining erections in individuals assigned male at birth.
GynecomastiaIn individuals assigned male at birth, leuprorelin can cause breast development (gynecomastia) due to the suppression of testosterone and promotion of estrogenic effects.
Mood changesSome individuals may experience mood swings, depression, or changes in emotional well-being while taking leuprorelin.
FatigueFatigue or feelings of lethargy may occur as a side effect of leuprorelin treatment.
HeadachesHeadaches are a common side effect of leuprorelin use, though they are usually mild and temporary.
Injection site reactionsPain, redness, or swelling at the injection site are possible side effects of leuprorelin injections.
OsteoporosisLong-term use of leuprorelin can potentially increase the risk of osteoporosis due to decreased bone density. Bone density monitoring and supplementation with calcium and vitamin D may be recommended.
Muscle weaknessWeakness or decreased muscle strength can occur as a side effect of leuprorelin treatment.
Thromboembolic eventsWhile less common, there is a risk of thromboembolic events (such as blood clots) associated with leuprorelin use, particularly in individuals with other risk factors for thrombosis.
Decreased fertilityLeuprorelin suppresses gonadal function, leading to decreased fertility in individuals assigned male at birth. It’s essential to discuss fertility preservation options with a healthcare provider if fertility preservation is desired.
Rare allergic reactionsAlthough rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to leuprorelin, including rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Immediate medical attention is necessary if any signs of an allergic reaction occur.


Updated on February 6, 2024

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