Lupron Depot is an intramuscular shot. Depending on the dosage, you can take the shot once a month or once every three months for a total of six months. When taken for endometriosis, it supposedly “suppresses the signals from the pituitary gland in the brain to the ovaries that stimulate estrogen production.” (http://www.endofacts.com/how-lupron-depot-works.aspx) Basically, it shuts everything down and, as a result, you get menopause-like symptoms.
It has been about two weeks since I had my first monthly Lupron Depot injection. I was SO nervous about it! Everything you read about Lupron Depot (I’m just going to call it “Lupron” throughout the rest of this post) online is horrible. I have a well documented “issue” of googling symptoms, so you can imagine my anxiety over getting this shot. But I did it, and now here I sit, with a full-on mustache. No, totally kidding. No mustache…yet.
Here is my experience thus far:
- Injection: The shot itself was not painful. I felt a little woozy for a few minutes after the injection, but it passed pretty quickly. The evening of the shot my left butt cheek was sore, but not unbearable.
- Week One: I experienced an increase in my endometriosis pain which felt like mild, persistent cramps all across my lower abdominal region. I also had some shooting pains near my ovaries. The pain was not debilitating and I was able to get on with my normal daily routine. I started having some problems going to sleep. Lastly, I generally did not feel wonderful and I had an increase in anxiety. But again, it was tolerable.
- Week Two: I started noticing some changes in mood. I was quick to get angry or exasperated throughout the day. My self-control was still there though. No temper tantrums. My moderate anxiety continued, but I was also going through some transitions in other parts of my life, so maybe the anxiety stemmed from that? I continued to have sleep problems. I know this is the Lupron at work, because I normally do not have trouble going to sleep or sleeping through the night. The only time I have sleep disturbances are when I have really high anxiety.
- Birth Control Pills with Lupron: I was actually finishing up a packet of birth control pills which coincided with my Lupron injection, so my doctor wanted me to finish the pills. This may be why the more severe side effects did not hit yet.
- Bleeding on Lupron: At the end of the second week, my pills ran out, and I got a period. Wonderful. My doctor said to expect a “small” period, whatever that means. My periods are never small, and I was hoping that I would be one of the lucky ones who didn’t bleed while on Lupron. I looked it up, and apparently a lot of women do get a period, and then eventually the bleeding tapers off as they continue treatments. My first period while on Lupron was average. Not heavier, not lighter. With lots of cramps and popping Advil like candy.
- Start of Week Three: I am now in my third week. I am still bleeding a little bit, and I think I got my first hint of a hot flash. I was sitting at the dining table having a conversation with my mom, and I felt a wave of heat and a little bit of panic come over me. It passed pretty quickly, but it wasn’t a great feeling. I have a feeling that hot flashes will be making themselves known during weeks three and four. Moderate anxiety is still there. Sleep is getting a tiny bit better. I also don’t feel as crampy now that my period is practically over.