Learning About Fibroids and Anemia Related to Fibroids

Uterine fibroids

If you have uterine fibroids, you are not alone. An estimated one in four women of childbearing age have fibroids.1 The good news is that fibroids can be treated. Lupron Depot is used with iron therapy before fibroid surgery to improve anemia related to fibroids.

Do not take Lupron Depot if you are or may become pregnant, are breast-feeding, have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, or if you have experienced any type of allergic reaction to Lupron Depot or similar drugs.

Please see Important Safety Information you should know about Lupron Depot and discuss it with your doctor.

Please see the full Prescribing Information for Lupron Depot.

What are fibroids?

Illustration of uterus labelling different parts and fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths, or tumors, that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. They may also be called myomas, leiomyomas, leiomyomata uteri, or simply fibroids. Fibroids are generally benign—that is, they are not cancerous (malignant). A woman may have just one fibroid, or many. Fibroids are the most common kind of growths associated with the uterus. It is estimated that as many as 3 out of 4 women will have uterine fibroids at some point during their lives, but most are unaware of them because they often cause no symptoms. Only about one-third of these fibroids are large enough to be detected by a physician during a physical examination, and many do not require treatment.2

Uterine fibroids can range in size, for example, from as small as a grape (less than 1 inch) to larger than a melon.3

They can appear:

  • Beneath the outer surface of the uterus
  • Totally within the wall of the uterus
  • Inside the uterus

What causes fibroids?

Not much is known about the cause of fibroids. But evidence suggests that their growth is related to estrogen and other hormones. In fact, increased levels of these hormones may speed up the growth rate of the fibroids.

Factors that may play a role in a woman’s risk of developing fibroids include:

Age: Women between the ages of 30 and 45 are commonly diagnosed with fibroids1
Weight: Overweight women are at a higher risk to develop fibroids4
Race: African-American women tend to have the highest risk of developing fibroids,
although fibroids have been found in women of all ethnic backgrounds2

What are some common symptoms and possible complications of fibroids?

  • Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain or feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen
  • Excessive bleeding due to fibroids may lead to anemia

Anemia related to fibroids

Uterine fibroids often cause heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding which can cause a type of anemia.

Some signs and symptoms of this type of anemia include:

  • Paler skin than usual
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Feeling cold or hot from exertion
  • A sore or swollen tongue
  • Cracks in the sides of the mouth

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Use and Important Safety Information You Should Know About Lupron Depot® (leuprolide acetate for depot suspension)

Use

LUPRON DEPOT® (leuprolide acetate for depot suspension) 3.75 mg for 1-month and 11.25 mg for 3-month administration with iron therapy are used before fibroid surgery to improve anemia due to vaginal bleeding from fibroids. Your doctor may consider a one-month trial of iron alone as some patients’ anemia will improve with iron alone. It is recommended that LUPRON DEPOT not be used for more than 3 months in patients with fibroids. Experience with LUPRON DEPOT in females has been limited to women 18 years of age and older.

Important Safety Information

Do not take LUPRON DEPOT if you are or may become pregnant, are breast-feeding, have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, or if you have experienced any type of allergic reaction to LUPRON DEPOT or similar drugs.

Thinning of the bones may occur during therapy with LUPRON DEPOT, which may not be completely reversible in some patients. Since some conditions may increase the possibility of bone thinning, you should tell your doctor if you smoke, use alcohol in excess, have a family history of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones with fractures), or are taking other medications that can cause thinning of the bones.

After beginning LUPRON DEPOT, your estrogen levels will increase for 1 or 2 weeks. During this time, you may notice an increase in your current symptoms. You should notify your doctor if you develop any new or worsened symptoms after beginning LUPRON DEPOT treatment.

LUPRON DEPOT is not a method of birth control. Even though you may not have periods, unprotected intercourse could result in pregnancy. You should use non-hormonal birth control such as condoms, a diaphragm with contraceptive jelly, or a copper IUD to prevent pregnancy. If you think you have become pregnant while on LUPRON DEPOT, talk to your doctor immediately.

There is a possibility of the development or worsening of depression and/or the occurrence of forgetfulness. Patients who have a history of depression should be carefully observed during treatment.

Convulsions have been observed in patients taking leuprolide acetate.

The most common side effects of LUPRON DEPOT include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, headaches, changes in mood, decreased interest in sex, depression, and/or the occurrence of forgetfulness.

LUPRON DEPOT must be administered in your doctor’s office.

For more information, talk with your health care provider.

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