Last week I told you about a barbaric therapy used to treat men with prostate cancer called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
In adult men, it’s been known to cause side effects such as bone fractures, heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.
But one of these ADT drugs, called Lupron, isn’t just prescribed to men.
It’s also given to little girls and boys, ones as young as five.
The Lupron tragedy could be considered one of the most heartbreaking examples of how the FDA and doctors have dropped the ball where the safety of our children are concerned.
But unbelievably, despite the fact that experts are well aware of the risks involved, this experiment on little children is still going on today.
It’s horrific enough that a drug like Lupron was given the okay by the FDA to treat something called “precocious puberty” (early-onset puberty) in children decades ago.
The condition is considered to be very rare, an “orphan disease” that was “only” affecting a couple of thousand kids in the U.S. a year. But the use of this drug didn’t stop there.
Lupron works by suppressing the hormones that are released when puberty starts. And that means the drug can also do something else.
As soon as doctors realized that Lupron could be used to give kids a growth spurt of a few extra inches (by delaying puberty, bones get more time to grow), the prescriptions started flying off the Rx pads.
Believe it or not, that kind of off-label prescribing is perfectly legal. All a med needs is one approved use by the FDA, and doctors can go hog wild in using it for anything and everything else under the sun.
As a result, young women who received Lupron as children are reporting serious health conditions that are plaguing them into adulthood, such as osteoporosis, spinal fractures, chronic pain and disc disease. One 26-year-old needed a total hip replacement, the kind of procedure you wouldn’t expect to be necessary until much later in life.
Brooklyn Harbin was injected with Lupron at 10 so she would grow taller… and started to have health issues soon after. By the time she was 11, she was diagnosed with beginning osteoporosis and spent a month at the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of chronic pain. Now at 20, she’s still suffering from the effects of the drug.
Sharissa Derricott was first given Lupron when she was five years old. Now, at the ripe old age of 30, she suffers from a blood disorder, degenerative disc disease, and fibromyalgia, and her teeth are cracking.
California mom Jeanne Walsh, who had her daughter receive shots of Lupron as a child, now says “As a parent, I kick myself.” Her daughter is suffering from fibromyalgia and jaw problems.
“What was I thinking?” Walsh added.
And that may be a question that a lot of parents are now asking themselves. Walsh is also one of more than 10,000 who have filed adverse-event reports with the FDA over Lupron. But they might as well be banging their heads against a brick wall.
Because despite numerous studies which have found that the drug can damage bones, the FDA still maintains that Lupron’s effect on the bone health of children is “unknown.”
But not to worry! The agency has promised it will keep checking those reports sent in about the side effects and inform the public if it finds any safety concerns.
However, Dr. John Gueriguian, a former FDA medical officer, thinks otherwise.
Testifying in a court case, he noted that Lupron can cause “irreversible side effects and permanent severely disabling health problems.”
Dr. Gueriguian added, “When a drug’s risks outweigh the drug’s benefits,” it should be pulled from the market.
And to that, we say “Amen!”
“Drug used to halt puberty in children may cause lasting health problems” Christina Jewett, February 2, 2017, Stat, statnews.com