Testosterone Regulation and Autism Ranking: Mildly Hazardous Insufficient/Mixed evidence

Risks and Safety


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists are very strong drugs, designed to change the hormonal balance in men and women. We believe that, used on children or adolescents, they could cause disastrous and irreversible damage to sexual functioning. 

According to MedlinePlus (2011) leuprolide can cause a wide range of side effects in some people, including tiredness; hot flashes (a sudden wave of mild or intense body heat), sweating, or clamminess; breast tenderness, pain, or change in breast size in both men and women; vaginal discharge, dryness, or itching in women; spotting (light vaginal bleeding) or menstruation (periods) and so on.

More seriously it can also cause redness or swelling at the places where the injection was given; itching, rash, or hives; difficulty breathing or swallowing; pain in the arms, back, chest, neck, or jaw; slow or difficult speech; dizziness or fainting and so on.

For a full list of potential hazards please see US National Library of Medicine. (2011). 


There are some contraindications (something which makes a particular treatment or procedure potentially inadvisable) for gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. For example, according to MedlinePlus (2011) leuprolide may be contraindicated for the following groups of people

  • people who are allergic to leuprolide or similar products including other gonadotropin-releasing hormones such as goserelin (Zoladex), histrelin (Supprelin LA, Vantas), nafarelin (Synarel), triptorelin (Trelstar).
  • people who are taking some specified nonprescription medications, nutritional supplements, and herbal products such as amiodarone (Cordarone), disopyramide (Norpace), procainamide (Procanbid), quinidine, and sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine).
  • people who are taking medications for seizures; or oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexpak), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Sterapred).
  • people who have or have ever had a range of specific diseases and disorders including osteoporosis; depression, diabetes etc.
  • women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant or who are breast-feeding or who have unusual vaginal bleeding.

For a full list of potential contraindications please see US National Library of Medicine. (2011). 

31 Oct 2017
Last Review
01 Sep 2017
Next Review
01 Sep 2020