INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
Be sure to consult your physician with any questions you may have or for information about leuprolide acetate injection and its use.
WHAT IS LEUPROLIDE ACETATE INJECTION?
Leuprolide acetate injection is chemically similar to gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH or LH-RH) a hormone which occurs naturally in your body.
Normally, your body releases small amounts of LH-RH and this leads to events which stimulate the production of sex hormones.
However, when you inject leuprolide acetate injection, the normal events that lead to sex hormone production are interrupted and testosterone is no longer produced by the testes.
Leuprolide acetate injection must be injected because, like insulin which is injected by diabetics, leuprolide acetate injection is inactive when taken by mouth.
If you were to discontinue the drug for any reason, your body would begin making testosterone again.
DIRECTIONS FOR USING LEUPROLIDE ACETATE INJECTION
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- If using a new bottle for the first time, flip off the plastic cover to expose the grey rubber stopper. Wipe metal ring and rubber stopper with an alcohol wipe each time you use leuprolide acetate injection. Check the liquid in the container. If it is not clear or has particles in it, DO NOT USE IT. Exchange it at your pharmacy for another container.
- Remove outer wrapping from one syringe. Pull plunger back until the tip of the plunger is at the 0.2 mL or 20 unit mark.
- Take cover off needle. Push the needle through the center of the rubber stopper on the leuprolide acetate injection bottle.
- Push the plunger all the way in to inject air into the bottle.
- Keep the needle in the bottle and turn the bottle upside down. Check to make sure the tip of the needle is in the liquid. Slowly pull back on the plunger, until the syringe fills to the 0.2 mL or 20 unit mark.
- Toward the end of a two-week period, the amount of leuprolide acetate injection left in the bottle will be small. Take special care to hold the bottle straight and to keep the needle tip in liquid while pulling back on the plunger.
- Keeping the needle in the bottle and the bottle upside down, check for air bubbles in the syringe. If you see any, push the plunger slowly in to push the air bubble back into the bottle. Keep the tip of the needle in the liquid and pull the plunger back again to fill to the 0.2 mL or 20 unit mark.
- Do this again if necessary to eliminate air bubbles.
- To protect your skin, inject each daily dose at a different body spot.
- Choose an injection spot. Cleanse the injection spot with another alcohol wipe.
- Hold the syringe in one hand. Hold the skin taut, or pull up a little flesh with the other hand, as you were instructed.
- Holding the syringe as you would a pencil, thrust the needle all the way into the skin at a 90° angle. Push the plunger to administer the injection.
- Hold an alcohol wipe down on your skin where the needle is inserted and withdraw the needle at the same angle it was inserted.
- Use the disposable syringe only once and dispose of it properly as you were instructed. Needles thrown into a garbage bag could accidentally stick someone. NEVER LEAVE SYRINGES, NEEDLES OR DRUGS WHERE CHILDREN CAN REACH THEM.
SOME SPECIAL ADVICE
- You may experience hot flashes when using leuprolide acetate injection. During the first few weeks of treatment you may experience increased bone pain, increased difficulty in urinating, and less commonly but most importantly, you may experience the onset or aggravation of nerve symptoms. In any of these events, discuss the symptoms with your doctor. Like other treatment options, leuprolide acetate injection may cause impotence. Notify your doctor if you develop new or worsened symptoms after beginning leuprolide acetate injection treatment.
- You may experience some irritation at the injection site, such as burning, itching or swelling. These reactions are usually mild and go away. If they do not, tell your doctor.
- If you have experienced an allergic reaction to other drugs like leuprolide acetate injection, you should not use this drug.
- Do not stop taking your injections because you feel better. You need an injection every day to make sure leuprolide acetate injection keeps working for you.
- If you need to use an alternate to the syringe supplied with leuprolide acetate injection, low-dose insulin syringes should be utilized.
- When the drug level gets low, take special care to hold the bottle straight up and down and to keep the needle tip in liquid while pulling back on the plunger.
- Do not try to get every last drop out of the bottle. This will increase the possibility of drawing air into the syringe and getting an incomplete dose. Some extra drug has been provided so that you can withdraw the recommended number of doses.
- Tell your pharmacist when you will need leuprolide acetate injection so it will be at the pharmacy when you need it.
- Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F); excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F). Do not store near a radiator or other very warm place. Do not freeze. Protect from light; store vial in carton until use.
- Do not leave your drug or hypodermic syringes where anyone can pick them up.
- Keep this and all other medications out of reach of children.
*The following is a registered trademark of its respective manufacturer: LUPRON DEPOT®/TAP Pharmaceuticals Inc.