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All about: human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) injectable

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Generic Name: human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (injectable) (HYOO man cor ee ON ik go NAD o TRO pin)
Brand Names: Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl, Profasi

What is HCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman's ovary, and stimulates the release of the egg during ovulation.

HCG is used to cause ovulation and to treat infertility in women, and to increase sperm count in men. HCG is also used in young boys when their testicles have not dropped down into the scrotum normally. This can be caused by a pituitary gland disorder.

HCG may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about HCG?

HCG is given as an injection into a muscle. If you use this medicine at home, your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will give you specific instructions on how and where to inject this medicine. Do not give yourself an injection if you do not understand these instructions. Call your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for help with injection instructions.

Using this medicine can increase your chances of having a multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc). A multiple pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy for the mother and for the babies. Follow your doctor's instructions about any special care you may need during your pregnancy.

Although HCG can help you become pregnant, this medication is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that using the medication once you are pregnant can cause birth defects in the baby. Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Some women using this medicine have developed a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), especially after the first treatment cycle. OHSS can be a life-threatening condition. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of OHSS: severe pelvic pain, swelling of the hands or legs, stomach pain and swelling, shortness of breath, weight gain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and urinating less than normal.

This medication can cause early puberty in young boys. Call your doctor if a boy using this medicine shows early signs of puberty, such as a deepened voice, pubic hair growth, and increased acne or sweating.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using HCG?

Before receiving this medicine, tell your doctor if you have:
  • a thyroid or adrenal gland disorder;

  • an ovarian cyst;

  • premature puberty;

  • cancer or a tumor of the breast, ovary, uterus, prostate, hypothalamus, or pituitary gland;

  • undiagnosed uterine bleeding;

  • heart disease;

  • kidney disease;
  • epilepsy;

  • migraines; or

  • asthma.

If you have any of the conditions listed above, you may not be able to use HCG or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Although HCG can help you become pregnant, this medication is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that using the medication once you are pregnant can cause birth defects in the baby. Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether HCG passes into breast milk. Do not use HCG without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use HCG?

Use HCG exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Do not use more of the medication than recommended. Do not use HCG for longer than your doctor has prescribed.

HCG is given as an injection into a muscle. If you use this medicine at home, your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will give you specific instructions on how and where to inject this medicine. Do not give yourself an injection if you do not understand these instructions. Call your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for help with injection instructions.

Use each needle and syringe only one time. With your medicine you will receive a puncture-proof container for used needles and syringes. If you do not receive a container, ask your pharmacist for one. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets. Your pharmacist can tell you how to properly dispose of the container.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your doctor will need to check you on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Some brands of HCG come in powder form with a separate liquid that you must mix together and draw into a syringe. Other brands are provided in single-dose prefilled syringes.

Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or the liquid has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription. Store unmixed HCG at room temperature away from light, moisture, and heat. After mixing the HCG, you must keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready for your injection. Throw away any mixed medicine that you have not used within 30 days after mixing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of HCG.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of HCG is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while using HCG?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity during therapy with HCG unless your doctor has told you otherwise.

HCG side effects

Stop using HCG and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these signs of a blood clot: pain, warmth, redness, numbness, or tingling in your arm or leg; confusion, extreme dizziness, or severe headache.

Some women using this medicine have developed a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), especially after the first treatment cycle. OHSS can be a life-threatening condition. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of OHSS:
  • severe pelvic pain;

  • swelling of the hands or legs;

  • stomach pain and swelling;

  • shortness of breath;

  • weight gain;

  • diarrhea;

  • nausea or vomiting; or

  • urinating less than normal.

This medication can cause early puberty in young boys. Call your doctor if a boy using this medicine shows early signs of puberty, such as a deepened voice, pubic hair growth, and increased acne or sweating.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur while using HCG. Talk with your doctor if you have any of the following.

  • headache;

  • feeling restless or irritable;

  • mild swelling or water weight gain;

  • depression;

  • breast tenderness or swelling; or

  • pain, swelling, or irritation where the injection is given.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect HCG?

There may be other drugs that can interact with HCG. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about HCG written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

HCG is available with a prescription under the several brand names. Generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Novarel 10,000 Units powder for injection

  • Pregnyl 10,000 Units powder for injection

  • Profasi 5,000 Units powder for injection

  • Profasi 10,000 Units powder for injection

  • Ovidrel 250 mcg powder for injection

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.05. Revision Date: 2/13/06 3:16:19 PM.

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