Follitropin alfa is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat infertility in men and women.
This medicine helps induce ovulation in women who are unable to become pregnant because their ovaries cannot produce eggs and in those who are unresponsive to other treatments. It may also stimulate the maturation of follicles in the ovaries for assisted reproduction programmes.
Follitropin alfa is used with another medicine called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) to help develop and produce sperm in men who are infertile due to low levels of certain hormones.
Follitropin alfa is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm or abdomen area).
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you. If you or your caregiver had been given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques of this medicine, you or your caregiver may do the administration.
Use Follitropin alfa exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not administer more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button).
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of your treatment depending on your response to the medication.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Follitropin alfa.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
If you or a caregiver had been trained to administer this medicine and missed a dose, DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you forgot to administer your dose.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- uncontrolled problems with your thyroid, adrenal or pituitary glands
- tumours of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
- cancer of the ovaries, womb or breasts
- unexplained bleeding from the vagina or womb
- cyst on your ovaries or enlarged ovaries not due to polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS)
- malformation of sexual organs which makes pregnancy unsuitable
- primary ovarian failure (a condition wherein a woman's ovaries stop working normally before age 40)
- tumours of the prostate or testes
- testicular problems
as Follitropin alfa may not be suitable for you.
Do not use Follitropin alfa if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
- porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
- personal or family history of blood clot disorder
- thrombophilia (a condition that increases your tendency to form blood clots)
- history of fallopian tube disease
- polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- To check the appropriateness of Follitropin alfa medication, a thorough evaluation and assessment of you and your partner's fertility status may be needed before treatment initiation.
- Routine tests (e.g. ultrasound, blood tests to measure estradiol or testosterone levels) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring of your condition may also be needed during therapy as Follitropin alfa may increase your risk of an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside of the womb), multiple births or pregnancy loss.
Follitropin alfa may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or discomfort, diarrhoea, stomach wind, pimples, enlargement of the male breasts, and pain, redness, irritation or bruising at the injection site.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs and symptoms of allergic reaction e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- signs and symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) e.g. abdominal pain, diarrohea, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, reduced urine output, severe breathing difficulty
- signs and symptoms of a blood clotting e.g. pain, swelling and tenderness in your leg accompanied by redness and warmth; sudden chest pain, shortness of breath
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines used to treat infertility e.g. clomifene citrate
- medicines that belong to a group known as gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists or antagonists (medicines for certain conditions such as prostate cancer, breast cancer and certain disorders of the reproductive system)
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Protect from light.
If you notice that the injection has changed colour or has become cloudy, do not use it. Throw it away and use a new injection.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
Available products of Follitropin alfa may vary with their storage requirements. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to properly store this medicine.