Summary

  • Young patients often get GnRHa drugs before getting testosterone.
  • GnRHa drugs include Lupron.
  • The drugs are not FDA-approved for gender transition in females.
  • The drugs may impair brain development and trigger cognitive or psychiatric problems.

Young patients often get GnRHa drugs before getting cross-sex drugs such as testosterone. These drugs are not FDA-approved for gender transition purposes (Scutti 2017). They may have harmful brain effects and other effects (see Hayes 2017; Hough 2017; “Lupron” 2017; Millican 2017; Nuruddin 2014; Scutti 2017).

Millican (2017) has provided evidence indicating that GnRHa drugs have not been adequately tested.

What Research Shows

One researcher noted that girls treated with GnRHa drugs for a condition called idiopathic central precocious puberty (CPP) had “fairly substantial difference…in IQ scores” compared to other girls (Hayes 2017). In addition:

“Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHas) have been found to impair memory in adults….Recent findings that GnRHas increase depression symptoms (Macoveanu et al., 2016) and slow reaction time (Stenbæk et al., 2016) in healthy women, and reduce long-term spatial memory in sheep (Hough et al., 2017)” (Hayes 2017).

Another researcher found that GnRHa drugs affected brain structures and gene expression in young animals (Nuruddin 2014).

Lupron Depot-Ped

The drug label for Lupron Depot-Ped (updated Sept. 26, 2017), which is a GnRHa drug that is FDA-approved for treatment of precocious puberty in children, mentions potential psychiatric problems:

“Psychiatric events have been reported in patients taking GnRH agonists, including LUPRON DEPOT-PED. Postmarking reports with this class of drugs include symptoms of emotional lability, such as crying, irritability, impatience, anger and aggression. Monitor for development or worsening of psychiatric symptoms during treatment….

Postmarketing reports of convulsions have been observed in patients receiving GnRH agonists, including leuprolide acetate. These included patients with a history of seizures, epilepsy, cerebrovascular disorders, central nervous system anomalies or tumors, and patients on concomitant medications that have been associated with convulsions such as bupropion and SSRIs.”

Lupron Depot

The drug label for Lupron Depot (updated April 24, 2018), which is FDA-approved for endometriosis, mentions potential problems such as depression/emotional lability, nervousness, pain conditions, and neuromuscular disorders. It says:

“The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of LUPRON DEPOT monotherapy or LUPRON DEPOT with norethindrone acetate add-back therapy….

  • Mood swings, including depression
  • Suicidal ideation and attempt
  • ….
  • Symptoms consistent with fibromyalgia (e.g., joint and muscle pain, headaches, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal distress, and shortness of breath).”