The Associated Press August 16, 2011, 7:39PM ET

Abbott Labs says FDA approves longer-acting Lupron

Abbott Laboratories said Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration approved two longer-acting doses of its drug Lupron as a treatment for premature puberty.

Abbott said the FDA approved two doses of Lupron that last for three months each, allowing patients to be injected with the drug four times a year instead of once every month. The agency approved the new doses as a treatment for central precocious puberty, a condition that causes children to enter puberty too soon. It causes the development of secondary sex characteristics, and can also lead to reduced adult height.

Central precocious puberty is defined as puberty that starts before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys. Abbott said the condition is diagnosed in one out of every 5,000 to 10,000 children. It said Lupron can suppress hormones, delaying puberty to a more appropriate time.

Lupron is also used as a treatment for prostate cancer. In June, the FDA approved a new dose of the drug that allows patients to receive treatment once every six months.

Abbott shares rose 16 cents to $50.07 Tuesday.

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