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All about: Novarel

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Chorex
  • Novarel
  • Pregnyl
  • Profasi

In Canada—

  • Pregnyl
  • Profasi HP

Generic name product may be available in the U.S. and Canada.

Another commonly used name is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) .

Category

  • Cryptorchidism therapy adjunct
  • Diagnostic aid, hypogonadism
  • Gonadotropin
  • Infertility therapy adjunct

Description

Chorionic gonadotropin (kor-ee-ON-ik goe-NAD-oh-troe-pin) is a drug whose actions are almost the same as those of luteinizing (loo-te-in-eye-ZING) 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 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. It is available in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection (U.S. and Canada)

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 chorionic gonadotropin, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to chorionic gonadotropin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—If you become pregnant as a result of using this medicine with menotropins (e.g., Pergonal) or urofollitropin (e.g., Metrodin), there is an increased chance of a multiple pregnancy (for example, twins, triplets).

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.

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

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of chorionic gonadotropin. 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 chorionic gonadotropin 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 for chorionic gonadotropin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of doses you receive each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you receive the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are receiving chorionic gonadotropin .

  • 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 other 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

Other 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. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

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 receiving this medicine, it may continue to cause some side effects which require medical attention. During this period of time check with your doctor if you notice any of 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 above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 01/21/2004

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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