A look at the different drug treatments used for Endometriosis
Depo-Provera, Provera Tablets and Lupron – what are the differences between the drugs used to treat endometriosis?
Occasionally there is confusion regarding some of the drug treatments for Endometriosis, and how they react with the body. Here is a brief explanation of three particular different drugs that are commonly used..
DEPO-PROVERA - Contraceptive Injection (CI) contains medroxyprogesterone acetate, which is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone. Depo Provera acts by inducing a pseudo menopause and therefore stopping the monthly cycle with the aim to halt the further growth of endometriosis.
Normally prescribed as a Birth Control and stops the natural menstrual cycle. The action of stopping the monthly cycle is used to halt the further development of endometrial growths.
PROVERA TABLETS - 2.5mg, 5mg and 10mg tablets containing the active ingredient medroxyprogesterone acetate (the same component as above. It is used to treat various disorders of the menstrual cycle by prescribing different doses for different problems.
Endometriosis can also be treated by manipulating the hormones with medroxyprogesterone. This stray endometrial tissue is controlled by the same hormones that control your menstrual cycle, and thickens and is shed in the same way as the normal womb lining. Medroxyprogesterone is taken three times a day for 90 days, starting on the first day of the menstrual period, to control this.
The medroxyprogesterone stops the abnormal tissue from thickening and then bleeding. The menstrual periods are also likely to stop during this treatment depending on the strength of dose prescribed; alternatively there might be irregular bleeding or spotting. After treatment has finished the patches of endometrial tissue may be smaller, or may have shrunk away altogether.
LUPRON INJECTION - Lupron (leuprolide acetate) is a medication that has been designed to mimic the actions of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH or LHRH), the hormone released from the hypothalamus gland in the brain. The hypothalamus uses GnRH to send messages to the pituitary gland in the brain, which then sends messages to the ovaries in women, telling these organs to produce the sex hormone oestrogen.
Normally, GnRH comes from the hypothalamus in pulses, leading to the production of oestrogen. If GnRH came from the hypothalamus all of the time (rather than in "pulses"), it would have the opposite effect, and "turn off" hormone production. This reduces (but not stops) the levels of oestrogen in the body.
The aim of reducing oestrogen is to reduce further development of endometriosis and reduce symptoms, but does not stop the monthly cycle.
What are the uses of Lupron?
Lupron is a man-made form of a hormone that regulates many processes in the body. Leuprolide over stimulates the body's own production of certain hormones, which causes that production to shut down temporarily. It reduces the amount of testosterone in men or oestrogen in women.
Lupron is used in men to treat the symptoms of prostate cancer. Lupron treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer and does not treat the cancer itself.
Lupron is used in women to treat symptoms of endometriosis (overgrowth of uterine lining outside of the uterus) or uterine fibroids. Lupron is also used to treat precocious (early-onset) puberty in both male and female children.
From the drug advice website: www.drugs.com
Note: Lupron was not developed purely for the treatment of endometriosis. Lupron has many serious long term side affects and there have been many successful lawsuits filed against the drug company who manufacture Lupron for not warning of these side effects.
It's important to note that Depo-Provera will act as a birth control while stopping the natural menstrual cycle with progesterone effects. Lupron on the other hand does not act as a birth control (if you get pregnant while on Lupron there could be serious side effects to the child).
The Birth Control Pill is often the first option of hormone treatment offered for women with endometriosis. Learn more ...
EndometriosisNews - Depo Provera
National Women's Health Network - what does Lupron do to a woman's health