Hormones are a complex series of chemicals created by the human body that affect all aspects of growth and development. Only tiny bits of hormone are secreted in the endocrine and exocrine systems to affect the desired changes. Disrupting that delicate balance or homeostasis with hormone therapy is a dangerous proposition. Since its inception in 1985, Lupron has been one of the most prominent hormone treatments available. The sheer numbers of people treated almost ensure that many will encounter Lupron dangers.
What is Lupron?
Lupron is a popular man-made gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog (GnRH analog) used primarily to treat advanced prostate cancer. In effect, it down-regulates gondadotropin secretion for as long as the drug is administered. It reduces the amount of testosterone in men and estradiol in women.
Lupron has also been shown to reduce the effects of endometriosis or fibroids. It is also used to treat precocious or early childhood puberty. Depending on the specific conditions being treated and the size and gender of the patients, there are several dosages and strengths that may be used. Since hormones travel throughout the body and may affect many different systems, potential problems can develop in a number of areas.
Endocrine System Issues
Lupron affects the production of hormones necessary for the body to function properly at the same time that it limits the symptoms of breast and prostate cancers. Areas that are affected by hormone disruptions are:
– Hot flashes
– Breast tenderness
– Reduced testicle size
In rare instances pituitary apoplexy, which is basically a shut down of the pituitary gland, have been reported. The pituitary gland is the primary gland in control of the endocrine gland system. Pituitary infarction or death may occur within the first two weeks of treatment. Signs of pituitary infarction include:
– Sudden headache
– Visual changes
– Altered mental status
Emergency medical treatment is required if these symptoms occur. Needless to say, this is a very serious Lupron danger.
Genitourinary Tract Issues
Numerous genitourinary tract issues have been linked to Lupron treatments, including:
– Vaginal hemorrhaging
– Massive ascities or fluid build up in tissues
– Vaginal dryness
– Frequent urination
– Erectile dysfunction
– Reduced penis size
Cardiovascular Side Effects
Some of the cardiovascular changes related to Lupron include:
– ECG changes
– Peripheral edema
Numerous other issues seem to be related to adverse effects of Lupron treatments, but the drug continues to be used to treat a number of medical conditions. The risks of treatment must be weighed against the benefits the drug offers.