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Chorionic gonadotropin (Subcutaneous route, intramuscular route, injection route)

Pronunciation:

kor-ee-ON-ok goe-nad-oh-TROE-pin

Brand Names:

  • Chorex
  • Novarel
  • Ovidrel
  • Pregnyl
  • Profasi
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin

Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution
  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Endocrine-Metabolic Agent

Pharmacologic—

Gonadotropin

Uses of This Medicine:

Chorionic gonadotropin is a drug whose actions are almost the same as those of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is produced by the pituitary gland. It is a hormone also normally produced by the placenta in pregnancy. Chorionic gonadotropin has different uses for females and males.

In females, chorionic gonadotropin is used to help conception occur. It is usually given in combination with other drugs such as menotropins and urofollitropin. Many women being treated with these drugs usually have already tried clomiphene alone (e.g., Serophene) and have not been able to conceive yet. Chorionic gonadotropin is also used in in vitro fertilization (IVF) programs.

In males, LH and chorionic gonadotropin stimulate the testes to produce male hormones such as testosterone. Testosterone causes the enlargement of the penis and testes and the growth of pubic and underarm hair. It also increases the production of sperm.

Although chorionic gonadotropin has been prescribed to help some patients lose weight, it should never be used this way. When used improperly, chorionic gonadotropin can cause serious problems.

Chorionic gonadotropin is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Chorionic gonadotropin, when used for treating cryptorchidism (a birth defect where the testes remain inside the body), has caused the sexual organs of some male children to develop too rapidly.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersXStudies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

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 healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Asthma or
  • Epilepsy (seizures) or
  • Heart problems or
  • Kidney problems or
  • Migraine headaches—This medication may worsen these conditions.
  • Cancer of the prostate or
  • Precocious puberty (a condition that causes early puberty in boys before 9 years of age)—Increases in the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream may make these conditions worse.
  • Cyst on ovary or
  • Fibroid tumors of the uterus—Chorionic gonadotropin can cause further growth of cysts on the ovary or fibroid tumors of the uterus
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding—Irregular vaginal bleeding is a sign that the endometrium is growing too much, of endometrial cancer, or of other hormone imbalances; the increases in estrogen production caused by ovulation can aggravate these problems of the endometrium. If other hormone imbalances are present, they should be treated before beginning ovulation induction

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine 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 this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For treating men with problems related to low levels of male hormones:
      • Adults—1000 to 4000 Units injected into the muscle two to three times a week. You may need to receive this medicine for several weeks, months, or longer. If you are being treated for a low sperm count and have been on this medicine for six months, your doctor may give you another hormone medicine (menotropin or urofollitropin injection). You may need to receive both of these medicines together for up to twelve more months.
    • To help pregnancy occur in women:
      • Adults—5000 to 10,000 Units injected into the muscle on a day chosen by your doctor. The dose and day will depend on your hormone levels and the other medicines that you have been using.
    • For the treatment of cryptorchidism (condition where testes do not develop properly):
      • Children—1000 to 5000 Units injected into the muscle two to three times a week for up to ten doses.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that the medicine is working and to check for unwanted effects.

For women taking this medicine to become pregnant :

  • Record your basal body temperature every day if told to do so by your doctor, so that you will know if you have begun to ovulate. It is important that intercourse take place around the time of ovulation to give you the best chance of becoming pregnant. Your doctor will likely want to monitor the development of the ovarian follicle(s) by measuring the amount of estrogen in your bloodstream and by checking the size of the follicle(s) with ultrasound examinations.

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.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

For females only
More common
Bloating (mild)
stomach or pelvic pain
Less common or rare
Abdominal or stomach pain (severe)
bloating (moderate to severe)
decreased amount of urine
feeling of indigestion
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea (continuing or severe)
pelvic pain (severe)
shortness of breath
swelling of feet or lower legs
weight gain (rapid)
For boys only
Less common
Acne
enlargement of penis and testes
growth of pubic hair
increase in height (rapid)
Frequency not determined
difficult or labored breathing
difficulty breathing
flushing of skin
hives or welts
itching of skin
large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs
pain in chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
redness of skin
severe, sudden headache
skin rash
slurred speech
sudden loss of coordination
sudden, severe weakness or numbness in arm or leg
sudden, unexplained shortness of breath
tightness in chest
unusually warm skin
vision changes
wheezing

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
Discouragement
enlargement of breasts
feeling sad or empty
headache
irritability
lack of appetite
loss of interest or pleasure
pain at place of injection
trouble concentrating
trouble sleeping
tiredness

After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:

For females only
Less common or rare
Abdominal or stomach pain (severe)
bloating (moderate to severe)
decreased amount of urine
feeling of indigestion
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea (continuing or severe)
pelvic pain (severe)
shortness of breath
weight gain (rapid)

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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