Man thinking about intimacy with his partner and doctor holding a needle

Lupron & Sexual Side Effects

For a few months now, I’ve been reading your comments on our Facebook page. There’s been considerable interest in the sexual side effect of medication/treatments and the issues they’ve caused for many men. The one name that seems to appear over and over again is Lupron. This prescribed treatment for Prostate Cancer (PC) may be good at what it does however, it also seems to cause a serious impact of the quality of life for those men (and women) who take this medication.

Some of the more prominent side effects include:

So, let’s take a look at Lupron. What does it do and are there any possible solutions to the sexual side effects?

What is Lupron?

Lupron (leuprolide acetate) is an injectable hormone used in men to treat PC, endometriosis in women and early-onset puberty in children. Simply, it tells the brain to make the testicles/ovaries to stop creating sex hormones. One resource said, “In effect, the drug is a form of medical castration”1. In men, Lupron decreases the level of testosterone to ‘starve’ Prostate Cancer.

Quality of life

Here, I’d like to make 2 quick points. First, I’d like to mention the general quality of life for those who are taking Lupron. If you’re not having any side effects and your PC treatment is working, that is excellent news. If you’re suffering from side effects of Lupron, how is your overall quality of life? While the medication is doing its job, is it making your life miserable? From what I have read about Lupron from the men on this site, something is not right. Yes…this medication is saving your life but at what cost?

Secondly, with any medication, you should ask the doctor to tell and explain the side effects. Most medications come with the fold-out sheet, written in 2-font, that is tough on the eyes to read and comprehend, which explains all the side effects. You should ask the doctor about the major side effects and what said medication will do to various aspects of your life (i.e. sex life). This way, you can make an informed decision and ask about other available treatments.

Removing a piece of a man’s “sexuality” can have major mental and physical repercussions, including an effect on his relationship and lover. From reading the comments here, I read too many times where the lover didn’t want to stay with “a man who cannot perform” sexually. Treating cancer is one thing, losing a marriage/relationship is another.

Suggestions…?

If you hear your doctor say he/she is going to prescribe Lupron as your treatment, ask your doctor questions. If Lupron is the best treatment option for your specific type of PC, I’d follow their guidance. I still believe an educated patient is a happier patient. Also, ask how long you will have to be on it. While I’m not telling you to second guess their treatment decision, it’s fair to ask for an alternative or other option.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
View References
  1. Male side effects of Lupron for Prostate Cancer. https://www.livestrong.com/article/206047-male-side-effects-of-lupron-for-prostate-cancer/ Accessed 04-18-18.
  2. Lupron. https://www.rxlist.com/Lupron-side-effects-drug-center.htm Accessed 4-18-18
  3. Restoring sexual function after Lupron/ cancer treatment. http://www.bumc.bu.edu/sexualmedicine/informationsessions/restoring-sexual-function-after-luproncancer-treatment/ Accessed 4-18-18.

Comments

View Comments (3)
  • Doug Sparling moderator
    5 months ago

    I’ve been on Lupron for nine months. Other than the obvious (ED, no libido, which I’m perfectly fine with) I’ve had no serious side effects. Occasional hot flashes, and a slight impairment in executive functioning. Lupron is definitely working for me and I plan on being on it indefinitely. My PSA has gone from 5,306 to 22, and I’ll have another PSA check in a few days. Lupron died come with some chronic disease issues you may want to consider. (https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180531/Prostate-cancer-survivors-at-higher-risk-of-developing-chronic-diseases-study-shows.aspx) I’ve made a few dietary and lifestyle changes to help with those issues. Best of luck to you. May you be well.

  • RailwayMan
    7 months ago

    Lupron turned out to be very bad for me with even more negative side effects than first thought might experience. Discontinued after two 30-day doses and stuck with the radiation treatments. Lupron is in the system working for up to 60 days so it’s still helping.

  • ninaw moderator
    7 months ago

    Thanks for sharing your experience with this, @railwayman. I’ve heard that from a couple of guys in our Facebook community too. It’s interesting that Lupron can continue working so far in the future. I hope the improvement continues for you. – Nina, ProstateCancer.net Team

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