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Lupron and Pregnancy

As a pregnancy Category X medication, Lupron (leuprolide) may cause harm to a fetus if used during pregnancy. Animal studies have shown that this drug may increase the risk for birth defects, miscarriages, and other problems. Due to the potential risks, this drug is not recommended for use in women who are pregnant.

Can Pregnant Women Use Lupron?

Lupron® (leuprolide acetate) is a prescription medication approved to relieve the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer and to temporarily stop early puberty in children. This medication should not be used in women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. Lupron has been given a pregnancy Category X classification based on its risks to the fetus.

What Is Pregnancy Category X?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medicines that show problems to the fetus in animal studies or in human use of the medication. With this category, the potential risks clearly outweigh the potential benefits.
Lupron has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. However, in animal studies, the drug increased the risk for birth defects, including problems with development of the backbone, when given to pregnant rabbits. It also caused miscarriages and smaller-than-normal fetuses in rats and rabbits.
Lupron is similar in structure to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a naturally occurring hormone in the body that helps control the release of estrogen. Using Lupron continuously will eventually slow down the production of GnRH, which reduces estrogen production.
Estrogen is vital for a healthy pregnancy. It helps promote uterine growth and maintains the lining of the uterus (among other things). Because this medication decreases estrogen levels, it may cause a miscarriage if given to a pregnant woman.
If this drug is to be given to a woman of childbearing potential, it is important that pregnancy is ruled out before Lupron is started. If you are using this product and think you may be pregnant, contact your healthcare provider right away.
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