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Follitropin Alfa (Systemic)
In the U.S.-
Follitropin alfa (fol-li-TROE-pin AL-fa) is a hormone identical to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) produced by the pituitary gland. FSH helps to develop eggs in the ovaries.
Follitropin alfa is used as a fertility medicine to develop eggs in women who have not been able to become pregnant because of problems in ovulation. Also, many women wanting to become pregnant will use this medicine while enrolled in a fertility program (assisted reproductive technology [ART]) that uses procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or embryo transfer (ET). Follitropin alfa may be used with other medicines for these purposes.
Follitropin alfa is also used as a fertility medicine to help men with low sperm counts produce more sperms. Treatment with human chorionic gonadotropin should come before treatment with follitropin alfa. This pretreatment elevates the amount of testosterone to the correct level. Treatment with human chorionic gonadotropin should continue as long as follitropin alfa is being used.
Some patients may be treated with another hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) before starting treatment with follitropin alfa. GnRHa reduces the amount of FSH released from the pituitary gland. This is done so that the doctor can replace their FSH with follitropin alfa in the proper amounts each day to achieve fertility.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form(s):
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For follitropin alfa, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to follitropin alfa or similar drugs. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- Follitropin alfa is not needed or recommended for use during pregnancy. Since women using follitropin alfa may be more likely to have more than one child at a time, the problems of multiple births may be increased for women using this medicine. Also, this medicine has been shown to overstimulate the ovaries (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) for a longer time in some women who conceive than in women developing this syndrome who do not become pregnant. Signs of this syndrome include severe abdominal pain, nausea, rapid weight gain, and vomiting. Before you use this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant.
Breast-feeding- It is not known whether follitropin alfa passes into the breast milk. However, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of follitropin alfa. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
To make using follitropin alfa as safe and reliable as possible, you should understand how and when to use this medicine and what effects may be expected. A paper with information for the patient will be given to you with your filled prescription and will provide many details concerning the use of follitropin alfa. Read this paper carefully and ask your health care professional for any additional information or explanation.
Sometimes follitropin alfa can be given by injection at home. If you are using this medicine at home:
Tell your doctor when you use the last dose of follitropin alfa . Follitropin alfa often requires that another hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) be given as a single dose the day after the last dose of follitropin alfa is given. Your doctor will give you this medicine or arrange for you to get this medicine at the right time.
The dose of follitropin alfa will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of follitropin alfa. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, discuss with your doctor when you should receive your next dose. Do not double doses. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress often at regular visits to make sure that the medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects. Your doctor will probably want to follow the developing eggs inside the ovaries by doing an ultrasound examination and measuring hormones in your blood stream. After you no longer receive follitropin alfa, your progress still must be checked for at least 2 weeks .
If your doctor has asked you to record your basal body temperatures (BBTs) daily, make sure that you do this every day. Using a BBT record or some other method, your doctor will help you decide when you are most fertile and when ovulation occurs. It is important that sexual intercourse take place around the time when you are most fertile to give you the best chance of becoming pregnant. Follow your doctor's directions carefully .
If abdominal pain occurs with use of follitropin alfa, discontinue treatment and report the problem to your doctor immediately. Do not receive the injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and avoid sexual intercourse .
This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy. If this side effect occurs, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert while you are using follitropin alfa and for 24 hours after you stop using it.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Stop taking this medicine and get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
After you stop using this medicine, your body may need time to adjust. The length of time this takes depends on the amount of medicine you were using and how long you used it. During this period of time check with your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT