I limp. I had to call a venue before arriving to see if they have stairs because I have difficulty walking. My bones are not what they used to be. My body was put into a state of menopause after receiving the injection of prescription drug Lupron, which "treats advanced prostate cancer in men, endometriosis or fibroid tumors in women, and premature puberty in children," according to the National Library of Medicine. Lupron reduces estrogen in women and testosterone in men.
"In females, leuprolide (Lupron) reduces the amount of estrogen that the body makes," according to WebMD. Loss of estrogen can weaken bones, for some osteoporosis happens when menopause begins. "In adults, leuprolide may weaken your bones and increase your risk for bone loss (osteoporosis) if used for a long time." I was given two injections of Lupron after an abdominal myomectomy to remove three uterine fibroids.
In 2008, Susan K. Flinn reported in the article "Lupron -- What Does It Do To Women's Health?" that, "For women, [Lupron] causes the rapid and artificial onset of menopause -- potentially with incapacitating and long-lasting effects." My personal testimony is that after receiving two shots, I had hot flashes, mood swings and excruciating bone pain at the age of 39. "Thinning of the bones may occur during therapy with LUPRON DEPOT, which may not be completely reversible in some patients," states lupron.com, the drug's website. My quality of life has been severely compromised. I hurt.
There are others who are hurting as well.
Annika Trippett began the petition, "Lupron, Leuprolide needs to be taken completely off the market immediately without delay until 'Protection Law' is implemented!"
"We are proposing it needs to be made law that when getting an injection in the doctors [sic] office you have to sign the most current, up to date printed out 'Warning Label Consent Form' before giving any patient an injection," the petition states. "As a patient we don't get to see that information and the doctors are not giving it to us! We need protection implemented for our safety, protection, well-being and human rights."
The petition also states that:
Lupron is manufactured by Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories formerly Takeda Abbott Pharmaceuticals, called TAP. In 2001, TAP pled guilty to civil and criminal misconduct over Lupron. They agreed to the then-largest healthcare fraud fine in history $875 million dollars. The U.S. Department of Justice found TAP bribed doctors to prescribe Lupron. In addition to cash and trips, the doctors would get Lupron for free and then bill Medicare or Medicaid at $500 per dose.
When I signed it, I got a response from U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin, with the opening paragraph:
Lupron (leuprolide acetate) was originally developed for advanced prostate cancer patients. It is now commonly used to treat women with endometriosis, fibroids, and hormonal replacement therapy. Unfortunately, the side effects are startling. They can include migraines, severe joint pain, difficulty breathing, depression, bone pain, liver function abnormality, vision abnormality, and anxiety. Since 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 7,000 adverse drug reports about Lupron.
With this drug already being in legal trouble and a U.S. Senator stating the harmful facts of Lupron, Lupron should be discontinued for distribution. In the meantime, many Lupron victims are making their voices heard via the Internet.
There are Facebook groups such as Lupron Victims where advice is shared on how to cope with the side effects of physical and emotional pain and websites like Lupron Victims Hub, where risks, lawsuit and deaths are listed. The website reported:
As of February 11, 2009, the total tally of reported adverse events to lupron/leuprolide since November 1, 1997, according to the FDA is as follows: 22,667 reported adverse events, with 651 reported deaths from lupron/leuprolide.
There is also the Lupron Recovery Foundation, which began in April 2010. According to their website, they are "dedicated to finding the causes and providing support, services and hope to all people affected by Lupron."
Like some other pharmaceutical treatments in history, the pain outweighs the benefits. I recall hearing the horrific story of Thalidomide. It was a sedative and anti-nausea drug in the 1950s. However, some pregnant women gave birth to babies with a missing limb or limbs. It was removed from the pharmaceutical market. Frances Oldham Kelsey, a pharmacologist for the Food and Drug Administration stopped the sale of the drug in the early '60s.
Medicine can improve lives, but it can also destroy them. Hopefully the latter can be reduced.