Fertility Medicines

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Fertility Medicines

Infertility can be overwhelming. Not only are you faced with the shock of not being able to have a child, but suddenly you are thrust into learning an entirely new language. This section of our site is intended to provide you with factual information on the most common fertility drugs. Your physician and medical team will discuss use of the drugs that are appropriate for you. Be sure to properly store all medications to ensure their potency.

Specialty Pharmacies 
A specialty pharmacy is a pharmacy exclusively dedicated to providing medications that require special storage, handling, or specialized knowledge of the condition being treated. These medications are usually high-cost, complex, and are not immediately available at regular retail pharmacies. Learn more about these pharmacies including how to find a pharmacy near you, how they work, and tips from our community.  Read more.

Importing Fertility Medications

Be aware that it is illegal to import fertility drugs from outside the United States. Medications made or purchased outside the USA for lower prices may not have FDA approval. In addition, if there is a problem with a particular batch of a drug, the FDA has no way to recall the drug. Consumers with questions about importation of drugs for personal use should consult with their local FDA office or the FDA Imports Operations Branch in Rockville, MD.

Donating Unused Medications

You may be considering sharing your unused medication with others, to help them save on treatment expenses. However, it is illegal for RESOLVE to encourage you to donate or receive prescription medication without going through a pharmacy. It is better to give any unopened medications to your infertility practice; they can take full responsibility for dispensing it, and some clinics have give-back programs

Types of Medicines:

Aspirin

  • Indications for use: Aspirin is used alone or with Heparin to reduce the risk of recurrent spontaneous pregnancy loss. In addition, it is often used for the prevention of miscarriage.

Heparin

Indications for use: Heparin is used on its own or in conjunction with aspirin to prevent recurrent pregnancy loss due to elevated levels of antiphospholipid antibodies.

Clomiphene Citrate - Clomid, Serophene
If your basic infertility work-up indicates that you are not ovulating regularly or if you are ovulating very late or early in the cycle, your physician may suggest clomiphene citrate. 

  • Indications for use: In women, clomiphene is used to induce ovulation, to correct irregular ovulation, to help increase egg production, and to correct luteal phase deficiency.
  • Dosage: Clomiphene comes in 50-mg tablets. The usual starting dose is one tablet on day 3, 4, or 5 of your cycle, and for 5 days afterward. Ovulation usually occurs on cycle day 13 to 18. If you do not ovulate, your physician may increase the dose in increments in future cycles; the maximum dose is usually 200mg daily. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that clomiphene be prescribed for three to six cycles only.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Indications for use: These drugs are used for the treatment of ovulation disorders and to stimulate follicle and egg production for intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or other assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures.

  • Dosage: All FSH preparations require injections. Gonal F, Bravelle, and Follistim are all injected just beneath the skin (subcutaneous injections). Injections start on day 2, 3, or 4 at 75 IU (international units) to 225 IU or more per day. Dosage may be adjusted as the cycle progresses. This will be determined through blood (measuring estrogen-estradiol levels) and ultrasound monitoring (measuring follicular growth).

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG)
Menopur, hMG acts directly on the ovaries to stimulate follicle development.

  • Indications for use: hMG is used to stimulate the development of follicles in women who do not ovulate regularly and to stimulate ovulation for in-vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Dosage: hMG comes in vials of 75IU (international units) or 150 IU of FSH and LH. It is given by subcutaneous injection once or twice a day. Doses vary depending on patient response and type of treatment.

Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonists (GnRH agonist) - Lupron, Synarel
GnRH agonists are synthetic drugs that cause the release of FSH and LH initially but with continued use quickly suppress these hormones.

  • Indications for use: Continued used of GnRH agonists suppresses FSH and LH thereby creating a clean slate on which to create a controlled ovarian hyperstimulation cycle for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures. GnRH agonists are used to prevent premature release of eggs in IVF or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and to treat endometriosis or to shrink fibroids.
  • Dosage: Short acting GnRH agonists come in two forms: Lupron, a drug taken by subcutaneous injection daily, and Synarel, a nasal spray taken twice a day. The long acting form is taken by injection once a month.

Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnRH antagonist, ganirelix acetate) - Ganirelix Acetate Injection, Cetrotide

  • Indications for use: The drug is used in controlled ovarian hyperstimulation cycles for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other assisted reproductive technology procedures.
  • Dosage: The drug is given by subcutaneous injection, usually starting on cycle day 8, and continued for several days. It is given in combination with ovulatory stimulating drugs.

Bromocriptine Mesylate and Cabergoline - Parlodel and Dostinex
In both men and women, hyperprolactinemia (overproduction of the hormone prolactin) can cause fertility problems by interfering with the normal production of FSH and LH.

  • Indications for use: Bromocriptine and cabergoline correct abnormal prolactin levels.
  • Dosage: Bromocriptine, an oral medication, comes in 2.5-mg (milligram) tablets. Because bromocriptine may cause gastrointestinal discomfort and dizziness, most physicians suggest taking one-half tablet per day at first, then slowly increasing it to 2.5 mg per day.

Progesterone
Progesterone is a natural hormone which is given after ovulation to improve the quality of the uterine lining. It can be taken by mouth, by vaginal suppository, gel or by intramuscular injection. Discover the vital connection between progesterone and pregnancy here.

Related Information:

 

Fertility Medicines

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