How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Choriogonadotropin alpha belongs to the class of medications called gonadotropins. Choriogonadotropin alpha, or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is used as part of fertility treatment for women with ovarian dysfunction. It helps follicles mature and triggers ovulation (the release of mature eggs from ovaries).
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each pre-filled syringe of sterile solution contains 250 µg of choriogonadotropin alpha. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol, phosphoric acid, L-methionine, Poloxamer 188, sodium hydroxide, and water for injection.
Each pre-filled pen of sterile solution contains 250 µg of choriogonadotropin alpha. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol, phosphoric acid, L-methionine, Poloxamer 188, sodium hydroxide, disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, sodium dihydrogen phosphate monohydrate, and water for injection.
Lyophilised powder for reconstitution
Each vial contains 285 µg of choriogonadotropin alpha. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sucrose, phosphoric acid, sodium hydroxide, which, when reconstituted with the diluent, will deliver 250 µg of recombinant human chorionic gonadotrophin.
How should I use this medication?
The usual dose of choriogonadotropin alpha is 250 µg injected under the skin as directed by your doctor.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.Your doctor or other health care professional will show you exactly how to inject the medication. Inspect the solution carefully before injecting it. Do not use your injectable solution if it appears to contain particles or is not clear.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose of choriogonadotropin alpha, talk to your doctor about when you should receive your next dose.
Store pre-filled syringes at room temperature for up to 30 days or in the refrigerator (2°C to 8°C) until the expiration date. Store pre-filled pens in the refrigerator (2°C to 8°C). Store vials at or below room temperature (25°C). Store in the original package and do not freeze. Protect this medication from light and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use choriogonadotropin alpha if you:
- are allergic to choriogonadotropin alpha, hCG preparations, or any ingredients of the medication
- are pregnant
- have abnormal uterine bleeding of unknown cause
- have an ovarian cyst or have an unknown cause of ovarian enlargement
- have an uncontrolled brain lesion (e.g., pituitary tumor)
- have primary ovarian failure
- have sex-hormone (e.g., estrogen) dependent tumours of the reproductive organs or breasts
- have uncontrolled thyroid or adrenal problems
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- discomfort, pain, bruising, swelling, or redness at the place of injection
- stomach pain
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- breast pain
- itchy skin
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a blood clot in blood vessels (e.g., difficulty breathing, pain and swelling in one leg muscle)
- signs of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing; hives; swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat)
- signs of stroke (e.g., sudden trouble with vision, dizziness, sudden severe and unusual headache, weakness, difficulty speaking)
- symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), e.g.:
- abdominal or pelvic pain or discomfort
- decreased amount of urine
- difficulty breathing
- rapid weight gain
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood clots: This medication may increase the chance of blood clot formation, causing a reduction of blood flow to organs or the extremities.
If you have a history of clotting you may be at increased risk of experiencing blood clot-related problems such as heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the blood vessels of the lungs), or clots in the deep veins of your leg. Discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms such as sharp pain and swelling in the leg, difficulty breathing, chest pain, blurred vision or difficulty speaking, contact your doctor immediately.
Multiple births: Multiple births may occur with fertility medications. Talk to your doctor about the risks of multiple births before beginning treatment.
Ovarian enlargement: Some women using this medication may experience ovarian enlargement associated with abdominal bloating or pain. In most cases these symptoms go away without treatment within 2 or 3 weeks. If you experience these symptoms contact your doctor.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): Treatment with this medication can cause a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). With OHSS, too many follicles grow and cause abdominal or pelvic discomfort, pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight gain. Some women may experience difficulty breathing and diarrhea. OHSS can progress rapidly and may become serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Pregnancy: The effect of choriogonadotropin alpha on an unborn baby is not known. To avoid the possibility of harm to the baby, choriogonadotropin alpha should not be used during pregnancy.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if choriogonadotropin alpha passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: This medication is intended for use by women of child-bearing age and therefore, the safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: This medication is intended for use by women of child-bearing age and therefore, the safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for seniors.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.