Lupron Pros and Cons
While the drug known as Lupron hasn't received much media attention, some patients have had devastating side effects while using Lupron. Some people will tell you that the drug is dangerous, while others will tell you it's a poison. In recent days, several websites have been created for the express purpose of providing a forum where Lupron users can talk about their experiences with this medication. A number of medical experts now state that the risks of Lupron outweigh its benefits.
Lupron is used for treating several diseases. In children, the medication is used to treat the early onset of puberty. In men, the drug is given to treat symptoms of prostate cancer. Meantime, women are given Lupron during the course of IVF treatment or to treat endometriosis, a condition in which tissue resembling the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus.
Lupron is administered in two different forms. Some patients receive a daily shot of Lupron, while Lupron Depot is given as an extended release injection and the effects last for up to 30 days.
Dr. John L. Gueriguian, who once worked as a medical officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that Lupron should be pulled off the market. He stated his beliefs in a report created for the purposes of a pharmaceutical liability suit that took place two years ago. "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," states Gueriguian's 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."
The report goes on to state that while Lupron may cause the temporary cessation of menstruation, it cannot eradicate endometriosis for the long-term. Gueriguian believes that Lupron should be given for a limited time, as a series of six injections. Any re-treatment, he continues, should also not exceed this dosage. Gueriguian feels that the medication must not be given more than 12 times during a woman's lifespan.
The expert says that endometriosis can recur after Lupron treatment has ended. He also says that Lupron was given to females under the age of 18, though the medication had only been tested on women with endometriosis who are older than 18.
Gueriguian asserts that TAP knew about the risks of Lupron and purposely withheld this information. These risks run the gamut and include the loss of bone density, which in some cases has led to permanent disability, all the way to spinal fractures, immune system issues, convulsions, and paralysis.
As of November 2009, TAP pled guilty to charges that the company violated the Federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act. The company has agreed to pay $875 million for settling claims it gave kickback to physicians so they would promote Lupron. Furthermore, Dr. Andrew Friedman admitted to falsifying and fabricating 80% of the research data reports for the drug. So far, the FDA has received over 12,000 reports of adverse events from Lupron. These events include more than 1,100 deaths.